Reporting drivers in the ASL

February 28, 2013 — 20 Comments

Several of the video camera cyclists in London have received a letter from RoadSafe London completely out of the blue. The letter is about reporting motorists who are in the ASL, and what evidence is required for them to take action. I suspect this is due to them receiving a large amount of reports regarding motorists in the advanced stop zones and them not being able to do anything about it. It’s wasting their time and wasting our own time in reporting it, if I reported every motorist I saw in the ASL whilst the light is red, then I would be reporting 40 motorists a day. I don’t want to do that!

Rule 178 of the Highway Code is cited in the letter, it is as follows (their highlight)

Advanced stop lines. Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists,MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
Laws RTA 1988 sect 36 & TSRGD regs 10, 36(1) & 43(2)

It’s also highlighted that for cyclists to legally gain access to the ASL, it must only be done so by the broken entrance to it, usually part of a cycle lane. I suspect if you entered it illegally and so did a motorist, it would only be fair if you both received the same punishment, however this is not mentioned.

What is required?

They have asked for video footage which clearly shows them driving over the first stop line whilst the light is red. Cycling up to the junction and just seeing them in it is not enough as they could legally have stopped there whilst the light was green to avoid blocking the junction and then the lights have changed whilst they are there.

Personally, I don’t report drivers who I seen encroaching the ASL. It does annoy me but I don’t see it as a massive danger. There are situations where I might reconsider that stance, if the driver is being aggressive or is posing a danger to other road users.

Gaz

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Gaz is one of the well known cyclists in a growing community of those using cameras. With over 20,000 Youtube subscribers and more than 3,000,000 online video views, his channels and videos are among some of the most popular of their kind. Gaz has spoken on Radio, TV and in national cycling campaigns about the use of cameras and the power of videos.

20 responses to Reporting drivers in the ASL

  1. Motorbikes are my major gripe. They will filter down the bike lane to gain the advantage in the ASL and often, blocking the cycle lane. Quite a few motor cyclists have no care in the world and use the box as their own.

    • I don’t have a problem with motorcyclists in general doing it. However if they block me from getting in then that is annoying.

  2. Police vehicles are often the worst offenders.

    While I would not bother to report a n offender as the police are unlikely to take any action, I did once have some fun with an ASL. I was cycling with a friend. We were slowing down to stop at a light which had just turned red when a car overtook us and plonked itself into the ASL box. We cycled past and stopped immediately in front of it. I appreciate that this took us over the second line and was, technically and infringement. I looked down and pointed under the car, shaking my head. My friend also looked and shook his. The driver looked anxiously. She wound down her window. “What is it?” “have a look” I replied. She stopped her engine and stepped out of her car and joined us looking down. “What is it?” she asked again. “You’re in an Advanced Stop Line” I replied as I pedalled off as the light turned green leaving her standing outside her car with the engine off.

    Naughty, I know, but fun all the same.

  3. I got tooted once for daring to use part of the width of the ASL on Kennington Lane a while back. Already had some riders to the left so I filtered up and waited to their right. The van driver behind the tooted and seemed to be gesturing that I should be further to the left! Not that it would have mattered once we moved as with most of the sh!t junctions in London that favour throughput over practical use there is a bus lane and a parked van on the other side of the junction – both of which the van would need to use the adjacent lane to get around.

    As we rode off I seem to recall not quite having my usual omph, no doubt the thought of having a bad driver behind me caused nerves which meant I fumbled the clip in ;-) Ho hum, serves him right for being a twat :-)

    Mark

  4. If the entry lane is short (eg takes less than 15 seconds to cover it) then that’s more likely a filter lane rather than a cycle lane.

    Personally I think that if we are to take ASLs seriously then the rules of entry need to be made fairer to cyclists so that they CAN cross on the right – as very often you can pass queues of standing traffic and find that some prat had pulled far left to the kerb.

  5. Thank you for the post, although I was aware that the ASL was for cyclists, I did not know that it was not for motor bikers. I have seen many motor bikers use the ASL so they can get a quick start at the lights. Now, are they doing this out of ignorance, I do not know. Unfortunately, I am a car driver, but I do respect that there are other forms of transport on the road, namely cyclists and do leave the ASL for use by cyclists.

    I also agree with Paul on his comments re motor bikers, but as I have said is this through their ignorance. I regret that I also see many car drivers intruding into the ASL, again is it ignorance, or them just being arrogrant.

    But I do believe that all road users should respect each other and all should realise that the road is for all not just for them. Everyone of us should be abiding by the Highway Code.

    This does apply to some cyclists as well, as on a number of occassions I have seen cyclists ignore red traffic lights and they continue through them as though they do not exist. Not only is this illegal, it is also extremely dangerous for the cyclist.

    Tolerence for each other should be practiced, as the roads should be big enough for all of us.

    • Some do it because they know it is not enforced, others do it because they don’t know what they are. This is primarily because the ASL was added to the road network and highway code after they passed their test, after which people rarely brush up on new things.

  6. Do you perhaps have a copy of the letter? I’d be quite keen to see it. I blogged about ASLs not being policed at all at the start of Feb: http://willcycle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-broken-law-is-no-law-at-all.html and this letter is the FIRST sign of any policing of ASLs I’ve been able to come across.

  7. Hows about this one….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXacjh5KE0g – I reported to the Cement company but have had no reply….

  8. The law saying you can only enter the ASL by use of the feeder lane is ridiculous and dangerous. It should be changed ASAP.

  9. There are a few boxes without feeder lanes or broken line segments. The problem is in law a car and a bike both being carriages I suspect; That and that the offence is jumping the red, not being in the box. And as such they don’t want to start writing different laws for cycles and cars around red lights…

    • I think it would be pretty easy, as there are already some laws that only apply to motorised vehicles.

      Just change the law so that crossing the first line on red is only an offence if you are in a motorised vehicle, but crossing the second line on red is an offence for both.

      The feeder lanes are sometimes quite dangerous.

  10. I was taken out in an ASL from behind by a white van man. I reported it to insurance with his reg and was told Knock for knock

  11. Well, there you go… Ashamed to say that I did not know you had to enter ASLs via the feeder lane. Learn something new every day.

  12. Maybe I should have reported the van I saw drive into and stop in the ASL (long after the light had turned red) last night. It first overtook me, a bit too close, then right in front of me drew up beside another van that was already in the ASL in the adjacent lane (to be fair, I can’t be sure that this second van hadn’t previously entered while the light was changing).

    However, the first, clearly rule-breaking, van was a police van, so I figured it wouldn’t go well for me if I tried to report the incident to the occupants of the offending vehicle.

    Seeing _police_ vehicles do this, makes me a bit cynical about the idea of the police taking ASL’s seriously.

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