Monday, 26 October 2015

Daytime Running Lights - No Guarantee



This case is interesting for many reasons: pedestrians, cyclist and motorist could all do better to manage risk, but the motorist is clearly breaking the law.
Oh, now that video has gone!

"Part 1- We will be in Lincoln for the @RoadChamps events on the 27th & 28th, make sure you come and visit our stand!" - [ Lincs Road Safety on Twitter ]
"Part 2- We are giving free High Intensity daytime-use lights to Lincolnshire cyclists who cycle to work/college!" - [ Lincs Road Safety on Twitter ]

Media bias

It's been reported here, with the usual cyclist-blaming headlines.
Watch horrifying moment cyclist collides with car at high speed - London Evening Standard
Shocking headcam video shows moment cyclist collides with car - Daily Mail Online

Metro does it better - neutral
Cyclist's headcam captures high-speed crash with car - Metro News

Victim-blaming

Daily Mail Comments
"Cyclist is an idiot and a danger to other road users - especially pedestrians. He is clearly travelling far too fast without any regard for his own or anyone else's safety, and his solution is to ban cars so he can speed through town without having to have any regard for other road users. An absolute plank - he is lucky he didn't break his neck."
"This guy is an idiot - the car didn't see him because the pedestrians were blocking his view. If he rode more defensively and slowed down for what was an obviously dangerous situation, rather than swerved around them while maintaining speed, this probably wouldn't have happened."
There were two seconds between the pedestrian passing between driver and cyclist - plenty of time for the driver to stop, or rather for them not to even start since the car was stationary !
Note that a pedestrian also runs across the road the car was turning into.

Everyone is in too much of a hurry - taking silly risks

The pedestrians triggered the chain of mistakes by crossing against a 'red man'
No - they could not see the colour of the traffic lights, but crossed in front of a cyclist with a white flashing headlight approaching at 20mph. They leap forwards, seeing the cyclist is going behind them. The cyclist does not swerve - the road kinks left so the cyclist is forced out of the cycle lane simply by going straight ahead.

The cyclist does yell, but the driver may be deaf, as well as blind to him. The cyclist looks down, and brakes possibly for half a second, but too late. The car also doesn't brake until the last split-second. The cyclist seems to have his hands on the brakes all the time, but you can hear the levers 'clunk'.

Road position - cycle lane or mid-lane ?

It is a designated cycle route. There is a cheap, narrow 'cycle lane' just painted either side of the road - the 'bike' symbol is painted no fewer than four times at each side-road. That could be to enforce "Cyclists - get in 'your lane', " or to remind drivers "Don't creep out of side roads with your nose blocking the cycle lane" - it would be interesting to know the reason. Maybe a bit of both ?

The cyclist rides to the right of the centre of the cycle lane.
At 0:04 seconds into the video, he rides past a pedestrian about to cross (whose toes are practically on the edge of the kerb) without moving out. There is also a moment where a pedestrian might have collided with a child on a scooter, or stepped off the pavement into the cycle lane to avoid him.
Even when he moves out of the cycle lane to pass behind the crossing pedestrians, he does not turn his head to look behind - I presume he uses a rear-view mirror. You can't rely on hearing a 'coasting' Toyota Prius, or other cyclists !

Advocates of the 'Bikeability' national standard of cycle training would probably advise that he should be riding in the centre of the eastbound half of the road and ignoring the 'cycle lane'.
This would make it more likely that the driver and crossing pedestrians would 'see' him, prevent assumptions that he might be about to turn left, and give a safety margin for pedestrians on the pavement.

He travels three blocks in 18 seconds (YouTube time - may be affected by camera quality and re-copying of the video ...). That measures as 185 metres on Google Maps - giving 0.115 miles or 23.0 miles per hour. Not in excess of the speed limit (which doesn't apply to cyclists), but not likely to be holding up traffic, either !

There is a principle that went to consultation about off-road cycle-paths:
As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18 mph/30 kph, then you should be riding on the road.
It would not be unreasonable to apply that to choosing whether to use an on-road cycle-lane, too.

I bet the Daily Mail readers that are complaining about him going too fast are the same ones that also complain about being held up by cyclists !

Green light but give way !

The Highway Code says 
GREEN means you may go on if the way is clear. Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing
and Rule 176
Only go forward when the traffic lights are green if there is room for you to clear the junction safely or you are taking up a position to turn right.
I have suggested that space might be found there to upgrade the junction to have a central filter-lane for right-turning traffic, with a 'green filter arrow', to avoid conflict (as in this video when both driver and cyclist presumably had green lights).

A cross-hatched yellow box and 'red man' pedestrian indicators might help, too !

Low sun

In the half hour before (and after) sunset, visibility is poor - all road users should take particular care of sun dazzle.

In this video, I count three momentary flashes of sunlight, even though the street is generally in shade, and the low sun is almost directly behind the camera - reflections off windows can come from any direction at any time. Luckily, the eye's blink reflex will prevent dazzle, unless the flash is longer than a split-second.

As he rolls over after the collision, you can see how generally bright the street behind was, but there is no sign of sunlight (direct or window-reflected) shining on the car. Any dazzle would be due to a dirty, or foggy windscreen causing glare. The Highway Code states: “‘Windscreens and windows must be kept clean and clear of all obstructions.” 'Must' meaning it is an offence, presumably against the 'Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, sections 30 or 61'.

Flashing headlamp while sun is still shining

At the end, where he lands head-down, near a pedestrian refuge, you can see the cycling equivalent of 'daytime running lights' - the white light beside the camera is flashing on and off equally in a 2-second cycle. Note this will not trigger epilepsy, like a fast strobe might.

It is aimed down at the road, not into the eyes of oncoming motorists - its effect is barely noticeable on the reflective number-plates of oncoming cars. It is therefore subtle in effect - down at the 'useless' end of the brightness scale, rather than 'annoying'. Even when he is on top of the oncoming car, it never seems very bright.

See Also

Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment. - [ PubMed - NCBI ]
 The incidence rate, including all recorded bicycle accidents with personal injury to the participating cyclist, is 19% lower for cyclists with permanent running lights mounted
Lights On All The Time - [ road.cc ]
Bike lights in daylight? - [ BikeRadar Forum ]
Bright flashing front bike light in daylight - why? - [ CycleChat Cycling Forum ]
Do bicycle lights make any difference to cyclist safety? - [ Road Danger Reduction Forum ]
Do you have your lights on during daytime - [ bikeforums.net ]
Bicycle Culture by Design: Daylight Headlights - [ Copenhagenize.com ]
Pedal lite SHE (daytime running lights for cyclists) campaign - [ CTC Forum ]
Pedalite and the SHE campaign - [ yacf.co.uk ]
Spot the Pedalites - the photographer missed the flashes, used his own lights !
Daytime Running Lights, Final Report, october 2003 - [ TNO Human Factors ]
New cars equipped with daytime running lights as of 7th February 2011 - [ European Commission - Press release ]
Daytime running lights (DRL) - [ SWOV Fact sheet ]
Motorcycles - [ SWOV ]
The use of daytime running lights by motorized two-wheelers has reduced visibility-related crashes in several countries by between 10% and 16%. 
In Europe, motorcyclists who use daytime running lights have a crash rate that is about 10% lower than that of motorcyclists who do not.
In Austria, automatic DRL reduced the number of injured motorcyclists in daytime multiple crashes by about 16%
Exchanging Places, or Exchanging Responsibility? – [ Beyond the Kerb ]  - comment re:police by MATTHEW.W
"When I said it had been raining, that I wasn’t wearing a hi-vis jacket & didn’t have my light on at 9am; apparently there isn’t much point me making a formal statement but I can if I want"
Lorry driver failed to see cyclist ‘who had done nothing wrong’ - [ rosslydall ]
Daytime Bike Lights - [ RadWagon ]

Strava

See also Snapchat Speed Filter for motorists!

Strava is a GPS App and website that records times along routes, so you can compare speeds along the same route on different occasions. It may be a factor in 'hurry' or even risk-taking.

I realise that I may annoy friends here, but I believe in honesty. Yes, many motorists generally lie to us through their teeth at every possible opportunity, but hiding issues is not going to help us in the long run. That is a 'race to the bottom' - if nothing can be believed there can be no discussion, no negotiation, no resolution. All communication becomes pointless !

This may possibly be a different Myles G, but he has recently changed his stated location, and has a lot of London activity. Perhaps he has moved as a consequence of the accident.

Google's cache shows Myles G. | Cyclist on Strava on 25 Sep 2015 19:03:11 GMT.
Myles G.

Myles G.

Surbiton, England, United Kingdom
Follow on Strava
Myles G. is a cyclist from Surbiton, England, United Kingdom.

Which has now (Oct 26th) been edited to

Myles G.

Myles G.

Sunderland, England, United Kingdom
Follow on Strava
Myles G. is a cyclist from Sunderland, England, United Kingdom