Road Safety News
 

Surrey authorities launch summer safety campaign

Thursday 11th August 2016

A campaign has been launched in Surrey urging cyclists and motorists to take their safety seriously during the summer months.

Launched last week (5 August) by Drive SMART, a partnership between Surrey County Council and Surrey Police, the campaign aims to educate road users of all types on how they can stay safe.

It provides some simple tips for cyclists which can ‘vastly reduce’ their chance of being in a collision, including riding away from the kerb, being aware of car doors and taking extra care on shared paths.

The number of cyclists on the road naturally increases during the drier months with more people likely to commute to work, while there are also more enthusiasts on cycle routes at the weekends.

Drive SMART points to figures which show that one in five accidents involving cyclists happens at a junction and says this is an area where motorists and cyclists need to be more aware of each other.

Superintendent Chris Moon, Surrey Police, said: “Ultimately the road is there for everyone to share, but it comes with an added responsibility for yours and others safety.

“If you are going out for a ride just take a minute to think about your route and what considerations you need to give it for example how are you going to approach certain junctions or where do you need to give yourself more room. Equally if you’re driving consider how you would want to be treated as a cyclist.”

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s cabinet associate for community safety services, said: "Cycling has many benefits - not only is it kind to the environment and good for health, it is also one of the cheapest forms of transport - and we want more people to cycle with confidence.

"This campaign is about encouraging both cyclists and motorists to look out for each other and take precautions so our roads are as safe as they can be for everyone."

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To err is human..
R Craven Blackpool

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0

I wouldn't say I was offended particularly Bob, but I couldn't help making the observation, particularly as on this particular thread, you have actually made more comments than I had on the original thread you complained about!

Incidentally, I can understand Rod taking you to task on your attitude to cyclists who - in your eyes - are apparently selfish enough to hold up following motorized traffic, the drivers of which are not hampered by the need to use their own leg muscles to travel along the road.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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I am sorry if that is the case or rather if that seems to be the case Hugh. The item does not easily come to mind but please believe me when I say that I am not usually like that 97% of the time. Generally anything considered personal and of that nature never sees light of day thanks to Nick and his moderators. Once again although I do not remember the issue I can only apologise if i caused any offence.

Thinking about it now remember I didnt take part in the item itself but to say something about its prolonged continuance.

I have been critisised for the same thing particularly with one adversary when I end up answering ridiculous question after question. Life unfortunately is like that. Would still offer to buy you a pint if ever we meet and hope that you would not decline it. That offer is not extended to all or some. Enough said.
R.Craven Blackpool

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-2

Thanks for clarifying that Bob. I didn't realise that when you said "as recommended in the Highway Code" you meant some historic version which no longer applies.

For the record, I have no objection to you having different opinions. But I do feel that those using references such as "The Highway Code" and "RTAct 1960" or any other source to back up their opinion should at least quote the right reference rather than one which was in effect 50 years ago and has been superseded by more recent guidance or law.

I guess the benefit of this sort of debate is that it does end up clarifying the law/guidance even if it takes several attempts.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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+3

It wasn't that long ago Bob, that you were quite scathing about me and another contributor, when we engaged in a lengthy exchange of views on this very same forum. I think then you implied it was childish.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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+3

I am sorry for that Peter but its not over with yet as Rod has not shown any interest to stop. I have as you will see for my part merely been answering his obscure questions and if you look through you will find that to be true. I say something and he jumps on some bandwaggon to prove me wrong. Only when he capitulated slightly and said that in certain circumstances it might be an offence did I feel that a breakthrough was made but it didn't and he has continued. I like you feel that enough is enough and it's up to Rod now to be the bigger man and accept an end to this ludicrous situation. Points have been made on both sides and I just hope some of the material has been of value. No matter what reply we get from Mr.King I WILL NOT be continuing with this issue.
R.Craven Blackpool

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-2

Nice to see Rod and Bob have responded to the editor's plea for sanity. For Punch and Judy read the 'Rod and Bob' show!

Guess this is how this newsfeed would end up if it was unregulated.
Peter Jones, Liverpool

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-2

I don't mind Rod. I wouldn't want you to lose sleep on such trivial matters.

That said I hope you don't mind and qualify this by saying that this is only my most humble opinion. I do find some of the comments and questions that you ask vexatious and feel that if I was subjecting you to the same I would not be allowed, I think. That said, as regards the HC and the need to ride close to the kerb...it should have read "as WAS recommended in the HC. "since the placing of cycle lanes many years ago the HC obviously has no need to say so any more. I hope that you learned something whilst looking for it. Always good to refresh one's knowledge of the HC.

As regards 30 mph vehicles on a 60 mph road then as our question was only 'do I think that they should be allowed on such a road'. Thats an easy one... YES.

There is absolutely no difference between the circumstances of a cyclist or a moped rider with a restricted machine. Under normal and reasonable circumstances neither would commit a moving trafic offence. It is only as Rod kindly reminded us, and that was one of the points of my initial submission, that under certain criteria ie. as he put it better than me, on specific roads and where there are specific volumes of traffic then an offence of inconsiderate riding could possibly be considered.

Now, that said, there are circumstances where an offence MAY [MY OPINION] BE CONSIDERED committed. This is where the rider goes out in a DELIBERATE STATE OF MIND AND FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT, HAVE AN INTENTION TO WILFULLY OBSTRUCT TRAFFIC. THEREBY PREVENTING VEHICLES FROM OVERTAKING AND HOLDING TRAFFIC UP. If the cyclist appears to be or admits that he was doing it for that reason or indeed puts forward any regard to safety factors if he fails to be considerate to other road users and fails to PULL OVER AT REASONABLE INTERVALS AND WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO AND ALLOW OTHERS TO PASS then he may (MY OPINION again) be DEALT WITH for inconsiderate cycling. The same would apply if ANYONE when on the Highway who DELIBERATELY hindered movement upon it.

Under Common Law, in medievel times there are many lawfull circumstances where persons may loiter on the Highway a vendor but stopping or hindering or causing inconvenience to other traffic on the highway and selling beefburgers? I dont think so.
R.Craven Blackpool

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-3

Well Bob. That's two of my questions you have ignored.

First the question about whether you believe a moped limited to 30mph should be on 40,50,60 and 70mph rds.

Second, where is the advice from the Highway Code for cyclists to ride "close to the kerb".

With regard to your comparison between a cyclist taking a position to control following traffic so that they don't "squeeze past" without moving into the adjacent lane then I see no point of comparison with this and a driver doing 40mph in the middle lane of a motorway.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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+4

Bob: The difference is, the driver in the middle lane of a motorway doing 40mph could obviously go faster, which is why it might be seen as inconsiderate and therefore actionable - a cyclist on the other hand, can't easily increase their speed, which is why we have to be more considerate towards them. The cyclist and the motorist both use feet on pedals to make progress, but for cyclists, it's much harder work!
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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+3

No Rod my opinion is I think exactly the same as yours. As you aparently now agree that under certain circumstances,such as a cyclist travelling abnormally slow? with a specific volume of traffic? on a very specific road? a prima facia case could occur. Come on Rod all that is total speculation and you know it. Then it's more than possible that it may not see the courts as the CPS only like to prosecute when there is no chance of it failing. My speculation this time.

I call all readers to go back to my original input. I did say that he could (operative would "could") be committing an offence. Not that he was but that he could. I did liken it to a driver in the middle lane of a motorway who drives at 40 mph. I presume that no one has a problem with that as to whether the driver is committing an offence. Now that we are both in similar agreement perhaps the matter can be considered resolved and put to bed.

I further went on to say that it was likely that such actions could, again could, cause something of a tailback and could increase drivers frustrations and possible anger. Something I believe that cyclists should be aware of.
R.Craven Blackpool

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-2

Bob,

I was looking in the Highway Code for the recommendation to ride a bike close to the kerb that you mentioned in your question to the Police, but couldn't see it.

I was looking in the following section: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82

Is it elsewhere?
Mark, Bexley

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+4

Hi Bob

Thanks for making the effort to research this. But I note that in your question you said "instead of riding my bike close to the kerb as recommended in the HC". I have looked and I cannot find any reference to this at all in the Highway Code. In this case it may be my own ignorance which is at fault. Perhaps you you could tell me which rule it is.

With regard to the "Answer" from WYC then I guess it is very non-committal. It depends on "circumstances" and provides no assessment of the chance of CPS actually prosecuting or of it being successful.

I can imagine that there may be some circumstance such a riding abnormally slowly on a very specific road and with a specific volume of traffic that may just be considered to be inconsiderate. But generally speaking, outside of those cases it would not be illegal to cycle at a reasonable speed at a reasonable distance from the kerb to ensure that overtaking motorists should only do so if they can use the oncoming lane when it is clear. I accept that your opinion may be different.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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+4

I took the oportunity to ask the POLICE just what they felt about this circumstance.

My enquiry went as follows and their response is underneath. The question I raised was: "If I was to go out and instead of riding my bike close to the kerb as recommended in the HC I decided that by riding close to the kerb position I would or might be put in greater danger by being overtaken. If I then decided to ride in the middle of the carriageway and by doing so can control the vehicles behind me by slowing them down and discouraging vehicles, cars, vans, hgv's buses etc from overtaking me. I understand though that I might cause something of a tailback behind me.

"Would this close to the centre of carriageway position possibly in any way be considered an offence under Sect.29 the Road Traffic Act 1988 of inconsiderate cycling. I would appreciate your views on this matter."

The response from 'Ask the Police'.co.uk was from West Yorkshire Constabulary and as follows.

"Yes. it is possible that in cycling in this way you could be prosecuted for the offence of careless/inconsiderate cycling. However it would depend on the circumstances."
R.Craven Blackpool

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Bob, thanks for that correction. I note that you have said "obstruction comes under that framework", but that is surely an "opinion" rather than a "fact".

Looking up the legal aspects of this law then the most relevant I can find is in the Oxford Index which quotes from "A Dictionary of Law Enforcement":

"The test as to whether a defendant is guilty of careless cycling is an objective one: what the prosecution have to prove is that the defendant has departed from the standard of a reasonable, prudent, and competent rider in all the circumstances of the case."

See http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095549632

Given that the "chief constable Neil Rhodes of Lincolnshire Police calls on motorists to show patience and be prepared to travel behind a cyclist, at their pace, until it is safe to pass." then maybe a prosecution would have a hard case proving that a cyclist had departed from what is reasonable, prudent and competent.

I would suggest that the law in this case is not designed or practical to deter cyclists from progressing along the highway at their own pace and in an appropriate position on the highway.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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+2

Also remember - it's no trouble, nor an inconvenience, for a motorist to frequently slow down and speed up again - whereas for a cyclist it is - especially on an incline where they will lose momentum. I would not expect nor want a cyclist to stop in these circumstances, just to allow me to pass.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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+3

Please let the debate continue so long as it remains on-topic. The attitude displayed by the original poster is one that is often encountered by people attempting to ride bikes in a safe position on the road and it's important that it be challenged and shown, under scrutiny, to be fallacious.
Rob McIvor, London

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+1

I agree Nick that this has run its course however I feel for balance that I must at least be allowed to respond to Rod's last statement. It hurts me to agree but he was quite right that I misquoted. I was in eror. It was not the 1960 RTA but the later and subsequent RTA 1988 S 29 that I should have refered to.

As Rod likes to quote "If a person rides a cycle on a road without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for other persons using the road, he is guilty of and offence under S.29 Road Traffic Act1988". Obstructions come under that framework.

It also answers Hugh's question regarding inconsiderate riding, obstructions and overtakes. The HC deals with the matter and suggests that a cyclist[s] should be aware of what's happening behind and in the event that if he is blocking the free movement of traffic he should pull over and allow that traffic to pass. Failure to do that could also make him liable in law under the same statutes.

I feel that I have have fully described the law. I believe that I have now correctly dealt with the relevent legislation and I feel no need to be drawn into stupid discourse about restricted mopeds or high horses. Rod has had his say and if we differ then so be it.

Thank you Nick for you patience.
R.Craven Blackpool

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+1

Nick

Mr Craven has made specific comments about cyclists that suggest there is a conflict between what the law allows and the advice being given to them by road safety professionals and using his status as an "ex-policeman" to add credibility.

I therefore believe that this should be addressed publicly and is in the interests of road safety. I see no benefit from conducting such an important discussion by private email.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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+2

Rod and Bob

I think it would be best if you carry on your debate one-to-one in private. Pls let me know by email if you are happy for me to pass on your contact details to each other - thanks.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

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R

I often experience police officers mis-quoting laws or regulations. Ex-police officers can often make the same mistake. In order to ensure that I do not wrongly put your comments into this category, could you please point me to the clause in the RTA 1960 which refers to cyclists breaking the law by causing obstruction from travelling at less than the speed limit. Maybe you could also answer my question on mopeds on 40 and 50mph limited roads.
Rod King, Cheshire, 20's Plenty for Us

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+7

Once again Rod we seem to disagree.

I am not against cyclists persay and never have been. I was one myself many decades ago and enjoyed every minute of it but always had regard for the law. The comments you make regarding law are as it applies to common law in that the passage along the queens highway is lawful and stopping for any reasonable purpose is not an offence against common law. However if anything stops and purposefully obstructs the free passage of others, other than for a resonable and lawful purpose, it then becomes unlawful. I as a police officer had the right under common law to move such persons who were seen to be acting unreasonably on the highway and who caused obstruction and if they failed to move they had create an offence of unreasonable obstruction and could be dealt with under common law. Obstruction offences have always to be unreasonable and detrimental to others. The question is, is the obstruction reasonable? The riding in an obstructive position knowingly that one was obstructing others is unreasonable, quite possibly appearing reasonable to the offender but not reasonable to anyone else and that's what lawfully matters. When we come to statute law and laws of the road, there is statute law and those we must also obey. If we instruct cyclists to take the centre of the carriageway for the purpose of slowing it down and preventing it from overtaking us we are therefore obstructing all others who are going about there lawful business. It then becomes an offence not only against common law for unreasonable obstruction but also under the RTAct 1960 for unecessary obstruction and without reasonable consideration to other road users. The fact that it is probably a safer position to be seen is irrelevant. I am not getting on any high horse but feel the need to put forward salient lawful points that others seem to avoid, dismiss or have no knowledge of. As we are talking about the rights and freedoms of cyclists I feel that the rights of all other road users should be brought into the frame.
R.Craven Blackpool

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-7

Everyone has the right to use the highway Bob and motorists have to respect that and adapt to it by considering slower moving road users. I drove back from Chester this morning on the A540 (mainly single c/way) and at two different points, there was a cyclist ahead doing about 15-20 mph. I couldn't pass because of the solid centre line and approaching bends anyway, so I was obliged to stay behind them, also doing 15-20 mph obviously, for about 30-45 seconds until it was clear. It's not the end of the world - I reached my destination at the same time as I would have done anyway. Had I overtaken when illegal and/or risky, I guarantee some of those behind me would have followed suit, creating a potential collision situation. Patience is a virtue on the road.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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R

So you call riding in a position that avoids the gutter and in a position so that you can be seen as "unnecessary obstruction" and with "no regard to the law". May I suggest you actually have a look at the law on "obstruction". There you will find, if I may quote:

"It was ever the case, that a traveller was entitled to stop on the King's Highway for so long as was necessary for the purposes of his journey. Having a lunch break, resting and feeding the horses, mending punctures and dealing with fellow-travellers who crash into you are all, it is submitted, perfectly lawful at Common Law. The right to pass and re-pass extends to all those. Now however, the traveller may also stop and demonstrate, stop and sell burgers, and indeed stop and indulge in any other reasonable activity. The test now is this: Is the obstruction reasonable or unreasonable? And in many ways, 'twas ever thus."

See http://www.nicholashancox.co.uk/highway_obstruction.htm

So what may be "in your mind" is very different from the law. I wonder whether "in your mind" you consider whether the use of a moped (restricted to 30mph) on any road with a limit above 30mph is "acting reasonably".

So please R. Get off your high mechanical horse and give cyclists a break.
Rod King, Cheshire 20's Plenty for Us

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+2

Yes Rod but is not the only way... As no doubt your mother always said there are more ways to skin a cat. I never actually understood what that saying meant. Anyone to enlighten me please?

I think you miss the point about my observations. It was not particularly about the safety of the cyclists but more of the manner in which they choose or are advised in order to achieve it. By being instructed to be selfish and self centered and therefore have no regard to the law or regard to the desires of others. Those in the mainstream of trafic who go about their lawful business mearly wish to make reasonable progress and would be able to do so without the obstruction of another. That user, be it cyclist or car driver, who would knowingly and willingly cause unnecessary obstructions and have such little or no regard to the needs of others is tomy mind acting without reasonable consideration

The road, like this argument is a two way a street and so are the persons acting within it.

The question is 'is it unreasonable for a cyclist to cause uneccesary obstruction to others fior whatever reason.. If so then we have a situation similar to anarchy on our streets.
R.Craven Blackpool

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-4

So I guess the way to resolve the situation is to reduce the number of cars coming in the opposite direction which are the reason a cyclist cannot be safely overtaken.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us, Cheshire

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-7

As a motorcyclist I can understand the advice that comes from various charitable bodies who have a vested interest in promoting cycling within GB. The advice to ride out away from the kerb is understandable as it enables one to have control over vehicles behind and might deter them from overtaking. However a motorcyclist in the same safer position can and does travel up to speed limit knowing that if it was travelling somewhat slower it could be committing the offence of riding without reasonable consideration. This would be similar to a driver in the middle lane of a motorway doing only 40 miles per hour. Cyclists however in the main travel at speeds of about 10 mph and therefore will cause something of a tailback and this could increase drivers frustration and possible anger.
R.Craven Blackpool

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+1