Archives For October 2011

Rapid Ready Mix

October 26, 2011 — 3 Comments

I uploaded a video a few weeks ago of a large cement mixer not driving perfectly on the road. Minor stuff including encroaching into an ASL and overtaking and pulling in just before some stopped cars.

Like I said, nothing major, but I uploaded it and forwarded it onto the Police so they could get in contact with the company and sort out this behaviour before someone gets hurt. I was going to forward it onto the company as well but didn’t get around to it.

Before I could contact the company I got a message from a subscriber on youtube, I’ll call him Mark, Mark had been in contact with the company and got an interesting reply.

I appreciate your concern but unfortunately I don’t think it was as dangerous as you’re making out. I would appreciate if “gaz545” could get in the bike lane rather than cycling on the line!

The reply came from someone who I shall name Paul, Mark replied to Paul and quickly set him straight on a few things, including positioning and the legal side of the ASL.
I also contacted Paul and wrote the following

Your comment to Mark, ‘I would appreciate if “gaz545″ could get in the bike lane rather than cycling on the line!’.
Quite obviously you are not aware on how bicycle lanes function or the requirements of cyclists to use them. There is in fact no legal requirement for cyclists to use any cycle lane that is provided for them and we are often advised not to cycle in them because they are poorly designed, not wide enough and are often filled with glass and other sharp objects such as stones.

Whilst you would appreciate that I should stay in the bike lane, i believe it is fair for me to expect Rapid Ready Mix vehicles to drive safely around vulnerable users and in general on the road.
Your driver clearly broke the law when he crossed the first solid white line at the traffic lights, that is known as red light jumping, something which people often complain cyclists of doing but your driver is no better.
By also stopping in the advanced stop zone ( the big blue area with the bicycle logo in it) he put me and several other cyclists in his blind spot, whilst I can see that your vehicles are kitted out with all the required mirrors, that does not mean that your drivers uses them or that they are aware of any vulnerable road users to their left. I’m sure you can appreciate that not every cyclists is sensible and sometimes they put them selves in unnecessary positions which leave them in a position of danger.

His second action of cutting in front of me wasn’t as bad as i was first expecting but the principle of the manoeuvre is still dangerous. Overtaking cyclists, pull in front of them and then stop, very dangerous is it not? How would you feel if a driver on the motorway pulled in front of you and started braking? Would you think it was dangerous?
At first i thought he would be coming all the way across and this is where the issue is, not all cyclists would read this situation or simply wouldn’t care and would continue on their way up the left hand side whilst your lorry is turning in, this can often lead to cyclists being squashed under large vehicles and is a killer on London’s streets.

I would expect more from a professional driver, he got no further than if he waited safely behind in each case.

 

Neither my self or Mark got any more responses from Paul. Not what I was expecting but a later found out that the Police had sent the company a letter about the driving and giving them some advise about what they should be doing.
I guess that Paul heard about this in the office and decided that he was better off not replying to those who have the law behind them.

New Youtube Channel

October 25, 2011 — 2 Comments

Something I had to think long and hard about but I’ve decided to move my cycling related uploads to CycleGaz.

With over 1 million video views and nearly 2,000 subscribers, I had the most popular video camera cyclists channel. So why move? Well it’s mostly down to one thing, I’m on my last strike for copyright infringement on the previous channel another one would mean my channel gets closed and i would lose everything.

Even if I kept squeaky clean I could have had a disgruntled driver report a video under their copyright, even thought it isn’t, YouTube hasn’t shown so far that it is will to protect those of us who upload footage of dangerous drivers.
So I would rather not take the risk of losing everything I have by moving everything across now.

I have a few plans for how I can take my channel further, including doing product reviews of cycling accessories and how too videos for setting equipment up.

I’m looking forward to where this new channel can go. Hopefully people enjoy the videos.

Don’t be a jerk!

October 24, 2011 — 1 Comment

I saw these videos when they first came out but completely forgot about them. 3 Videos with famous New York City celebrities showing the does and do nots when cycling.

A set of middy amusing videos do help to get the message across, I suspect that they would only work if people started calling every cyclist that makes this mistake a jerk.

Along with Recyclebank, TFL are planning a scheme where people will get rewards and discounts for making journeys in London on foot or by bicycle.

The idea is to get more people to walk and cycle in the capital to reduce pollution, boost fitness and ease congestion. Users will collect points for every journey they make and will be redeemable against a range of offers and discounts.

Launch is expected to take place in Spring 2012 and could be a massive hit with people who already walk and cycle in London. It is designed to work with your phone and GPS transmitter, with an app that logs your journey and rewards you from that.

Read More >

I could personally see this useful, depending on the amount of points you get per journey, it could potentially mean free lunches at Marks & Spencer or at least reduced costs.

This announcement comes only days after +2,000 cyclists and pedestrians took to Blackfriars Bridge in protest against TFL for not putting more thought into vulnerable road users in their re-designed Blackfriars Bridge.

It gives two pictures, one side TFL want to make the traffic flow for motorised vehicles as quick as possible but on the other side they want to get people out of their cars and onto the streets which they have just put fast-moving and dangerous traffic next to.

Overtaking on ZigZags

October 14, 2011 — 4 Comments

It’s against the law for a vehicle to overtake another vehicle whilst going through a section of zig zag lines right?

Wrong in the case of a motorist overtaking a cyclist. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 section 28 states

a zig-zag line shall convey the requirement that, whilst any motor vehicle (in this regulation called “the approaching vehicle”) or any part of it is within the limits of a controlled area and is proceeding towards the signal-controlled crossing facility to which the controlled area relates, the driver of the vehicle shall not cause it or any part of it—

(a)to pass ahead of the foremost part of any other motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

(b)to pass ahead of the foremost part of a vehicle which is stationary for the purpose of complying with the indication given by a traffic light signal for controlling vehicular traffic.

So whilst the Highway Code rule 191 only states

You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

The actual law only refers to motor vehicles. Motor vehicle drivers are allowed to pass non motor powered vehicles on zig zag lines and non motor powered vehicles are allowed to pass vehicles stopped on the zig zag lines.

We have to make sure we take extra care at zig zag crossings and if it is to safe for people to overtake us then we must take control of the lane to prevent them, as the law is not on our side in this case.