Thursday, 1 September 2016

Vigilant or Vigilante ? Why use video ?

Helmet camera "vigilantes" show the cyclists vs motorists battle - [ YouTube ]

Who is the vigilante?
Forever Computing  As long as a cyclist is using the road properly, I'll respect them. The moment they become stupid is when I stop caring for them.
Might is right. A motorcycle will crush a cyclist, there is a lot of mass there.
Forever Computing If a cyclist is an idiot. I will ignore them. If I happen to pass by them very close - so be it. They want to use the road dangerously? I'll make it more dangerous.
If they cycle properly, I'll give them room. It's one for one. A bad cyclist will be treated as they treat others. Cyclists who use the roads properly will be given room, patience, whatever.
 I don't have time for those who ignore the traffic rules. If we all ignored them, what would happen? 
Forever Computing As long as you cycle properly you have nothing to worry about. Many cyclists believe reflectors are "enough" 
I was driving up one street to find ONLY the reflectors on the pedals. First on the left, the moved over to the right. It turns out they were coming towards me and not the same direction. 
Cyclists will get themselves killed while drivers try to do everything to avoid it.
If I run you down and you don't have lights - who is to blame? Yes - you. Cyclists are not immune from fault when vehicles are involved. 
Using the roads with cyclists is like letting dogs go rampant. No idea, going everywhere and anywhere, whilst the others know better.  
Eric D +Forever Computing How funny that you watch a video about 'Helmet camera "vigilantes"', and then proclaim yourself policeman, judge, jury and executioner. You are the vigilante, not the guy with just a camera. If your idea of 'proper cycling' is anything like your idea of 'proper justice', you should be headed for prison

Anonymous Comment on a blog
 You have to accept that cycling is dangerous and stop shrieking like a little girl when a car comes close to you. I am a cyclist (5000 miles in 2012)and I sympathise with how you feel when cars come too close, but you act like a baby when it happens. Why do you do this. If you can't handle it stop cycling! I truly feel that you and others like you who film drivers and post the results on YouTube are bad for the cycling community.

The case for and against cycling helmet cameras - [ Jefferies Solicitors ]
"Nevertheless, there are concerns that helmet cameras might harm the already fragile relations between motorists and cyclists, particularly if cyclists are making footage public by posting it online. Many drivers often see cyclists disregarding the rules of the road by failing to signal to other road users or stop at zebra crossings.
By filming a driver’s wrongdoings and sharing it with others, cyclists are more likely to damage rather than improve their reputation on the road. However, arguably, if motorists are driving properly they shouldn’t have a problem with being captured on camera."

How uploading cycling videos damages cycling - [ Croydon Cyclist ]
"a really rough figure of 3% of drivers causing an issue.  This gives the impression to potential and other cyclists that it is worse than it really is."
"Cyclists need to show that we have issues on the road and we are often ignored by authorities because we are the smaller vehicle. But it can have a bad side effect of putting people off cycling and making people think that cyclists are the bad one.

Of course the camera also records the wearers actions, and dashcams also catch silly cyclists
See how many of these are motorcyclists, though!

And motorists can use footage to show cyclists, too ! © Andrew Cudd, Cypress Garden Services

Ideally, of course you would have both viewpoints - HelmetCam and DashCam!
Evo Lucas on Twitter: "Here are both videos of some vehicle interaction in Bristol."

Cyclist accuses police of ignoring close pass video footage - [ ]
"Internet cycle justice warriors (CJWs) are going to increase tension and screw things up for all of us. "
"Thames Valley Police also refuse to take action and are now saying they are only interested in the "Fatal Four""
"a collision must occur for the driving to be below an acceptable standard"  ?
 "I commute 5000 miles a year by bike. I see my fair share of bad driving, but don't feel the need to get a camera. I fact I'm sick of cameras intruding into every aspect of daily life. Do I feel any safer and notice anyone driving better now that people are videoing rides and sending them to the police - NO. Do I get more abuse from drivers who see cyclists as the enemy - YES.
it does create a them and us, which impacts on all cyclists, not only those who choose to use cameras. 
This constant reporting of incidents on social media is making the problems worse in my experience. It's polarising attitudes to cyclists."
 "as drivers are usually at fault we need to be even more careful not to antagonise people "
If cyclists want to stay safe on the roads, then they need to respect motorists - [ Sean O'Grady, The Independent ]
"Cyclists are vulnerable – and all the more reason then for them to obey red lights, to stay off pavements, to avoid undertaking and to stop taking chances by squeezing through impossibly small gaps in the traffic"
police harrass drivers  ... put their own lives and those of fellow road (and pavement) users in danger ... replicating the Tour de France ... six abreast ... Cyclists are vulnerable. so we should actually encourage people to get off their bikes ... camera vigilantism can cause more trouble than it stops
Assertive vs aggressive?
Cambridge Cycling Campaign » Newsletter 20 (October 1998) - Cyclist Threatens Driver with Note

Cyclist Jeremy Vine reveals he films bad drivers and sends footage to police | Transport | News | London Evening Standard

Met police has no idea how many cyclists are sending it helmet-cam footage - [ rosslydall ]

The psychology behind the dashcam - [ Roadhawk Blog ]
Loophole lawyer says motorists should 'fight back' against 'goading' cyclists - [ Cycling Weekly ]
Careless driver fined thanks to evidence from [horse] rider's hat camera - [ Horse & Hound ]
Swansea motorist pleads guilty after cyclist captures near miss on film - [ ]
Manchester cyclist launches one-man campaign to shame city's reckless drivers - [ Daily Mail Online ]
Cycling vigilantes are doing more harm than good - [ Telegraph ]
"cyclists are actually more likely to break the rules of the road than motorists" - (Andrew Critchlow's own experience as a cyclist himself ! ) - "... defeats, for me, the very purpose of riding a bicycle: freedom to do as I please within reason."
WATCH: Shocking moment lorry driver rams car on M1 - Mansfield and Ashfield - [ Chad ]
NB Matt Stockdale is part (Chairman ?) of
Matthew Stockdale & THAT Road Rage Incident - [ Legal Lifeboat Services ]
BBC respond to Matt Stockdale and THAT Road Rage incident - [ Legal Lifeboat Services ]
Lorry driver accused of ramming car on M1 in Northamptonshire found not guilty - [ Northampton Chronicle and Echo ]

Taxi driver fined for knocking cycling campaigner off bike - [ Taxi Driver Online ]

Plymouth idiots to feature on The World’s Deadliest Drivers - [ Plymouth Herald ]
STOP THE DANGER DRIVERS: Police in Bradford mount covert patrols to catch motoring menaces - [ Bradford Telegraph and Argus ]
"police officers using unmarked bicycles in Bradford, West Yorks, have been issued with head cameras to capture examples of dangerous driving"
Lollipop ladies secretly film dangerous drivers with head cameras - [ London Evening Standard ]
Video: Cyclist has words with driver in Aldi after "punishment pass" - [ ]
Car Crash Britain Caught on Camera 1 - [ YouTube ]
Maidstone cyclist captures near miss in Dean Street - [ ]
 I think this type of footage does cyclists no favours. 
 only thing this piece does is antagonise road users. Darn helmet cam warriors. Joke! 
Rebel Without A Pause: Mitchell Runs Red Light On Bike - [ Guido Fawkes ] - pedestrian-cam !
Careless driver fined thanks to evidence from rider’s hat camera – [ Horse & Hound ]
This bin man stopped his round to help a horse when it became nervous on the road - [ Wales Online ]
Idiot car driver does not slow down for horse riders. Road Rage UK - [ YouTube ]
Richard Taylor - taking a camera into public meetings ...
The Legailty of Camera use - [ Cycle Camera TV ]
Rights to privacy - am I invading them? - [ The Cycling Lawyer ]
Bristol Traffic and your privacy rights - [ Bristol Traffic ]
"Is @Dialacab ok with its drivers blocking cycle boxes + calling cyclists fucking c***s? 00371 did nr LivSt just now" - [ Georgie Agass on Twitter ] - 'pics or it didn't happen'
Pollution cameras measuring emissions from cars installed on London's polluted streets - [ ITV News ]
Helmet cams cause cyclist confrontation - [ Drive East Midlands ] - no mention of camera in 2nd link ! Over-sensitive guy ?
An open letter to "The Justice League of Video Cyclists" - [ JoeSoap76 ]
When will cyclists learn? - [ Drive East Midlands ] - troll
View topic - The value of dashcams... - [ Advanced Driving ]
Taxi driver caught filming at wheel by Traffic Droid - [ ]
Shocking footage shows London cabbie filming cyclist as he drives with passengers onboard - [ Mirror ]
Are Helmet Cameras 'Black Boxes' for Cyclists? - [ TreeHugger ]
Warning to dangerous drivers: Motorists might catch you on video - [ Daily Mail Online ]
Northamptonshire man fined nearly £500 after being caught on camera dropping litter - [ Northampton Chronicle and Echo ]

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Bears Way / Milngavie Road signage

1)Burnbrae RBT - Main St
I'm not sure if pavement cycling is OK here

August 2015 - does TSRGD 956 refer to the side road or main road ?

By Oct 2015 the round sign on the lamp-post was turned round to face those entering Bears Way

Many bike+ped-safety signs (TSRGD 562, orange ground) have been turned round on Bears Way itself - see 3), 4), 5) below

2)Kelvin Timber
Bollard with no reflective sign ?

3)Reid Ave
2x Ped signs hidden to traffic!

4) Junction Kilmardinny Ave
1x Ped sign TSRGD 562 missing - an empty post !

1x other turned edge-to-cars

5) Mosshead Rd
1x Ped sign TSRGD 562 green with moss - not sure about the 'shared path' sign - it's new - side-road pavement? StreetView history implies they took out the red-brick shared use side-road crossing, but put in the shared-use sign !

1x other turned edge-to-cars

I'm not local so can only go by Google StreetView snapshots - things may have changed since !
Worth doing a thorough survey, comparing it to the definitive design ?
I believe I reported most of these via EDC website a year ago.
Is it possible bus/van drivers are worried about hitting the signs ?
Maybe drivers are offended - "Of course we're careful of pedestrians!"
Is it just malicious - involve 'beat bobby' ?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill

A Bill to make provision to strengthen penalties related to serious criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death; to redefine such offences and amend bail conditions for those charged with them; to enhance the standards of investigation, both by the police and in the Courts, into such offences; to improve the treatment of victims of such offences and their families within the justice system; and for connected purposes.

Monday, 16 November 2015

When is a crime not a crime ?

When it's a 'Road Crime' !
But why ?
Imagine if 'Firearms Offences' were not counted as 'Criminal Offences' : compare and contrast !

"The Other Idiot ..."

Most of the rules in the Highway Code are written to leave a margin of error, so that there is a clear 'no-mans-land' between potentially conflicting parties. If a collision occurs in this 'buffer zone', it is because both parties are at fault. If one party makes a momentary mistake, the 'buffer zone' protects both parties.

I remember reading about someone ( probably one of James Thurber's aunts or maids ? ) who just knew that it was always perfectly safe for her to blast across junctions at full speed, because everyone else had been taught to proceed with caution, and give way if necessary.

Monday, 22 June 2015

"... The oppression inherent in the system ..."

Much has been said in the press about cyclists' alleged poor compliance with traffic lights.
There is a systematic problem, in that many lights fail to change when a cyclist is waiting.
Usually there is a metal detector in the road, whose sensitivity is adjusted to be too low to detect a bicycle.

I have complained to Street Doctor about one set of lights at a renovated junction, to be met with the response "The lights meet the requirements !"

If the standard for traffic lights is to ignore cyclists, is it surprising if cyclists sometimes ignore lights ?
This is institutional discrimination openly applied at a hardware level ! Motorism !

The Highway Code has a get-out clause
176 You MUST NOT move forward over the white line when the red light is showing. 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. If the traffic lights are not working, treat the situation as you would an unmarked junction and proceed with great care.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10 & 36

Monday, 9 March 2015

Here's a good idea to save lives

This is a mirror of, which is partly pasted from Wikipedia !
It's from this guy

Which is the prequel to "cyclists are their own worst enemy" (South Kensington, 20th Feb 2015) - YouTube.

The 'Blog that scored in the hundreds' is archived on Imgur, even though it's not in Google cache.
And a Google Plus posting.
His 'Foodie Blog' is still up - if 'Toasted Sandwich and Crisps' counts as foodie ?
It's Damien Trench ! Perhaps this a new kind of reality-satire ?
Or perhaps he just has some medical issues ?


The use of the word "Cycle-proofing" to imply "considering cyclists when designing roads" alarms me.
There are two similies that spring to mind:

  • 'fool-proof' implying cyclists are fools - perhaps they need not aspire to the lofty heights of intelligence and competence that we see displayed by 'professional drivers' on a daily basis, but considering that children are often cyclists might be beneficial.
  • 'water-proofing' - impermeability - cyclists cannot pass through here ?

See also

Thursday, 15 January 2015


"Many of the rules in The Highway Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’."... 
"Although failure to comply with the other rules of The Highway Code will not, in itself, cause a person to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Traffic Acts (see The road user and the law) to establish liability. This includes rules which use advisory wording such as ‘SHOULD/SHOULD NOT’ or ‘DO/DO NOT’."
(The capitalisation in the last sentence is mine - it really should be added to the Highway Code !)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

'False Flag' Operations !

Thought: if drivers lose their licences - how many become "I'm a cyclist myself" ? Or concern trolls ?
Does it explain the 'person-on-a-bike' 'No True Scotsman' thing ?

A motorist pretending to be a cyclist, making a spoof helmet-cam video, to discredit the real ones !

Note that the YouTube user's other videos are of him on a moped, and the branding at the end is MVAR - MotoVlogsAndRants.

Role-playing childish fantasies ?

Monday, 5 January 2015

Sidelights or Dipped Headlights ?

This is part of  General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders (103 to 158)

There seems to be a fine distinction just for roads with lighting, outside of built-up areas !
You must use headlights at night, except on a road which has lit street lighting ... you should use dipped headlights ... at night in built-up areas.
Surely that is unnecessary ?
slow down, and if necessary stop, if you are dazzled by oncoming headlights
I doubt that ever happens - a judge told a jury to disregard the Highway Code's 'stop if dazzled by the sun' - R v Petterson
I would certainly not remove these so that motorists are permitted to drive while blinded. They need to be publicised and enforced.

Polaroid Eliminates Headlamp Dazzle

In 1929 Edwin H. Land patented plastic film that could polarise light.

If headlights are polarised \\\\\ and the windscreen or driver's glasses are polarised /////, then direct light is absorbed.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Crossings - Level, Zebras, Pelicans, Toucans, Puffins and Pegasus

There is a discrepancy between the Highway Code and the Law here !
The Highway Code could clarify whether it forbids cycles overtaking or being overtaken on crossings, by using the distinction between 'vehicle' and 'motor vehicle' precisely.

Actually, I would play safe, and leave the Highway Code as-is, for safety's sake.
It will be safer if cyclists neither overtake, nor are overtaken.

But we should definitely educate Driving Instructors, and also those who train and assess Driving Instructors, to err on the side of safety, instead of nit-picking about what are probably unintended loopholes in the Law !

Pedestrian crossings overtaking a cyclist ? - [ ]

Highway Code 191
You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines. You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Dazzled by Headlights or the Sun ? Stop !

There have been many recent cases where drivers that drive while blinded by low sun have been acquitted of dangerous or even careless driving. Judges are ignoring the Highway Code when sentencing, and instructing juries to ignore it when deliberating the verdict.
If nothing else, this is unnecessary tautological duplication.
93 Slow down, and if necessary stop, if you are dazzled by bright sunlight.
6. Hot weather ...
237 ... If you are dazzled by bright sunlight, slow down and if necessary, stop.
It seems that we have no protection when on east-west roads after dawn or before dusk under UK case law. Perhaps there should be a curfew ?

Fog is already an accepted excuse for bad driving, so I wonder which universally-encountered weather conditions will be blamed for bad driving next ? Ice, Snow, Rain, Wind, Night, Cloud ?

The principle used to be Highway Code 126
Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.
Pro Tip : If a car's number plate appears to be lit up, you are directly between them and the sun, so you are invisible.

Really, I would advise not using the roads when the sun is low. Extreme but safe !

Even slowing down is dangerous.
RAF Northolt Station Commander killed on A40 - [ Road Justice ]
"He was dazzled by sunlight, he slowed down and moved to the slow lane when other drivers were flashing their lights to say has driving too slowly, and that he was looking out for motorcyclists overtaking him at the time of the crash. He drove into the back of Group Captain Tom Barrett OBE, who was cycling"

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Space Lemmings - Peer Pressure - Race to the Bottom

Space Lemming courtesy of
There are two tribes of road users, each of which thinks the other is dangerous - the fast and the slow.

Slow motorists often say they feel pressured to drive badly (eg speeding) by other motorists, specifically the one behind them.
  • Fast motorists say it is the slow motorists (not just cyclists) that are dangerous, because they get in the way, and even get them angry, 'forcing' them to drive badly.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

There's more to life than not being dead ...

In safety statistics, analysts often use KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) statistics.
Main reasons :
  1. Numbers killed often are, thankfully, too low for any statistically-significant conclusions to be drawn until many years have passed.
  2. Serious Injuries are usually about ten times more frequent, and often life-changing. So taking measures to reduce them is arguably just as important as reducing fatalities.
  3. Many other factors affect whether a casualty dies :
    • Vehicle engineering - crumple zones, airbags, seat-belts, safety glass
    • Emergency service response, particularly Air Ambulances
    • Medical care in hospital
Further than that, there are many 'Quality of Life' issues that are worth considering.
  • Perceived Safety
  • Improved lifestyle
  • Community well-being
  • Stress and Mental Health

Monday, 22 September 2014

Weaving all over the road ...

When I was a Sea Scout (1973-7 Hi to the 1st Scrabster troop!), Dick Message aka 'Skip' taught us how to tell if two vessels were on collision course. There are two equivalent methods:
  1. With a compass take a bearing on the other vessel, wait a minute and take another.
    If the bearing hasn't changed, you are on collision course. Change course. Repeat.
    Obviously, if both vessels change course and are still on a different collision course, slowing down can help, too !
  2. If there is land on the distant horizon, (or stars above it) see if the other vessel is moving fore or aft relative to the distant land or stars. If neither, ie the vessel is stationary with respect to a distant landscape, you are on collision course. Of course, it won't hold true for a nearby coastline, or if you watch for hours because the stars 'move' (relatively speaking).

    "All our eyes on the distant horizon" Join in, everybody !
What does that have to do with cyclists 'weaving all over the road', you ask ? Patience !

Friday, 19 September 2014

Obstruction ?

In the early days of motoring, there was a law that every vehicle had to be preceded by a man walking with a red flag, and the vehicle had to stop when he waved it, to let horse-drawn traffic past safely.

One father has tried using his car to make it safe for his son to walk to school, as part of a campaign for a footway.
Could be a useful tactic for a Critical Mass ride ?

'Police advised him against this course of action for safety reasons.
'Officers have advised him that he is at risk of causing an unlawful or wilful obstruction should he continue to do this.'

Note that the police are fearful that other motorists might overtake unsafely. Pandering to the lowest level of incompetence can only encourage bad drivers.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Counter-CounterMeasures - Glasses, Goggles, Face-Mask

Things are moving too fast for me here - I have started several 'Countermeasures' posts-in-draft, but it feels more important to post about Counter-CounterMeasures first !

If motorists have reached the stage of squirting liquids in cyclists' faces, then that is another good reason to consider wearing Glasses, Goggles or Face-Mask.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Safety Theatre

No, I don't mean dramatic productions in schools to reduce risk to children , wonderful though that is !

I mean taking steps to make things look safe, but which have little or no beneficial effect in practice.

Googling "safety theatre" finds (mostly ? ) only the theatricals, but the American "safety theater" works.
The term Security Theater is wider-known, among conspiracy theorists at least.

It's questionable which things are effective and which not - the list below is neither definitive nor complete. It's part of the definition of 'Safety theatre' that we can't tell which measures are effective.

Obedience and Blame

The number of official contributory factors present in car-bike collisions are similar for cyclists and drivers.
Some factors are arguably bigger than others - I don't know if they were weighted.
The full report runs to 60 pages.
Slightly more contributory factors for cyclists, but I would guess it's not statistically significant.
Since the motorist is (almost?) never the fatality, that may introduce some bias. It would be interesting to exclude cases where the cyclist was unable to give a statement before dying.

Of course, risking your own life is not at all the same thing as risking anothers' !

The top factor was 'failed to look properly' for both sides, in about 30% of cases.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Martyrdom and Herd Immunity

Despite what Tom Stafford may say, cycling is not an inherently selfish activity.

For the bottle-carriers in the peloton, it is a team effort.

Personally, a large part of the reason I don't drive is to increase safety. To all those of you that like to argue whether cycling is nearly as safe as motoring (per hour) or thirty times more dangerous (per mile), that will sound a little crazy.