Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1 1/2m MATTERS !

Proposals for SAFER CYCLING

Whilst i have many years of riding the routes of the European Cycling "Grand Tours " , i cannot claim to be an expert on what can improve conditions for Cyclists in TRAFFIC !

TWO Ideas come to mind that i feel sure can assist both Cyclists and other traffic !

AWARENESS is a problem that 99% of vehicle operators have difficulty dealing with . WHEN I come up behind cyclists , i adjust my speed to allow me to be in a position to overtake them SAFELY ! This is because I do not know what their intentions are likely to be , by the time i arrive within the zone needed to decide on a " Passing Manouvre ". So as to warn following traffic , should there be any , i use my " hazard / flashing Indicator lights ", thus it is clear there is an obstacle in front and not my decision to turn off the route of travel . Having moderated my speed , i have saved fuel and brake wear and of course not caused the cyclists alarm and those following me , by slamming on my brakes . Having assessed the road ahead is clear for enough distance to pass SAFELY , i pull out giving more than the European requirement of 1 1/2m and having completed the passing of ALL Cyclists in the group , turn off the Hazards .

When cycling i see so many  vehicles coming towards me , very rarely indicating that they are passing cyclists OR other vehicles , but on my side of the middle of the road . AM I supposed to disappear because they are so impatient , that they cannot wait until the spot that i have passed safely ? Was it my fault they found themselves in their situation . All too often i find vehicles slow behind me , then decide they can proceed at a slower pace past me , even though there are only millimetres between me and their wing mirror , some occasions moving my elbow has caused their wing mirror to need adjustment . On occasion i have had to rap with my knucles on their nearside window , to remind them that i am STILL THERE , that because they chose to creep alongside , in contravention of Road Regs , i am not about to disappear to their rear to solve the problem of THEIR CREATION ! Touch their paintwork under any circumstances and they treat YOU as a Vandal , they have some mystical power that exempts them from obeying simple Road curtesies ?

Over the years i have been advocating the need for " Driver Awareness of the 1 1/2M Safe Pass Laws . One of the tools that i would like to see implemented , is signs on the back of " Larger Vehicles ": By this i mean , any Vehicle that a saloon car , is unable to see through . Each vehicle has different dimensions but a normal driver can see through most cars in front of them , that is if they are not right up the exhaust pipe , attempting to bully the vehicle in front of them . Advanced Motorists are taught " to read the road ", be aware of all factors , so that they are able to anticipate any problems long before they pose risk . Even beginner drivers are SUPPOSED to drive in this fashion , but having passed the " Test " , they decide thae know better , and adopt their own criteria . Bullying Cyclists because they were bullied whilst riding during their School Days , seems to be at the head of their priority list ? Do i need to go on ?

MY Proposal is to stick a sign on ALL Large Vehicles , something similar to that you see on the rear of Buses . " Please GIVE way "! In this BLUE Sign i would say " Lookout " with the " white outline shape of a car " , then the white outline shape of a VAN , superimposed , then the white outline of a Bus superimposed , then the white outline of a Truck superimposed ! Each wider & higher than the other with the word there also , then "arrows with 1 1/2m within ", Then the Outline of the Cyclist in White . These Graphics are SO CLEAR to ALL , that i doubt anyone could misinterpret their meaning ?

There will be those who CHOOSE to defy reality and ignore common sense and they deserve to reap the reward of their decision . Imagine being pulled up by a cop and being given the option of a " Fixed Penalty Violation of $50 or standing on a corner in your town holding up a Sign with the " same message " for several hours ? Repeat this offence within a few months , then you get to ride a bike for a few months , no public transport options allowed . Food for thought ?

In Germany and other areas i have visited there are " Separate Cycleways " , problem here is that , whilst you may have right of way at an intersection , most vehicles will risk getting caught by the " Cops " , rather than yeild " Right of Way ", where required . One solution i think that could work is to put in place " Rubber Humps " that are in the way of turning vehicles from the major road and just before the " Cycleway Crossing " on the minor road . When faced with these impediments to their comfort ride , most vehicles will slow down , most will realise that they are there for the purpose of a safe transit of the Cyclists . Some of course , are so thick , that they will attempt to ignore them and thus risk their safe transit through the intersection . In parts of Europe there is a Coloured Paint on the roadway , where the Cycleway , is SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY !

Each country has it's OWN LAWS in respect of Collisions with Cyclists , but in many the RESPONSIBILITY lies with the Motorist to AVOID Collision with the Cyclist . No Cyclist is going to go out on a bike with the intention of colliding with a Vehicle , are they ?

Eating , Drinking , Smoking and Chatting over the years appear to be accepted norms of dRiver behaviour ! Laws have been introduced in many countries in recent years AFTER Vehicle Operators decided their Vehicle could look after itself whilst they take a break to deal with Phone calls and send Text Messages , there are robots in SPACE that act like Human Beings , but they have not been incorporated into Traffic use at the moment !

Driving is a " Privelege " that is GRANTED After passing " Testing " by various Government Authorities . whilst in control of a Vehicle , YOU are required to give that task 100% attention , drive in a manner that allows you to come to a HALT without colliding with ANYTHING ! Some drivers rely on " MEMORY " as they drive BLIND into the Sun or around corners ! Case in point is the following , although i can cite 100's more :      

BOTH my comments were STRUCKOUT by their " mods " ! Can't have the " poor driver 2 criticised for INCOMPETENCE and a " Couldn't care less attitude " on her way to work ? Meanwhile the Doctor remains unable to assist his community because of the severity of his INJURIES ! When will magistrates learn that " The Sun was in my Eyes " IS TOTAL BS , when it is their Family , perhaps ?  

Over 1000 comments , now closed , BUT , poor misunderstood Sgt Plod ! Claims he rides/rode a bike , doubt he was aggressed when in Uniform !