I'd never heard of him;
but this "James Martin" fellow gets an instant place in my Hall Of Awesome.
It's been all go for the last couple of days down at the Wikipedia page celebrating TV food-molestor James Martin, who's earned himself a bit of a Wikikicking from irate cyclists following an entertaining review of the Tesla Roadster for the Mail. James Martin Martin (pictured) wrote: "God, I hate those cyclists. Every last …
... many of the detractors of this sport will still be chuffed to see Team GB slay all comers at the Olympics etc. Which is probably why I saw a line of 3 or 4 cars patiently steering round a Team GB training session (consisting of maybe 6 riders) on Manchester roads the other day. Contrary to popular thinking, they do actually have as much right to be on the roads as you, and the majority of the 'lycra-clad' contingent will likely be fully insured against accidents etc. It's more often the casual ride-to-work-or-shops lot that cause problems.
Incidentally, get ready to see cycling become a lot more popular: The new Murdoch-sponsored Team Sky professional squad look like maintaining a fairly high profile as of next season. Take that Martin!
Go go Wiggo!!
I mean, the poor sod so desperately wants to be Jeremy Clarkson.
Not only does he have to suffer not being able to fulfill his wish (he isn't a carrier of the freakishly giant gene, for a start), but to actually want to be Clarkson?!? What a horrible ambition.
But hey - these days an opinion isn't worth expressing if it isn't backed by bitter vitriol. The press just doesn't like rational, reasoned judgements any more.
..on these lycra clad bastards, think they own the bloody place. Well done to Mr. Martin for saying what everyone else thinks.
Don't get me wrong, I think cycling in general is a good thing, and the vast majority are probably very nice people indeed.
It's the tossers who don't understand the principles behind pavements, pedestrain crossings, and RED LIGHTS!! They mean stop, yes, you too.
I find myself wanting to stand up for him, despite his writing for the Daily Heil. Whilst I'm sure there are many considerate law-abiding cyclists out there, the number of times you see idiots with no helmets going through red lights, or bombing down the middle of the road past people trying to turn right, and the fact that their response to James Martin is to put some rude words on Wikipedia leads me to believe that, unfortunately, a large proportion fo them are, in fact, idiots.
I've had a disinct dis-like of James martin for some time, especially as he's from the wrong side of the pennines.
But now I've changed my mind, he's a hero to everyone who's had to wait behind a bunch are sweaty arses riding 4 abreast on narrow lanes talking to each other instead of following the highway code and riding in single file...
He should give cars a scare the shit out of cyclists Rating :)
i have to admit living just outside of London i do get annoyed when cyclists Swarm our streets cycle 2 -3 abreast blocking the entire road. but then again they have every right to be there.
Personally i think most British people Drive like complete and utter assholes :/ so why should cyclists be any different
I have to agree with James on this one. While I don't mind a bit of riding myself, I do find the smug holier than thou attitude of a vast majority of riders to be quite annoying. It's if they think they are singlehandly saving the planet from us car users.
"Yes I could cycle to work, but 20 miles each way doesn't really sounds appealing. I'll stick to my car thanks."
And then when they've annoyed all the drivers on the road (who by the way pay via the medium of tax for the roads these bikers use) they then cycle on the pavement like they own it killing old grannys and young kids.
And that's without even mentioning they're lack of ability to obey the highway code and not drive through traffic lights, ignore one way streets etc etc.
Most of them need a good kicking.
Makes me mad.
Stop sign, cos the bastards always ignore them.
``I also have to agree with his opinion of cyclists. Tossers, every last one of them.''
No, he only said he hates the ones who drink herbal tea and vote for Harriet Harman. The rest of us are alright (unless we're cycling four-abreast round his neighbourhood in Spiderman cossies).
Whilst Lycra Louts are a pest and should be strung up or shot (and that includes all those who run red lights), that was a clear example of Dangerous Driving from James Martin. I hope the police prosecute.
As for the bleating of the two-wheeled-tards; once they start having to pass a test, paying tax and insurance, then they can have an opinion. Until then they can shut up; they are simply free-loading off everyone else.
There are some inconsiderate people out there, some of 'em drive cars, some of 'em ride bikes, and some of 'em even walk.
(Some) pedestrians walk out in front of cyclists without looking; (some) cyclists go through red lights; (some) motorists turn left across a cycle lane without indicating and/or looking (yes you bastard, you're not as sorry as I was).
I agree with James Martin, a little bit.
Many cyclists, no problem, even down my leafy country lanes (or as leafy as they get in the fens), but the tossers when I get in to Cambridge on my daily commute - well, RED MEANS STOP you twat's. You would be the first to complain if a car knocked you down, but the highway code is there to STOP that happening - it applies just as much to you as to cars.
On the one hand, he's an annoying prick, on the other hand (and discounting his prudish attitude towards lycra, yes it hugs their ass, yes you can see their cock IF you look at their groin) cyclists need to have some more respect for other people, not just road users, pedestrians too. that does mean no cycling in pedestrianised areas, on pavements.
<rant> oh and contra to traffic flow, and without lights, reflectors, helmet, whilst wearing black, on a black bike and skipping a red light AT NIGHT, cycling into the side of my car, kicking my bumper repeatedly and swearing at me <\rant>
It never ceases to amaze me how these righteous twits in cycling clubs get away with it. On one hand, they treat anyone else on the road (I include horse riders and leisure cyclists - the non-Lycra, normal fat blokes..) as beneath them while they think have the god given right to rule the road.
They frequently break the law regarding how many ride abreast (It's a maximum of two -check out rule 66 of the Highway code for cyclists http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069837). I see many sail through red lights (See rule 71) and then take offense when someone points it out to them.
God help you if you're a car driver - that makes you inherently an evil, child-killing psychopath, even though cyclist are as dangerous as cars (and have been known to kill a few pedestrians).
James may be a bit up himself, but on this, he ain't wrong.
Not sure that printing a description of how you drove without due care and attention/consideration (to the point of causing people to crash off the road) in a national newspaper is a smart way to go.
If I were one of cycling organisations I'd find the cyclists in question and then prod the plod to prosecute rather than pratting around on wikipedia.
Having said that, I agree with him to a point.
Current advice is that you should cycle in a position such that people notice you (i.e two abrest, or near the middle of the lane), HOWEVER you are then supposed to note that people are following you and let them pass, not just carry on your slow and merry way, blocking the road.
As a non-lycra-wearing, red-light obeying, law-observing, occasional cyclists, the condom clad peddlers really get my back up, because they annoy so many other people, who then assume that we are all the same.
Some of us actually remember what we learnt in our cycling proficiency lessons at school.
And why *IS* a tosser of a chef reviewing a car? Jeeze, the Mail really are scraping the barrel.
I'll admit sometimes cyclists don't do themselves favours when it comes to earning the respect of other motorists but that doesn't justify blanket hatred of one of the most vulnerable groups of road users.
Do cyclists run red lights? Yes, but this cyclist doesn't.
Do cyclists ride on the pavements? Yes, but this cyclist doesn't.
Do cyclists use up the whole road? Yes, but sometimes it's because they can see there's not even enough room to attempt to pass.
Do cyclist vandalise Wikipedia pages of TV chief's who have upset them? Yes, unfortunately like the general population, some cyclists are Twats.
This sort of opinion re-inforces the dangerous "Us vs them" mentality of cyclists and motorists. And when it comes to a head it's the cyclist that normally comes out worse.
...we get the same arse in the lanes by us, all the gear, no idea.
Then you get the twats:
1) wearing ipods 9how the fuck do you expect do hear me moron
2) No lights, yup it's coming to "guess where the moron in black is at night" time of year
3) Red lights are for cars only
4) I don't know how to turn right at an island.
5) Should i occasionally stop at a red light, I will do it in the middle of the road in front of all the traffic
And as for cyclist have as much to be on the road....
really, so how much Road tax do you pay?
As i say if people quit the car, gave up fags and cut out booze, this country would be bankrupt within a month.
Oh and I ride a lot, but understand where he is coming from...
"It's the tossers who don't understand the principles behind pavements, pedestrain crossings, and RED LIGHTS!! They mean stop, yes, you too."
He's clearly a twat for writing for the Mail, so anything that he writes can instantly be discounted as ignorant bollocks.
Yes I ride a bike a lot on the roads. Admittedly the roads of Finland are somewhat different...
...But still. I for one mostly support what he has said. The U.K. highway code says the following (2007 edition): "never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends" that is part of rule #66. Yes they should be dressed very brightly so Mr. Martin should shut up about this. As for not stopping at the lights, Mr. Clarkson once (or maybe more than once) mentioned using Police marksmen to shoot people driving down the motorway's in a manner that annoyed him, well shooting bike riders who don't stop at red lights is both easier and more rewarding in my opinion!
Oh one final thing, the riders who Mr. Martin claims to have dumped in a hedge should also have a look at rule #67 and the part that says this: "be aware of traffic coming up behind you"...
Every right to be there...
AAAAND every right to be prosecuted for obstruction if you're are slowing down the flow of traffic four abreast.
I am a cyclist as well as a motorist and it really pisses me off when I see a cyclist weaving down the road in time to whatever his/her ipod is playing, paying no attention to the rest of the road.
As for the helmets, there is a reason motorcycle helmets are the shape they are - to protect the skull. The only reason I can see for the shape of cycle helmets is to say "I'm a twat!" to everyone within view.
He should come over here (S. France). Local councils spent Dieu knows how much of our taxes tearing up pavements to build cycle lanes all round the place. Where do the lycra-clad twunts ride? In the middle of the bloody traffic, getting in everyone's way. I'm sorely tempted to drive down the cycle lanes, they're empty.
"instead of following the highway code and riding in single file..."
That would be the bit that says you can ride 2 abreast then ? (section 66 "never ride more than two abreast")
"a large proportion fo them are, in fact, idiots."
I also think you could say the same of the driving community if you only read their opinions in the Sun, plenty of cars I see speeding, not wearing seatbelt, talking on mobiles or jumping red lights
Dont tar everyone with the same brush, is it any problem if you get delayed by 2 mins going to B & Q on a Sunday ?
Why not try it you may like it ?
In Birmingham the lycra-clad OCD-victims ride at speed on the pavements, weaving between pedestrians. They often use pavements to go the wrong way through one-way systems.
I've been hit once (luckily just a glancing blow) and near-missed once, on a pedestrian crossing complete with illuminated green man.
Under the wheels of a No 25 bus is too good for 'em :-)
He gets away with it because there are more irritating TV chefs, but there's an overbearing, bullying streak in his dirty nerthern presentation which always winds me up. Don't get me wrong - using Tesla's latest to stealthily and rapidly creep up to, then scare the wits out of a bunch of wannabes, so that they fall over, is great sport, but you've got to have a fuckload more charm than James Martin to publish that and think people will laugh along with you.
One difference between Clarkson and Martin: Martin thinks he's cool.
Urm 2 abreast is allowed the high way code says you should not cycle more than 2 abreast which is a suggestion for the protection of the cyclists. Note that the parts you have to do are labelled MUST.
Of course I am an off road cyclist and have always lived in the country so I am coutious enough to drop into single file when cars come when travelling between tracks (yes Cyclists annoy me to when trying to get somehere in my car). That is unless you don't hear them coming.
And the fact that he admitted to blairing his horn and driving as close as he could to the cyclists (which is against the code) should imo get him points on his license if not a fine.
...with Mr Martin. I have a car, a motor bike, and a bicycle, all of which I use regularly. No matter which one I am using, the utter stupidity of cyclists - particularly the militant lycra brigade - never ceases to amaze me. They seem to think that none of the rules apply to them and they can do what they are like because they are the most vulnerable party and therefore the 'victim' in any accident/disagreement.
I particularly hate the ones who ride in packs. No regard whatsoever for other road users trying to go about their normal journeys.
And while we are on the subject, why the spiderman outfits? Does normal clothing melt at such those speeds, or does it make them feel as if they belong to some kind of elite club? Perhaps it's the "screw you I'm wearing my uniform and the highway code doesn't apply" club....
> They frequently break the law regarding how many ride abreast (It's a maximum of two -check out
> rule 66 of the Highway code for cyclists > http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069837)
Amazingly, riding more than two abreast is not actually illegal. If you care to read the link you provided it's an advisory note ('should not' rather than MUST NOT) as explained in the introduction to the Highway Code.
The Highway Code also suggest that cyclists 'should' wear a helmet. You might know that it is not illegal to ride a bicycle without one.
Maybe you should re-read your copy and understand its language this time.
Sure, it may not help your chances when establishing liability in the event of an accident and it's not something I would normally do myself, but it's not breaking the law to ride more than two abreast.
Red light jumpers do piss me off, though.
The version of this article that's currently up on the Mail website is now missing the most incendiary paragraph. It appears that he drove some cyclists off the road whilst testing the car out:
''The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror.'' - James Martin
As found here: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/4628641./
No wonder the cyclists are outraged, although by snipping this vital detail from the online article the Mail are protecting him and making it look as though the cyclists are over-reacting.
If anyone can find a copy of the original unexpurgated article I'd like to read it. Thanks.
Your citation of Item 66 of the Highway Code as law is incorrect. You can check for yourself simply by looking at Item 64: "You *must not* cycle on a pavement. [Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129]
Item 66 has no such wording ( "should" not "must" ) and no citation of the appropriate legislation regarding why performing any action described would be an offence.
Cyclists have right of way because they're more vulnerable. If their sense of self-importance overrides their sense of self preservation, let them handle the consequences. Don't let it be you who is caught handing it to them, though. You *will* end up on the wrong end of the law.
This is almost as good as the usenet flamewars before abysmal web discussion boards and their interfaces took over.
@John Tuffen, you might be horrified to know that if a cycle lane changes from a solid white line to a broken one at the junction, you are considered to be entering the main traffic lane and should therefore give way to cars turning left. This one has been through the courts, so beware.
Personally I think all commuter car drivers should be required to cycle their route to work (in small stages if it's too long) during peak hour, then they'd get a better appreciation of the other side. Similarly, it would be good for cyclists to drive the route and see where they can cause serious hold-ups and where it makes no difference (If I overtake a cyclist and he catches me up at the next traffic light then it's obviously not worth the effort).
As a motorist and a cyclist I see plenty of idiots on both sides. Defensive cycling sometimes requires being in the middle of the lane to make it quite clear that there is not enough space at the approaching traffic island to fit a car and a bike side by side. Offensive cycling, such as going through red lights ought to earn an appointment with Darwin, even if he lets you off with an introductory lesson and the promise of more next time.
/quote/ really, so how much Road tax do you pay?
Same as you do idiot - none,
BTW it's called VED - the road fund license was abolished by Winston Churchill before WW2, as he correctly realised that paying directly for something leads the payees to assume (exclusive) ownership. Sadly people haven't evolved very much in 70 years.
And if you get yourself a zero-emission vehicle (doesn't have to be a bicycle) then you can pay zero tax too (assuming your self-esteem wouldn't be too badly damaged)
But it's the bloody Mail for crying out loud, God, if you collated the amount of bovine excrement printed in it's pages on a weekly basis you'd have the gross output of all the cows in Europe, calm down, make yourselves a cup of tea and write a stern letter to Margaret Thatcher.
.... Love to try and hit as many cyclists as i can in my car when passing them on the road. Another thing, what's this crap about cyclists having the same right as motorists on the road? cars and such have to pay a "tax" for using the roads. Usually based on the weight of the vehicle. Cyclists do not have to pay thus the car has the right.
While I agree with much of what he says, a minority of cyclist should be banned from our roads. Driving like that isn't something to be proud of. But then we all know he drives like a total twat. Lets face it, he made a TV program about how badly he drives. To have persistently over rev a just rebuilt engine in a eye poppingly expensive classic race car shows how little he thinks about anything apart from enjoying himself. So perhaps trying to cause a group of cyclist to crash is only to be expected.
What I don't understand is why he is outraged by cyclist riding abreast but seems to like having horses on his local lanes. At least round here, you are just as likely to find horses being ridden abreast rather than in file as cycles.
PS, he forgot "Not stopping at roundabouts"
So its OK for car drivers to break every rule going but not a cyclist?
Road tax - that would be on the car I'm not using when I'm cycling though I can legally leave it blocking the road if that makes you feel better. And I have three cars...
Insurance - most cyclists are insured - its just the sad drivers who knock them off don't stop to find out.
I personally would drive my tractor (no road tax) over Martins car if possible -just to stop him going on about the third word or wherever it is he comes from.
Why doesn't he forget the cycling and the herbal tea and just write a column saying how much he hates people who vote for Harriet Harman?
PS To the people complaining about cyclists not paying "road tax": there is no tax on road usage in the UK. If there were then you'd have to tax people for walking on country lanes with no pavements.
Hey coward, your points are bogus. 1: Same way you do with the radio on; 2: Not me, so don't judge me on someone else, jeez, you may as well hate all black people 'cos Mugabe's a wanker; 3: Ditton. 4: Ditto 5: The middle is the safest place, just like for motorbikes, it stops drumb drivers making stupid illegal overtakes; and for a special bonus there's no such thing as road tax you ill-educated buffoon.
Seriously, everyone should share the roads nicely.
Equally seriously, I know too many dead people made that way by boy-racer cretins who think that driving like Martin suggests is big and clever.
So quit with the tired old repetition and behave like a grown-up.
It just goes to show how moronic most drivers are when they wheel out the "how much road tax do they pay" argument. You'd have to be simple, stupid, ignorant or quite possibly all three to believe that your £120 a year road tax payments cover the £billions spent on maintaining and improving roads or the cost of patching cyclists and pedestrians up when they get knocked over by tossers jabbering into their mobiles whilst driving.
As for me, I'm a motorist, a scooter rider and cyclist. I ride my bike most of the time, the scooter now and again and keep the car for weekends. Which on the basis that I pay more road tax than most people on here and use my car infrequently means that i've got more right to use the roads than most of you. Get out of my way!!!!
is a) James Martin is right.
b) the twats on bikes bitch that people ignore them, and that they have the right to use the road as much as anyone else, but merrily ignore all road laws, do whatever the hell they like and piss off the entire rest of the population by attempting to kill themselves at traffic lights, kill peddestrians on pavements, and ride 5 abrest to clog up the roads.
personally I think anything with less than 3 wheels and a weight of less than 400kg should be banned on both the roads and pavements. (yes this should include motorcyles and scooters as well) , then suddenly road deaths and injuries would plummet.
...and foursquare with James Martin on this subject. The aforementioned Lycra-clad bastards are a pox upon the narrow roads around here, except when the bastards fan out to occupy as much of the wide ones as possible too - in breach of the rules of the road that the sanctimonious twats claim to care about so much when anyone has the effrontery to attempt to pass their smug shiny arses. Go, James, go! And as for the cyclists - learn to not ride more than two abreast. Learn that red lights apply to you too. Learn to get off the effing pavement rather than imperiously bell-ringing at the luckless pedestrian that you've, with Kamikaze-like determination, aimed your bike at. Learn, in short, to obey the same rules of the road and pavement that we have to. Until then, **** off.
"And as for cyclist have as much to be on the road...."
"really, so how much Road tax do you pay?"
Everytime I buy something which has VAT added on - do you really think the roads are kept in the condition they are soley by Road Tax payments?
Actually that's probably true now, the roads where I live are shite, the amount of pot holes I have to avoid when cycling to work takes the piss to the point where some of them are outright dangerous so I HAVE to cycle in the middle of the road sometimes because the sides are 'freyed' and have raised or sunk drain grills.
...sounds like an arse making generalisations based on his experience of a small number of other arses!
I cycle 70-80 miles a week for leisure, but I do it alone. I always consider other road users, I always, always yield to cars even if I have the right of way, it's just safer to avoid smearing your brain on the tarmac!
9/10 drivers are very considerate and always give room, sometimes too much room ( how big is my arse to those behind a windscreen!?! ), but it's always the one in ten that think it's funny to scare people on bikes, ask their passengers to spit in your face or throw rubbish at the wheels while your doing almost 30mph down a hill!
Luckily you can tell the prats, they're the ones with BMW logos or a tell-tale thump-thump-thump coming up behind you!
Seriously - most of the people on this thread really should calm down. Have a cup of tea and think what you're saying / agreeing with here!
Just for the record - The lardy TV chef and uninspiring Car journo says in his article that he drove dangerously towards a group of cyclists ... because he doesn't like cyclists .. because completely different cyclists act santimoniously towards him in a his trip into London. Well that's alright then. On that basis I Hate Yorkshiremen! Isn't this a little puerile / lowest common denominator stuff? Having said that it is in the Daily Nazi ...
So you're all annoyed that 'some' cyclists go through red lights! It's easier to say 'most' when making an argument admittedly ... but 'why' are you so enraged? Because the cyclist is getting ahead of you? It's not like bikes tend to be responsible for inflicting injury and damage onto anybody else except themselves! (please nobody post that 'most' injuries to pedestrians are caused that way or any other such statistical fabrication!).
Cyclists also don't, according to some, have any road rights because they don't pay car tax!? Whilst the easy response is to say that cyclists don't actually cause a need for road repairs or road building ... it's probably more accurate to say that road tax doesn't go on roads anyway. Therefore Road Tax is just Tax, and if you're really annoyed about it, take the matter up with your choice of politician rather than simply trying to get everybody else to pay as well (your tax bill won't go down after all!).
I really don't wish to appear racist - but sometimes I really hate the British! And feel deeply ashamed that I am one!
"Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong - and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists. Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed."
Pls skip to "Aggressive driving") thx
Dangerous DrivingTitle: Road traffic offences
Offence: Dangerous driving
Legislation: Road Traffic Act 1988 s.2
Mode of Trial: Triable either way
Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty:
On indictment - 2 years imprisonment or a fine or both Summary conviction - imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or a fine, or both Disqualification minimum 12 months Obligatory endorsement Mandatory disqualification until passes extended driving test Sentencing Range: Non custodial options may be considered, but usually a custodial penalty is appropriate, especially where a number of aggravating factors combine
Culpability & Harm
Aggravating & Mitigating Factors
A list of aggravating and mitigating factors was set out by the Court of Appeal in R v Cooksley and others  1 Cr App R (S) 1, which set the guideline for cases of causing death by dangerous driving. Although some of the factors outlined are of application only to offences in which death results, many of them are relevant to offences of dangerous driving.
Highly culpable standard of driving at the time of the offence
the consumption of drugs (including legal medication known to cause drowsiness) or of alcohol, ranging from a couple of drinks to a 'motorised pub crawl'
greatly excessive speed; racing; competitive driving against another vehicle; 'showing off'
disregard of warnings from fellow passengers
a prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of very bad driving
aggressive driving (such as driving much too close to the vehicle in front, persistent inappropriate attempts to overtake, or cutting in after overtaking)
driving while the driver's attention is avoidably distracted, for example by reading or by use of a mobile phone (especially if hand-held)
driving when knowingly suffering from a medical condition that significantly impairs the offender's driving skills
driving when knowingly deprived of adequate sleep or rest
driving a poorly maintained or dangerously loaded vehicle, especially where this has been motivated by commercial concerns
Driving habitually below an acceptable standard
other offences committed at the same time, such as driving without ever having held a licence; driving while disqualified; driving without insurance; driving while a learner without supervision; taking a vehicle without consent; driving a stolen vehicle
previous convictions for motoring offences, particularly offences that involve bad driving or the consumption of excessive alcohol before driving
Outcome of the offence
death (s.1 offences only)
serious injury to one or more victims, (in addition to the death(s) if also a case under s.1 RTA)
Irresponsible behaviour at the time of the offence
behaviour at the time of the offence, such as failing to stop, falsely claiming that one of the victims was responsible for the crash, or trying to throw the victim off the bonnet of the car by swerving in order to escape
causing death/injury in the course of dangerous driving in an attempt to avoid detection or apprehension
offence committed while the offender was on bail.
a good driving record;
the absence of previous convictions;
a timely plea of guilty;
genuine shock or remorse - in cases where death results (which may be greater if the victim is either a close relation or a friend);
the offender's age (but only in cases where lack of driving experience has contributed to the commission of the offence), and
the fact that the offender has also been seriously injured as a result of the accident caused by the dangerous driving.
Relevant Sentencing Guidelines (If Any)
Relevant Sentencing Case Law
R v Elwood-Wade (1990) 12 Cr App R (S) 51 - D driving at excessive speed, and collided with a police vehicle. Court held that the only aggravating feature was the speed and concluded that in the particular case, a sentence of immediate imprisonment was not appropriate. See also R v Underwood below.
R v Howells  1 Cr App R (S) 61 CA. "Road rage" cases involving furious driving with intent to cause fear or possible injury, but no accident, consumption of alcohol or injury - six to 12 months imprisonment.
R v Steel 96 Cr App R 121, CA. Where personal injury has been caused, consideration must be given to all the circumstances, including the gravity of the consequences to members of the public.
Att-Gen's Reference (No 26 of 1999) (R v Gastinger)  1 Crr App R (S) 394, CA and contrast R v McGowan  2 Crr App R (S) 219, CA for leaving the scene as an aggravating feature.
R v Jones  2 Cr App R (S) 90 - D who had a bad record for driving, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, driving at speed through residential areas, narrowly avoiding collision. Attempt to escape and struggle on arrest. 21 months imprisonment (6 months concurrent for DWD) and disqualified 2 years. Court observed that "this was an extremely serious case of dangerous driving".
R v Phillips  1 Cr App R (S) - 18 months imprisonment (and 6 months consec for DWD) following G plea - D driving whilst disqualified, with bad record for DWD, high speed pursuit to evade police officers.
R v Underwood  1 Cr App R (S) - £400 fine and 3 and a half years disqualification and until passed extended driving test following G plea - driving car at 137 mph on dual carriageway, observed by police, previous conviction for driving in excess of 100 mph.
Right, lets put this in perspective.
Some cyclists have no manners, some motorists have no manners. The consequences of a cyclist having no manners is likely a small delay, or possibly minor damage to a car. The consequences of a motorist having no manners is likely injury, quite possibly serious injury and death is a definite possibility.
This is why we get angry.
>As for the bleating of the two-wheeled-tards; once they start having to pass a test, paying >tax and insurance, then they can have an opinion. Until then they can shut up; they are >simply free-loading off everyone else.
What tax would you like us to pay? We pay the appropriate level of VED (vehicle exise dury) tax for the emissions we produce, ie. None!
Roads are funded from income tax and council tax. 'Road tax' as some of you drivers like to call it was abolished in the 1930s. Roads are not funded directly through VED, VED is a tax on the amount of CO2 your vehicle produces.
Insurance? why would we need it, it is more likely your car will destroy our bikes and you kill us and our bikes damage your car. Members of the CTC are automatically insured.
Anyway, non-motorists subside car drivers, simply because they pay for road construction and repair out of their taxes and don't use or cause wear to them. They are also not contributing to the traffic on the roads and therefore not contributing to the delays that cost industry billions each year in lost productivity!
Also, here's a thought, if you find congestion is a problem on the roads then the answer is simple, ration your car use! It's not rocket science!
You're the 'tard since you don't know the real facts!
The highway code is an advisory document that does contain many points of law. But item 66 isn't enshrined in law. It's an advisory note, and not a legal requirement.
See - if you'd READ the thing you'd know :
"Many of the rules in the 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’. In addition, the rule includes an abbreviated reference to the legislation which creates the offence. An explanation of the abbreviations can be found in 'The road user and the law'."
Then you read item 66 :
* never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends"
Note - not "YOU MUST" but instead "You should".
See, what happens when you read things is that you have the opporotunity to retain the information you've read, and thus learn. And then you can use the information you've learned to form ideas and opinions. Then you can express these ideas and opinions when an item that you know something about comes up in conversation, or is reported on on the internet for example.. And you can contribute to discussions or debates. Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Of you can just google for the first link that seems to back up your own ill-informed opinions and post it in a comments section I guess.. that'd be good too..
And THEN you say "cyclist are as dangerous as cars" (sic) - ?? What is that even supposed to mean? How can you compare a person undertaking one activity that may use a road, to a vehicle that someone else may use to undertake a different activity on same road? I'm assuming you meant that cyclists are as dangerous as drivers, or bicycles are as dangerous as cars.. But even then, I'd be VERY interested to see your statistical analysis that has produced these results..
Amazing how many people using the roads are willing to have a go about others without any knowledge of what the feck they are talking about themselves. I think the only conclusion here is that there are idiots - fucking EVERYWHERE.. Cyclists and drivers and all other forms of road-using life.
Pretty unique to the UK is the seeming polarity about cycling, it's a black and white love / hate thing and it's just weird. Put a cock in a car, in lycra, on a bike, on a pavement or (most definitely) in a uniform and the nature of the cock does not change. Ultimately the cock quotient remains steady.
I've been in a number of scrapes with cars on my bike, I've had a number of run ins with peds on my bike, I've even had run ins with other cyclists on my bike. Doesn't matter a jot what they are in or on if they can't give a stuff or are naturally and intrinsically cocks then it will out at some point (and yes I do follow the highway code and even the lessons learned in black and white days on my cycling proficiency test), this is a universal constant. What I can't understand though is the 'all cyclists are cocks' attitude, you don't hear people say 'all peds are cocks' or all 'all drivers are cocks' so why assume we all cycle dangerously (or are indeed cocks).
Anyway, who knows pehaps if James actually tried cycling, he might not have the same attitude and might be less of a cheeky bloater.
and when you get side swiped and killed in a road accident cos you went through a red light or didnt stop at a junction it will be the car driver that gets the blame. Its the car driver that has to live with your death an get slated in the papers for your stupidity.
Dont get me wrong....
I used to Cycle a lot.. Even Raced for the County..
But come on guys.. If you are on a bike and see/ hear a car coming move out the way cos they have every right to be there as they pay for the bloomin crap roads we have.
When they Bring in a Cycle Tax to pay for roads then come back and argue the point..
Till then.. STFU and get out the way.
On another note.. James Martin what a star.. would love to do that to a load of Lycra Clad Tossers. ha ha
Think a couple of red mist drivers may have missed the point about him having caused people to crash. Swap out the cyclists part of the story, replace with elderly drivers who drive too slow. Hahaha I caused the old dear to crash into a hedge and risk death. How we laughed!
Hmmm drivers saying that cyclists have no right because they pay no road tax...
If you want to not pay road tax why not get a car that is exempt from road tax, or should they not be allowed either.
...is now my hero (FSVO time < about 30 seconds, after which my attention will have turned to something more interesting than cyclists) replacing Jeremy Clarkson in the role of "how to deal with self-propelled, self-important twunts using public resources for free that we have to pay for." And there's Tesla, of course. Now you, too can be an inconsiderate prick on the roads and the greenies have no legitimate reason for complaint unless they realise that charging the bugger up probably used the same amount of fossil fuel as driving an ordinary car would have, not that I care much either way since the only feasible alternative for base load is nuclear fission and we all know who is the first to turn up in rusty, blue smoke belching Moggie 1000s (bumper stickers of an ecological bent mandatory, of course) with tofu butties, badly spelled placards and tambourines whenever anyone mentions those type of things. All for £90,000? Bargain!
As for fluorescent Spiderman outfits, could it be that both he and I would look like the Michelin man recovering from an explosion in a paint factory if we ever took it upon ourselves to wear such garments in public? Would we have to have yellow and black diagonals with "WIDE LOAD" on the arse of said Lycra pants? Would we need a police escort? Of course, both he and I are probably considerate enough not to subject the public at large to such sights, so that's a moot point.
However, cyclists that think undertaking me on the left when I'm turning left with my indicator on is a good idea take note: Unless there's a cycle lane (in which case I'll be using my nearside mirror well in advance of actually performing the manoeuvre, providing some undertaking arsehole without clue hasn't already knocked it off or smashed it with their metal scale model of a Highland Longhorn) I ain't stopping and you can take your chances with almost a tonne of turbocharged diesel propelled steel if you think you're that hard. I really don't care any more and you lot obviously don't give a shit for your own safety, despite being dressed in something which can only be described as being as dangerous as motorcycling in lingerie while at the same time being less entertaining, YouTube-worthy and infinitely more annoying.
One more little warning: I have also adjusted one of the nozzles on the nearside windscreen washer for the same situation to about eye level on the average mounted cyclist (arse in the air, head down drinking Robinson's Barley Water from what would seem to be an ideal pisspot complete with oversized catheter for the journey back) and I use screenwash with a little hint of isopropanol (may be better known to cyclists and other Quorn-eating, natural-fibre lovers as rubbing alcohol), which may also be deployed if I have to try to overtake you in heavy traffic more than three times because you think road regulations and traffic signals don't apply to you.
IT angle? Who gives a shit with entertainment and/or flamebait of this quality? :o)
Before invoking any rage from the tree hugging idealists who will undoubtedly question my credentials: I cycle, drive AND ride a motorbike when I need transport. I also happen to live in a fairly rural part of Wiltshire, nr Stonehenge.
1) Most people obviously think the 'Highway Code' is a treatise on spliff passing etiquette, as revealed on a daily basis by the majority of road users.
2) Cyclists (and horse riders) have a penchant for riding two abreast (or more) on narrow country roads ALL THE BLOODY TIME.
3) Both groups deserve derision, contempt and even abuse, when found flouting the 'code' laid out for their own safety.
4) Make the bastards in 3) pay for road insurance and watch all those green lanes get used a lot more often.
So, here's an opportunity for me to learn something. Why does cycling evoke this ferocious response from a sizable portion of the British population? Personally, I stop at red lights and so on, but if I judge that the situation is such that I am safer to nip across a pavement or turn a corner whilst the 'green man' is on, I will.
WHY does that make you want to kill me?
The article under discussion describes how Mr Martin drove a silent electric car right behind a group of people riding bikes and then deliberately startled them, taking great delight as a dangerous accident resulted.
WHY is that in any way excusable?
Really, I want to know.
I'm fed up of every time I go out on my motorcycle being stuck behind some slow, four-wheeled monstrosity which takes up the whole lane and whenever I try to pass there's one coming the other way blocking my path!
Sure, they pay their road tax like me, but they're so inconsiderate to hold up us motorcyclists like this. They could at least move over to the side a bit to let us through.
Does this argument make sense? Nah, it doesn't. Stop complaining about pedal-worriers, car drivers! You slow people down too.
You are quite correct, plenty of car drivers are twats. The difference being that in order to be a twat in a car, you need to pass a test. By doing so, the idea is that you can prove that you at least know how to act correctly on the roads.
Personally, I ride a motorbike. In my experience, there are plenty of dangerous drivers on the road - I should know, I have been hit by one and I was stationary at the time. However, I have had many more near-misses from cyclists not looking where they are going than car drivers, despite there being more cars on the road than bicycles.
My belief is that cyclists should be made to wear helmets on the roads and at the very least take a test and hold a licence to prove that they know the rules of the road. When they jump red lights, cycle the wrong way down one-way streets, or cycle on the pavement causing pedestrians to jump out of the way, they should be fined and given points on their licence like any other road user would be. If I rode my motorbike on the pavement, I would, quite rightly, expect to be banned from both riding a bike and driving a car.
And before you say it, yes, there are plenty of dangerous motorcyclists out there too. The difference is that in order to be one of these, you need to do a CBT, pass a theory and a practical test and spend a couple of grand before you can go out and kill yourself. Maybe the barrier-to-entry for dangerous cycling should be a bit higher too?
1. I note the non-cyclists are the ones who can't spell or capitalise properly. I guess that's because you're stupid. Or lazy. Or both.
2. Red lights - seriously, what crap. And why does it bother you? Is it the thought that someone might get there faster than you? Or is it because you fear hitting a cyclist running a light and being blamed for it? Newsflash - most cyclist know they are basically floating along on a couple of tubes of tin foil and are not so stupid as to cycle across the path of moving traffic. When cyclists cross a red light, 99/100 it is because there is no oncoming traffic or pedestrians. (Yes, some are stupid. And some stupid people manage to get onto the motorway driving in the wrong direction. Stupidity is the constant here, not cycling.) Red lights are there for two reasons - to improve traffic flow, and for safety. They are not a holy commandment. It is important that we do not second-guess them because travelling in two tonnes of metal at high speed, reaction times aren't quick enough and we need to obey simple clear rules. This does not apply when you are on a bike. That said, do I think cyclists should stop at MOST red lights? Yes - it's important that drivers view us as predictable, and those reasons do also apply to reaction times vis-a-vis other road users and in particular pedestrians. But sometimes, it's safer to go through a red light. The light as you approach the Embankment from Northumberland Street (from Trafalgar Square) is one - the red is aimed at cars as there is no left filter, although traffic is moving in the opposite direction from the Embankment onto Northumberland Street. Not allowing a filter left is idiotic. And when the light turns green there is no space at the corner. I prioritise being well in front of the cars to maximise my visibility over your anally retentive view about what traffic signals are there for. Given that 99/100 drivers immediately put their foot down when a light turns green with tunnel vision, if you don't want to hit me and get points or a scratch on your car, believe me, you want that too. No doubt cabbies behind me are enraged. They would be even more enraged if they were to knock me off my bike, damage their cars, and get sued. Admit it, what you hate is the idea that someone is "getting ahead", like you hate it when someone tries to "cut in" on a motorway queue, and you'd rather risk hitting the car in front than let him or her in. You pathetic small-dicked little child - grow up. With a bike it is not a zero-sum game - your journey is in no way affected. You should be delighted that the person isn't in a car, adding to the congestion that so aggravates you.
3. Road tax. That is, Vehicle Excise Duty. Please. Actually, I do pay it. But I generate virtually no congestion, absolutely no pollution, and don't need land set aside so I can park my bike. I also do not need motorways built for me as a cyclist, or bypasses, or roundabouts. I use them because the roads are designed for cars. While cycle lanes are not free to build, I do pay VAT on the bike and its servicing. So, STFU.
4. Insurance. I do have some insurance, but as I am not driving 2 tonnes of metal and any damage is most likely to be to myself, why should it be compulsory? Because I might scratch your car? Well that's unfortunate, but why is that different to a pedestrian stepping into the road? I really couldn't give a flying f*** about your no claims bonus. Insurance is to INSURE YOU against things happening. Which are by the way very improbable. Again, STFU.
5. I cycle to work, and I run some errands on my bike. It's healthy, faster than the tube, and going through the parks is actually very pleasant. But I have a car too. It's probably a much nicer car than most of you cycle haters have, being a famous German sports car. It must suck to be you.
6. Many people in cars have no idea how loud a car horn is. It needs to be that loud so it can be heard over engine noise, road noise, a radio, and through sealed insulated glass. It is very loud to anyone outside the car, which is why car alarms are so aggravating. Add that to cycling and yes, the fright can cause you to lose balance and if you're lucky fall into a hedge; if unlucky into the path of the car. It is INCREDIBLY dangerous and stupid. Which is why this non-entity chef is every bit the c*nt he's made out to be.
7. I don't have the statistics but I would guess that around 99% of all cycle deaths are caused by collisions with motorised vehicles. (1% may hit a tree etc.) And I'd bet that close to 0% of vehicle occupant deaths are caused by cyclists. Perhaps there's some freak case of a cyclist being catapulted through a windscreen, hence not absolutely zero. Why, pea-brained cycle haters, do you think this makes us equal on the road? Faced with such dramatic inequality of outcome, why would any sane person expect cyclists and drivers to act the same way? In an accident with a bike, you won't die. The cyclist quite probably will. So don't be a dick. Make space. Be predictable. Don't overtake me only to get a 5 second advantage when you turn left right across me. And so on.
So stop being bitter, and stop being a fat whinging slob and get out there and work some of the pies off, you bitter little lardo. You might find you even enjoy it, and view other people getting some air and improving their health with a smile. Yes, pigs might fly, but glasses half full, eh?
God, what a loser. Apparently the near-silent running of an electric car is to him an opportunity for a wizard wheeze against a class of people he dislikes (unlike many above I don't interpret his rant as directed at *all* cyclists).
Problem is, this overlooks the magnitude of danger this factor will pose to us non-arsehole cyclists (and indeed pedestrians, horse-riders, etc) when/if 'leccy cars become prevalent among the yes-I-am-an-arsehole motorists.
Then again, the arsehole cyclists can also be silent but deadly, so perhaps it's only fair. I suggest both 'leccy motorists and cyclists be forced to sit a "not being an arsehole to other road users" test: if they fail, their vehicle is fitted with a loudspeaker that repeats "I AM AN ARSEHOLE!" whenever the vehicle is in motion.
Why is it that occaisonal commuters have less rights to the road than the bloody roadie stiff-backs, who are always hogging part of a road lane, even when cycle-paths are provided?
The wording of the Highway code on cycle-paths unfortunately says only that the cyclist 'should' use the path, not 'must', but this really should be changed in law. I'm fortunate that 4 out of the 5 miles to work is covered by such paths, but I only see 50% of the cyclists using them! why do they think that stopping to cross an occaisonal junction is such an inconvenience for them that they have to slow down motor-traffic for the entire roads' length to avoid it?
It boils my piss to see the fellow 'green-commuter' causing the reputation of this form of transport to be elevated to arrogant, self-aggrandising tossers.
No...not a Rolls Royce - but a steam roller.
A gurt big one to flatten the inconsiderate, bicycle riding tossers, that think they have the right to jump traffic lights, ride on pavements & genrally get in the way of cars.
Afterall - roads where designed for cars!
As someone who uses both a car *and* a bike on his daily commute to work, I appreciate what actions cyclists annoy car drivers, and vice-versa.
If I had to pick a single most annoying thing that each does?
Cyclists who think the traffic legislation doesn't apply to them (ignoring traffic lights, one-way streets, no lights at night, etc, etc)
Motorists who see a cyclist as something to get past at all costs. Doesn't matter that in most urban situations a fit cyclist will be quite capable of maintaining a speed exceeding 25mph, with ease. The number of times I've had some idiot move alongside me, discover I'm actually going at the same speed as the rest of the traffic, then decide she (they usually are 'she' for some reason) wants to turn left.
I do find it surprising how many urban cyclists don't wear any headgear. Sheer stupidity. Currently pursuing some dopey cow for doing the overtake-then-turn-left thing for personal injury after slamming into the side of the dozy tart's car. (bike *is* insured and I have legal cover). Judging by the state of my hat after the accident she might have been looking at a charge of "death by" if I wasn't wearing one. Bike was totalled as well.
Am I allowed to ride my bike on the road? I mean I do pay car tax so that's OK right? I drive a lot further than I cycle so am I really a driver? But I am happy to give cyclists room so maybe I'm not a real driver? When I cycle I obey road signals so maybe I'm not a real cyclist? I do let car drivers know when they've come close to knocking me off - is that OK?
Oh yeah, I'm also in IT but not fat....
You MUST NOT
carry a passenger unless your cycle has been built or adapted to carry one
hold onto a moving vehicle or trailer
ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner <----- THIS ONE
ride when under the influence of drink or drugs, including medicine
Most cyclists are also motorists and pay the VED like everyone else. Some motorists are bad road users, some cyclists are bad road users. Perhaps ALL road users (cyclists, motorists, motor bikers, horse riders, etc) should take the Highway code test every 5 years to maintain a license to use the road.
Is it the time in the arguement to point out that car (and other motorised vehicle) drivers have no right to drive on the road, they are licenced and that licence can be revoked?
Cyclists, horse (and other animals) riders, as well as pedestrians do.
Personally I drive, cycle and walk and quite frankly the standard of people doing all of them is pitifully low at times. Bit of understanding each way, some defensive driving/riding and leaving 10 minutes early would go a long way to making the problem disappear. Everyone makes a right cock of it at times, rather than responding aggressively the best option is to back off and let them sort themselves out. It's faster in the long run too! :) Sadly those who *think* they are good drivers/cyclists are usually the ones making the mistakes.
More chance of hens growing teeth in a frozen over hell than people stopping being selfish and showing some consideration though. :(
but the article completely irresponsible.
As a responsible cyclist (and one who wears lycra too - I just prefer it for cycling), I can fully sympathise with anyone who complains about cyclists that cycle on the pavement, or through red lights, even those who get off at red lights, wheel around the corner, and get back on again and cycle away. I hate those sorts of people because it gives others the chance to generalise their opinions on the subject, as seen repeatedly above, in James martin's article, and in Clarkson's article of some years ago (basically: don't use the advance stop lines at traffic lights or I'll run you over). It's annoying both to you and to me, but that's no excuse for breaking the law yourself or encouraging others to do so by writing about it.
Says the smart arse who used 1/2 a page in one paragraph. and maybe some people cant(see no capitals or apostrophes) be arsed to type properly as they are at work stealing a few seconds to post.
i think you will find the majority of people can understand a sentence without capitalisation but find paragraphs the size of big ben quite hard to follow.
i like the guy, he offended some people - fair enough. whats the fuss. we have all seen idiotic cyclists undertaking, double file etc
Actally, I did read some of your tirade. I got to number 4 and now I feel compelled to correct you - the compulsory part of car (or motorbike) insurance is actually to the third-party part. This is to cover the damage done to other vehicles / drivers/ cyclists / pedestrians* when you cause an accident. I don't see why cyclists shouldn't pay this. If they cause so little damage, surely the premiums will be nice and low?
(*delete as applicable)
A member of the CTC? Oh god, I can almost smell the sweaty lycra from here.
What do you think covers the cost of maintaining you "special needs" lanes? Pixie dust? Of course you should pay towards the roads. This at least would cover the cost of administering your "cycling license", insurance documents and if your cycle is fit to be on the roads.
No tax is actually hypothecated for roads as it happens, but a lot of money is raised from various road-related taxes (VED and fuel to name but two). These raise billions more than is spent on roads, non-motorists pay diddly-squat towards the roads (unless you want to count tax on bus tickets etc, but that's OK as the non-motorist is still a road user and needs to do their bit). The councils get the cash for roads from central government via grants etc, although this is never enough.
Why must you have insurance? Because when YOU cause an accident, someone will expect YOU to pay! Regardless oh who actually winds up dead or disfigured. And, with insurance, comes the need to cyclists to clearing display a license plate to the other road users know who to report for their dangerous and anti-social behaviour (red-light running, riding on pavements etc).
Cyclists get a very easy ride in the UK. They get special lanes, special roads, special paths built through the country-side (despite the environmental damage that causes), free use of the roads, free parking facilities and yet they still have the impertinence to claim they are hard-done by!
ps I don't even own a car, before you think I'm some Clarkson-esque nutbar.
The majority of animosity towards cyclists would dissapear reasonably quickly if they just had to be registered to use the roads, and display the registration.
Riding on a pavement, running lights/pedestrian crossings etc, you can be identified and fined. You also would be able to lose that registration and lose the right to use the roads.
I have seen a number of cyclists do some unbelievably stupid things, and be annoyed at the other person, running a red light over a crossing i was using and nearly hitting me, undertaking a bus that i was crossing in front of, and being annoyed that i chose to continue and be clipped by the bike (which didn't stop) rather than stop and be hit by the bus.
I know it's not all of them, but there needs to be some way of forcing the large number of idiots, to follow basic road safety, as enough of them don't seem to get killed or maimed to drive the point home.
let's stop this car / bicycle / motorbike bickering and get on to what is really important:
Bastards on horses.
Horsies shouldn't be walking on tarmac, it's bad for their legs.
Are they pedestrians or traffic? if pedestrian get off the roads, if traffic get off the pavement.
If they can't handle a car going past them at the legal speed limit then the problem is with their training and control and not my car.
Likewise car horns.
6 year olds legally riding half a ton of independent minded transport on a public road?
Also: You are well aware that there is no chance tubbychef actually did the horn thing like he claims aren't you all? he is just trying to make himself sound all big and manly by making shit up.
using centralised (income tax) and localised (council tax) money.
So in fact drivers are freeloading off cyclists, as their vehicles are the ones that actually wear out the roads.
Should they pay Vehicle Excise Duty (I guess what you mean by road tax)? For a near-zero emissions driver-powered vehicle... really?
p.s. I own a car too but...
I'm a big cyclist. I've cycled over 20,000 miles on long expeditions, crossing Europe and Africa. And I can't really disagree with Martin. Whilst you shouldn't ride right against the edge of the road (it's unsafe since you have nowhere to go if/when someone cuts you up) you also shouldn't ride 4 abreast. What annoys me more than anything about cyclists though is the way they think they are above the rules of the road, like traffic lights for example. In all my miles I've never run a red light, there isn't a need, and anyone who does run a light is a twat and deserves to get mown down.
Of course, resorting to wiki-vandalism just makes everyone agree that you are a twat.
I find this whole them/us argument about cyclists/car drivers really strange. I do both and see both sides of the argument and I do try to show consideration to the users of whatever type of transport I'm not currently using.
putting aside rights or wrongs... why would a cyclist argue right of way with someone driving a tonne or more of metal?
Anyway... James Martin is a twat and not even a very good chef.
>> Not illegal, just stupid.
In what way? A regular style cycle helmet may offer a little protection in a low speed accident, involving no other vehicles. Other than that it isn't really much use, just a false sense of security for you and the idiot driving past you (at 35 MPH and 3 inches from your elbow). Compare it to really safety equipment worn by (sensible) motor cyclists and downhill mountain bikers - i.e. full face hardshell helmets, spinal protection, knee and elbow protection. All that a typical cycle helmet is tested and designed to do is to protect you when you fall off a stationary cycle and hit your head on the kerb. There is about as much reason for pedestrians and car drivers to wear a cycle helmet as there is for a cyclist. If you have faith that a little polystyrene is going to save your life then feel free to carry on wearing it, I'll stick to cycling cautiously - expecting all the pedestrians, other cyclists and motorists around me to make the most stupid decisions in a given situation (as they typically do).
Going through the red light on the other hand is an entirely different matter, but that has nothing to do with not wearing a helmet.
Cyclists are in limbo - not quite cars, not quite pedestrians. There are different/additional considerations when you're cycling.
Running red lights: I know cyclists shouldn't, but if there's a green crossing next to you and you could have walked your bike across it safely, then why not cycle over? It's safer than pulling away from a red light amongst cars who mean to kill you and you're not sat there breathing in the fumes.
Pedestrians on cycle routes/paths who jump in your way then blame you when you clip them - pedestrians are to us as we are to motorists.
So I'm going fast, so what? It took effort to get to this speed, and I'm going to maintain my speed for as long as I can, as I dont have an engine to accelerate me back up. Is that irresponsible? I say it's practical.
Yes, as a cyclist I feel hard done by. I may bend the rules sometimes but only when it's safe. I do think this chef guy is a twat, even more than before. But I will say this: You wouldn't catch me in skin tight lycra. Ever.
Non cyclists should try it some time. Use a bike as your primary means of transport, then you'll see:
It wont take off as a green form of transport, because the government doesn't know how to or can't (or won't) integrate cyclists with motorists or pedestrians properly - until we all cycle, they wont get it
You have to be made of stern stuff to put up with the above and all the shit you get from eejits like this guy
Why it's sometimes more desirable to sneak onto that little bit of pavement
You feel wonderful because your cardiovascular system is tip top, you dont have to buy massive clothes despite having a job that requires you to sit on your arse all day.
Two words: Firm buttocks
You've just saved money on car/insurance/tax/petrol
You dont have to wait for your bike, like you do with buses
When your bike gets stolen *no one* will care
Yes there are twat cyclists who push things too far, yes there are twat drivers who are twats. But come on, try cycling for a while and you'll see how things have ended up like this.
To those asking what harm a cyclist jumping a red light (or slipping by on the pavement) does...
Yes, it does piss me off when I'm unable to overtake the cyclist/s in front of me, slowing me down so that I miss the green light, then they ignore the red, leaving me worse off than if they hadn't been there. But that's not the serious problem.
It maintains the stereotype, spouted abundantly above, that cyclists don't care about the highway code. It gives motorists a reason to ignore the Advanced Stopped Lines (those ones with picture of bicycles... does that look like *your* vehicle, sir?). It can even cause some people to think they know better than the traffic lights - I've had a near miss with one idiot who did that. A significant feature of the highway code is that, even if it's not optimal or convenient in all circumstances, if everybody follows every rule of it, fatal accidents don't happen.
And for those saying the cyclists should stick to the cycle lanes that the councils have squandered all that tax on - a lot of cycle lanes aren't simply inconvenient, they're actually more dangerous than the roads.
Yes, the roads currently suck, leading to frustration all round. Don't decide that the laws are for other people, and don't take it out on a whole class of road users that happens to exclude you. Write to your elected representatives.
>> or through red lights, even those who get off at red lights, wheel around the corner, and get back on again and cycle away.
Alastair, those people are called pedestrians, they have every right to wheel their cycle around the corner and return to being cyclists - in the same way that they have the right to get off and push their cycle up the pavement on a steep hill; or push bike through a cycling prohibited pedestrian zone so that they may follow a 'cycle route'. If they choose not to use the pavement when they push their cycle around the corner, that is obviously less than ideal - however it is more a "should not" than a "must not", unlike cycling through the red light.
All these people talking about VED/road tax (it is road tax really)
VED raised £5.4bn in 07/08 (source, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmtran/103/10306.htm , number 69)
Fuel tax raised £24.9bn in 07/08 (same source, number 59)
Maybe we should be talking about that. And while we are talking about non-motorists subsidising the motorists, the ENTIRE Department for Transport annual budget (although typically obfuscated) appears to be £16-17bn from http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/publications/apr/ar2008/annualreport?page=58#a1064 and so motorists are paying for two DfTs. Oh, and let's not forget insurance premium tax, the revenue from fines, charges for MOT certificates, etc.
Science icon because actual facts are being discussed in this post, rather than invective.
Over here, the local car/cycle conflict has, ah, escalated to actual physical confrontation, including deployment of Yea Righte To Beare Armes... And, given that the last time someone didn't believe me when I commented about European amateurs, here's just one example.
Plenty more... Lock'n'load, bros!
And, apparently, them that pays are having a quiet word with them that enforces the law, and laws are changing in a way that cyclists don't like. <http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/content/local_news/epaper/2009/08/31/0831bicycleriders.html> It appears that the owners of 'fancy houses' which have 'fancy drives' and pay lots of fancy land tax have more pull with the county commissioners than shirtless bike-riders. Surprising, that, eh?
And, oh, someone else is sufficiently pissed at cyclists behaving the way that James Martin describes that they've taken to using caltrops. <http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/content/local_news/epaper/2009/09/10/a1b_binocol_0911.html>
For those that say it was dangerous driving, most small country roads are national limit and so just as well he gave them a scare rather than the BMW wielding dick going round corners at 60 and taking them all out at 4 abreast. He may actually have saved their lives by giving them a modicum of self-awareness.
For those that say 'ride a mile in our shoes', no thanks. I rode a bike when I was a kid and don't wish to again, that's kind of why I bought a car...to get places more conveniently and quickly. When my life consists of working most of it, sleeping the rest and having precious little time to actually do what I want then I'm damn well going to take the fastest option to get home. Any hindrance to that is irritating to the point where I want to rip the heads off of all that slow me down and wear their skin suits whilst I visit their friends and family to explain the error of their ways. This applies to cyclists, drivers that insist on going 40 in a 60 zone, overly hesitant drivers at roundabouts and junctions, trucks, horses, etc.
In my ideal world trucks would be banned from driving in peak periods, every road would have a cycle lane/pavement combo. The speed difference between me at 60 and the average cyclist commuting at 15 vs the cyclist and the pedestrian makes it much more sensible for them to share 'the slow lane' on the pavement away from the drivers. Everyone would get to the limit or close to as quickly (but clearly when only safe to do so for those H&S fuckwits that feel it necessary to nitpick every comment - and don't worry I'm wearing my bubblewrap and sponge suit in case I slip off my chair). Using mobiles, cigarettes, etc would mean I have the right to run you off the road and use said accessory to end your life in a painful fashion. Lane discipline at roundabouts and junctions in general would be a larger part of the driving test to stop that idiot in the right hand lane cutting me up to go straight across or visa versa the person in the left lane going straight over cutting me up by ignoring lanes and taking the direct route across both.
As you can see the retarded nature of most drivers means they should not be on the road in any form and before you label me as a dangerous driving speedfreak, you couldn't be more wrong. I don't do anything dangerous unless a retard in front of me has elongated my journey by a significant period in which case I am so angry I want to ram them off the road and kill them in cold blood. Not wanting to go to prison at the moment (although it's probably a cheaper and better lifestyle than I am currently 'enjoying' - well apart from the anal raping) I try and get past them with a little risk so I get to shout and vent anger all the way home rather than rip them limb from limb.
This doesn't just apply to driving. I now order shopping online because people that go shopping seem to think its acceptable to do everything in slow motion, not consider where they are leaving their trolley, etc.
I appreciate I might just be overly angry at everything. I probably am. But none of the arguments here so far convince me to think any different than I already do. The fact that cyclists are an inconvenience to my day will not change and as such I detest them, just as much detest a single person in a 4x4 larger than my house, BMW & Merc drivers, hesitancy, etc etc, the list literally goes on forever. In fact very few make the 'things I like' list.
Cyclists were there first, or at least the bicycle was invented before the motor car.
I operate both a car and a cycle regularly, and I try to consider other road users equally, at least up to the point where they demonstrate their foolishness. Then they're fair game.
I avoid running red lights, and even stop at pedestrian crossings. I DO occasionally mount the pavement - part of my regular cycling route is a fairly busy but narrow road, so when a HGV starts dropping gears behind me I often roll up the pavement for a few metres to let it through.
I've had a couple of scrapes when on my bike - mostly they were 50-50 cases where I had let my concentration lapse or I was pushing my luck.
Except for the guy that cut me up three times in one short stretch of high street. I removed his passenger side wing mirror. A few days later he passed again, stopped and actually stood in front of me in the middle of the road. I duly cycled straight into him, and suggested that he would do well not to draw my attention to him ever again. No trouble since then.
To be honest, I think anyone uses a car rather than a bike for short journeys (less than 5 miles, say) on their own is a bloody fool. Aside from VED and insurance, much of the running cost of a car is proportional to mileage. Fewer miles, less money. Save that for the times you have to carry passengers/DIY goods/leisure equipment or take longer journeys.
If you espouse the 'jumping red lights' or 'going the wrong way up one-way streets' view, you should be given a cuff about the ear until you learn the error of your ways. You are ALSO required to stick to the Highway Code, and that includes obeying the 'no entry' signs and the red lights.
I live in Oxford, and we have some of the most aggressive and rude cyclists around. For us pedestrians they are a nightmare, especially when we're crossing the road (after following the standard look-right-look-left-look-right rule). On one-way streets where we should only have to look in the direction of the oncoming traffic, we now have to double-check the other side too, just in case some prat on two wheels ignores the signs and comes cycling up the wrong way at speed, scaring the bejezus out of the old dears, and us other pedestrians.
So yeah, if you want respect from ANY other member of the public, that includes fellow cyclists, bikers, car drivers and pedestrians, behave like any other law-abiding road user and obey the Highway Code. As much as you think you shouldn't be beholden to it, you are required to.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Sigh...ok, if I must...
- "Cyclists don't pay road tax".
Actually, you'll find the vast majority of cyclists own cars, and thus pay road tax. Notably though, they don't actually wear the roads out, so I'll cancel out your feeble "fuel duty" argument against that, and we all end up quits.
- "Register cyclists/bikes".
This has been considered, but written off due to the pure impracticality of it. That, and the fact that cyclists are 99% more likely to be on the receiving end of a trip to hospital, makes it more practical to claim from the party causing the injury. Ie car drivers. Stop driving into cyclists, and this problem will go away. The french, dutch, belgians and swiss manage just fine.
- "Cyclists shouldn't ride side-by-side".
It's safer for them, and it's safer for you to overtake, because it forces you to overtake "properly" - just like you would for a tractor. Or horses. Trust me, it's true. However, cyclists should be slapped for trying this technique on the A1 in rush hour. I know this happened 'cos I did the paperwork for all 8 of them. You know who you are. And if Mr Martin had tried his little stunt on my shift, I'd have done his paperwork too. Happily. In big red ink.
- "No insurance".
Actually, most members of the BCF, SCU, CTC etc are all insured. And their lawyers are good.
- "Red light jumpers/one way streets etc".
Yep - no argument there - epic cyclist fail. Park in the "cycle priority" box though, and that's your fail. It makes you look like a hypocritical, selfish twat.
- "No Helmets".
Another epic cyclist fail. At least Darwin will welcome them at the Pearly gates. Interesting note: the CTC don't actually encourage helmet use. Sounds like they've taken a knock to the head a few times too.
- "Not using cycle lanes".
I fully condone this. And you would too if you'd ridden half of them, or seen the results of their poor design. Crank up the cyclist to 25mph+ and frankly, they're an accident waiting to happen. Rule of thumb: if a cyclist can match your car's speed in town, tough shit - he can ride wherever he wants in the lane to ensure his safety. Most are racers, and their bike control is excellent. Apart from when dozy car drivers force them into the gutters....
- "Overtaking cyclist then turning left".
As mentioned before, I can trundle along at 25-30mph with a favourable tailwind, so just what the f* do you think you are doing overtaking? Amazing how the attitude changes when the culprits realise they've just cut up a traffic officer pulling into his work. If the attitude can change in just one sentence, why was it so bad in the first place? Why the bile in this forum? Cyclists are *not* a dumping for your frustrations.
- "Doing runners".
Actually, in my 20 years of touring, racing and generally riding, and the years in traffic the only "runners" from an accident have been car drivers. Having said that, I can report a 100% conviction rate for the 2 instances where runners have legged it after hitting one of my group. One even tried to claim "oh, I didn't know I'd hit him". What...with your passenger window smashed, and door so dented it won't open???
I could go on...but I'd have to come out of retirement, just so I could nick *everyone* on this forum for being utter selfish twats.
AC for obvious reasons.
Just can't stop reading... despite the lack of anyone saying anything actually useful..
I think one of the most worrying things displayed here is that there is a *large* section of the Reg readership who have some SERIOUS personal problems they need to work out. There's no way people would get that angry just based on this topic.. it's so insignificent..
Calm down. Back off. Drive/Ride/Walk defensively. Stop worrying about the size of your cock. Get some perspective ffs!
Don't just shout because you're angry.. I'm always amazed how effectively people can externalise their own failings, and how often this comes out as anger directed towards an arbitrary group.. But then, I guess these morons aren't "allowed" to hate blacks or gays any more, so they've got to focus their ire somewhere. Cyclists, "pikeys", immigrants, foreigners.. anyone will do, as long as they can't personally identify with the group in question.
Keep up the top work all you fucktards - on BOTH sides of the arguement.
"....I'm always amazed how effectively people can externalise their own failings, and how often this comes out as anger directed towards an arbitrary group.. But then, I guess these morons aren't "allowed" to hate blacks or gays any more...."
You sir, are a twat. A twat I say and a twat I mean.
Comparing anger at a most definitely non-arbitrary* group (cyclists) who have a direct and negative impact on our lives with people who happen to be a certain colour or sexual preference is arseholish straw-mannery of the highest order.
Might I humbly suggest you fuck right off?
*Given the whole point of the piece is regarding cyclists and car drivers and arbitrary =
1. subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion: an arbitrary decision.
2. decided by a judge or arbiter rather than by a law or statute.
3. having unlimited power; uncontrolled or unrestricted by law; despotic; tyrannical: an arbitrary government.
4. capricious; unreasonable; unsupported: an arbitrary demand for payment.
5. Mathematics. undetermined; not assigned a specific value: an arbitrary constant.
1. is not true (the issue of cyclists is inherent in the article)
2. & 3. & 5. can in no way be relevant to this issue
4. is also not true as again teh issue of cyclists is inherent in the article
Cycling helmets, put simply, save the lives of cyclists. When a cyclist gets knocked off their bike, most commonly by some idiot in a car, but also occasionally by their own fault, the first thing that usually happens is that they fall over and their head impacts the road/pavement/car bonnet.
The diffence the helmet makes is the difference between getting up and shouting at the car driver and dying in hospital after a week on life support, or if you are lucky living the rest of your life with brain damage. My partner is a doctor, she has seen the difference first hand.
The reason the helmet is made from 'flimsy' polystyrene is that it has a structure that can absorb the impact very efficiently, resulting in the destruction of the polystyrene, rather than the destruction of the contents of your skull. The helmet is good for one impact than needs to be replaced. The same is true of motorcycle helmets. I have faith that the layer of plystyrene in my crash helmet will save my life on my motorbike, as my previous helmet already did, in any situation where my head comes into rapid contact with a solid object.
So yes, if you cycle on the roads and don't wear a helmet, you are stupid for doing so. Cycle helmets don't provide as much protection as crash helmets, but motorcycles tend to travel considerably faster than push bikes.
Pedestrians don't wear helmets, because if they fall over, they are usally going slowly enough to be able to put their hands out to avoid their heads impacting with the ground.
"What I think you are referring to is "Vehicle Excise Duty" which has sod all to do with paying for the roads."
I'm old enough to remember that Road Tax is what it was originally called and the money was intended for the care and maintenance of the road system. The name was changed to save the gubmint the embarrassment of having to admit that the money was not actually being spent that way.
The significant difference between idiot motorists and idiot cyclists is that the former have to face penalties for their motoring offences both in cash and in loss of license. Sooner or later, the idiots either learn (from all the fines and points) or they lose their license. The idea that your insurance will increase if you have an accident also encourages people not to hit each other. if cyclists had similar constraints, it might help reign in some of those who seem to belive they are immortal and above any law.
Actually, most of us consume good delivered by lorry, so even if you cycle or walk to the shops, you're still benefitting from the road network. If you think car VED is bad, have a look at what it costs for a 38 tonne articulated lorry. However, given that they do 10,000 times nore damage to the road than a car, it probably should be even higher, which would be passed on to the end user in higher shop prices.
Admittedly I thought of that particular example after the rest, and is something that used to annoy me but doesn't as much these days. It is of course different if one was to *cycle* over the corner of the pavement. (not attempting to backtrack *too* much here...I admit that last one was stupid)
the cyclist who tries to bomb a red light I may be turning at (right on red here in the states) since their skinny frame will likely barely manage to scuff the paint on my old land yacht (88 Grand Marquis). I would be courteous enough to wait for the ambulance to show up and drag their broken self off to the hospital, but I would be enjoying the irony of the idiocy of the plight he put himself in. I know many cyclists that actually do follow the rules of the road (mainly because they enjoy living) and those I have no trouble with. Drivers are also idiots as they tend to think they own the road simply because they pay taxes. I laugh (fart) in their general direction and accuse their parents of being of a rodent species and drinking too much. Anyone who thinks they have a RIGHT to something will most likely end up hurting themselves over it or someone else in the process. It's much easier to just let others have their way and move along at your own pace (preferably just below the speed limit). I also laugh at the fools that drive their tuners (ok, they really only have a fart can on that Honda, but still) around me in excess of the speed limit shaking their fist at me while I know full well that the cop at the bottom of that hill will nail them for speeding... oh... and they got nailed. HAHA! (actually it was some guy in a medium SUV - think it was an exploder... err... Explorer... and in an active school zone mind you. I was VERY glad the police were running school trap that day. That guy blew past me probabyl in excess of the posted speed limit without the school zone. And it was first thing in the morning when all the kids are walking to school from the nearby neighborhoods.)
Best to be nice to others on the road (much less anywhere else). You never know when one will track you down for ignorant reasons.
Disclaimer: I myself have been the cock behind the wheel and I am glad that I've changed my habits (though I do occasionally still make the stupid mistake or move in traffic). I by no means to mean that I am the perfect driver. I just try to make it a point to be careful and nice on the road.
Short Version: Drivers and cyclists are twats (myself included) at some time or another. Nobody is immune to having a stupid moment or 50 in a day.
re: the numberplates for bikes argument. How about we do a swap? Lots of cyclists get hit by drivers who fail to stop. We could locate them with a tracking device in their car. Similarly, this could also be used to stop drivers speeding and jumping red lights - I tend to view two tonnes of Mercedes Git Panzer going through a red light as rather more dangerous than 100kg of cyclist + plus.
So a fair swap - we get numberplates and you have a GPS activated tracking device and speed limit monitor?
Let me clear this up.
OK, bad start, but as for the red light business. I've no time for petty jealousy. If I'm in my car, at a red light, and there's just one or two bikes, it's good if they keep to the left, so that I can get out ahead of them instead of being potentially trapped behing them. If there's loads of bikes, or someone's wheeling a kid along and isn't too confident, I let them go ahead and don't tailgate them, hoping they'll pull to the left and let me pass when we're all under way and happy. Live and let live. FWIW, I've had a twat cyclist nearly collide with me and make me swerve (him playing chicken with rights of way) and giving the finger by way of thanks. I wish I'd caught and squashed him.
If I'm on my bike, it's rush hour, and there's tonnes of fumes stacking up at a red light, it's the last place a heavily breathing, exercising cyclist wants to be. Often in London rush hour, at crossroads, the traffic is only feeding from one side (my side). Given that, on the approach to a crossroads where the light is red, I can perfectly see that there is no oncoming traffic, no pedestrians, and no eager-eyed policemen (they're very rare indeed), then the choice is between crossing safely albeit illegally, or rapidly inhaling lungfuls of death. I frequently pick the former. I make sure I don't slow anyone down. I respect my and others' safety, I ride within my capabilities on the roads and I run my own risks with the law. I've no time for people getting upset with me over that. Live and let live.
Oh and to reiterate, that chef is a wanker.
James Martin seems to have provoked an unholy turdspurt of half-baked opinion from a great many idiot motorists and cyclists alike.
Simple fact is there are a lot of bad motorists and a lot of bad cyclists - with the latter instigating the greater percentage of truly idiotic behavour IME.
I am one of the "lycra clad spider man" brigade - have been since I was 12 - and it saddens me to see the way most inner-city cyclists behave. They have no idea the amount of animosity they generate with their total lack of skill, knowledge and consideration. They behave like children in a stunt park and lose their temper instantly with motorists (who may or may not be of the idiotic kind) over the slightest imagined transgression; then they go home and get on the internets and spout some ill-informed shite that just shows them up for the idiots they are.
This, as much as his being one of the "I own the road" wanker variety of motorist , is where James Martin's outburst came from.
To those cyclists who have been venting their spleen over this without even thinking: Ignore the arsehole motorists for one second, take a step back, look at your own behaviour and ask yourself "is there anything I can do to make this situation better?" before spouting your hypocritical vitriol.
And to arsehole "get out of my fucking way you twat" motorists: I sincerely hope you're wringing every last drop of joy out of driving your death wagon in 21st century Britain, I really do.
Sorry - I must have missed something.. Can you explain how someone else getting off their bike and walking along the pavement to get past a red light is having "a direct and negative impact" on your life? Ok, if they cycle into the back of you, or weave all over the road making it dangerous and difficult for you to pass, then yeah - direct and negative impact. But in exactly the same way that a car driver, bus driver, motorcyclist, or anyone else would have that impact. (And, callous though it may sound, having a cyclist hit the back of my car would probably display a considerably lower "negative impact" on my life than a 10 tonne lorry doing the same.) But dismounting at a red, crossing the road and then rejoining traffic? Get a grip on yourself.
The problem is "asshole cyclists not playing by the rules". "Cyclists" is a big 'ole mess of people, and "asshole cyclists.." is a subset of those people. Invoking "cyclists" (which indicates ALL cyclists) as the problem seems to me to be arbitrary (using your handy definition of "unreasonable; unsupported") decision based on the fact that the asshole cyclists ride bikes - therefore the problem is riding bikes... Nice fallacy.
And I really can't be arsed explaining to you why this is similar to the fallacies people use to justify other forms of intolerant behaviour. If you can't see it for yourself then I doubt you'll allow yourself to be told by a twat like me eh?
And seriously.. going for dictionary definitions? Is this your first troll outing? Pathetic.
"So how much Road tax do you pay?"
No such thing as road tax - hasn't been since around WW2 if memory serves.
However, I pay approximately £125p/a in VED for the car, not to mention fuel duty, income and council tax, all of which pay for the upkeep of the roads.
OTOH, I don't pay VED on any of the 3 bikes I own, have third party insurance courtesy of membership of the CTC as well as personal accident insurance (a wise investment given an annual cycling mileage of around 12,000 averaged over the past couple of years)
There are bad cyclists, there are bad motorists and James Martin, whoever he is, comes across as a complete tool. Deal with it.
That is not the point. The main [cogent] point appears to be that on one side cyclists have as much right to use the roads as cars but on the other side is that although there are rules for all road users cyclists have no means of identification nor realistic punishment.
One can already track cars quite easily - take the reg. This would not be helped by a tracking device as in order to establish which of the millions of devices to track one would have to be able to identify the car - which would best be done through the registration.
There is no reasonable way to prevent cyclists from committing offenses and unless the offense is really bad (like the guy who killed the schoolgirl on the pavement) no realistic punishment options.
Now, I am not really one to believe that bikes should be registered and cyclists forced to have a license, but that is because I believe that bikes are completely different to motorised transports and should be treated as such, and accordingly should act as such.
However, if you want the same rights as car drivers (which many cyclists don't, they actually want _more_) then you need to accept the same responsibilities - one of which is that it is a privilege not a right, which can be removed under appropriate circumstances.
"re: the numberplates for bikes argument. How about we do a swap? Lots of cyclists get hit by drivers who fail to stop. We could locate them with a tracking device in their car. Similarly, this could also be used to stop drivers speeding and jumping red lights - I tend to view two tonnes of Mercedes Git Panzer going through a red light as rather more dangerous than 100kg of cyclist + plus.
So a fair swap - we get numberplates and you have a GPS activated tracking device and speed limit monitor?"
Or, you could identify them with the number plate.
As an IT professional, an avid and long time El Reg reader and commenter, car driver (who pays over £400 a year in VED) and cyclist, I'm actually very disappointed with a stack of you for showing how bad you lot can get. You have shown what an intolerant lot you can be at times!
However, I'm glad Apple don't make bikes otherwise I'm sure a few of you would have gone into a frenzied meltdown and the levels of sectioning being carried out this evening by the mental health services would have gone into overdrive!
You have to remember, from your highway code, that a cyclist has as much right as you do to use the road. Paying vehicle excise duty does not give a car a divine right over the road - so get over your impatience when a cyclist is in front of your car - they have as much right to be there as you do.
There are car drivers out there that are much worse than most cyclists - especially the old men with the flat caps and cushions on the back window, that drive at 20mph everywhere and don't understand the rule of the right of way when the parked car is on their side of the road.
How pissed off would we all be if Lorry Drivers decided to get all arsey (after all, they pay alot more 'tax' than we do to be on the road) and think that forcing cars into hedges was good sport? Bus drivers already seem to think that cars are fair game - the 'please let buses pull out' sign should read 'please let buses cut you up at the earliest opportunity'.
As it is, I do get very pissed off with Red Light Jumpers (just search any cycling forum for RLJ and you'll see how many other Cyclists do too), and those who seem to think that riding two abreast is acceptable. I saw two this evening whilst on my way home, and I was sad thinking it just doesn't help the cyclist's case.
I walk. I ride a bike. I drive a car.
Various points aimed at no one in particular.
Very surprised by how polarised this is, and predominantly anti-bike. Why? Because they've skipped a red light? They shouldn't, but get over it! Unless the traffic is practically stationary, you'll catch them up and overtake them quickly. Get over it.
Yes bikes should not ignore red lights. It annoys me when this happens. When I'm on my bike or walking and I see it happen, I say something. I often get an earful in reply.
However, I see many many more cars slip through just after lights have turned red than I see bikes ignore red lights. At one junction here, there is a junction with no right filter where there are typically 3 cars waiting to turn right. Usually 2 or 3 cars jump the red light, and because of this, the waiting cars get no chance to turn - they find themselves having to cross when the other direction has green lights - but they have to move because they're in the way.
Bikes shouldn't skip red lights but cars shouldn't either.
Bikes are not supposed to be ridden on pavements. I got off a bus once onto a pavement, pushing my son in a pushchair. A bike collided with me and the pushchair. I got some bruises; son and pushchair were unscathed. Should the bike have been on the pavement?
It was being cycled by a kid - does that make a difference. Do you want kids dicing with traffic? I don't.
Occasionally, you hear a story about a pensioner being scared by a bike on a pavement, or occasionally hurt or killed by one. Occasionally.
How often are people hurt or killed by cars? Many many more times, but because it happens so often, we don't make so much of a fuss about it. I know that cars don't often drive on the pavement, but I suspect if I, my son and his pushchair had been hit by a car doing the same speed as that bike was, I would have had broken bones and I don't think my son would be here today.
Highway code/Rules of the road/law.
Cycling 4 abreast is probably not sensible, and "Shouldn't" be done (highway code rule, not law, as has been mentioned previously), however running cyclists off the road, forcing them to crash, squirting them with screen wash etc. are probably reckless driving, careless driving, assault with a deadly weapon or some other such offence. And to all those saying "Yes the bikes should stick to the rules (rule 66)" etc. - well obviously you all wear your seatbelts and don't use a mobile phone whilst driving. You don't speed either do you? What do you mean - "it's a clear road with good conditions and no one was coming". Does that mean that a cyclist can ignore a red light in similar circumstances. If bikes have to follow the rules then so do cars.
"Cyclists should be registered/have licence plate because this would stop them being arses/breaking the rules".
Yes 'cos this clearly stops motorists being arses/breaking the rules doesn't it? No? Anyway, what about kids - should they be licensed, or should they be banned from the roads and/or pavements?
"Cyclists should pay (Road) Tax"
Accepting that it's not officially called Road Tax.
The tax is just a revenue raising system. It's not used solely for maintaining the roads - historically I think part of the reason it's so high was so that governments could keep income tax down. Anyway, paying it doesn't entitle you to drive a car on the road. Paying fuel duty doesn't entitle you to drive a car on the road. If you don't pay, you're not allowed, but paying does not mean that you're allowed - you have to have a licence, insurance etc. Admittedly, these taxes will have been used to construct some cycle lanes. However, if there were no cars or lorries, bikes can be ridden on grass, dirt tracks, clay paths etc, all of which are much more cheaply constructed than roads.
Do you want me to pay because my bike uses the road? So just how many times do I have to ride up and down this bit of road before I wear it out compared to say a car, or a lorry?
The modern idea behind road tax is that you're paying more the more you pollute. By that reasoning, a bike should be free because by cycling you produce no pollution. That can't be said of a car.
I wear a helmet. I wear a day-glow reflective jacket. I have multiple reflectors and two lights at each end of the bike. I've even gone out of my way to ensure that one front and one rear light conforms to British Standards. This is quite hard to achieve nowadays! I have extra reflective tape on the bike. All of this, with the exception of the helmet, I believe keeps me safe, by allowing me to be seen. I wear a helmet because I want my son to wear a helmet, and I would be hypocritical if I didn't wear one. I have researched the matter and as far as I can see there is no definitive proof that wearing a helmet keeps you safe. Some studies suggest that they do good, others suggest they do no good. There are even suggestions that they may do harm in certain circumstances: e.g. if you drove a car with a 6 inch razor sharp spike in the steering wheel and no seatbelt, you would know if you crashed you would get impaled, and you would drive exceedingly carefully. Modern cars, air-bags and seatbelts remove some of the risk, and some people drive more dangerously to compensate for the perceived level of risk - lookup Risk Compensation. I don't think sufficient studies have been done into bike helmets to give a definitive answer. There is anecdotal evidence that they help, and it makes me feel safer.
The chef: He's a twat. He deserves the book throwing at him.
Oh, I don't wear lycra. I think it makes you look stupid. But on the other hand, I think lots of styles, fashions, car or bike customisations make you look stupid.
I like my car. I like my bike. Car drivers do stupid things and break the rules - please try not to. Bike riders do stupid things and break the rules - please try not to.
Live and let live, not try to run people of the road, no-matter what they've done to annoy you.
Shock horror rich celebrity moves to the country and throws his weight around, Keith Floyd was accurate in his description.
If Mr Martin's problem is lycra clad louts taking over HIS roads at the weekend, I suggest he drives round on the weekday records it and plays it back at the weekend. He is a bit of an expert at that.
Probably much safer than him pursuing his pathetic juvenile fantasies and endangering others however stupidly they behave.
Even worse is a national newspaper publishing his comments.
To those who wonder if helmets save lives, I can say conclusively YES!
I know someone who was collected by a bus that failed to give way. His helmet-clad head hit the windscreen of the bus, breaking it. He was thrown several metres forward of where the bus came to a stop and was knocked out, but walked out of hospital 4 hours later, bruised and concussed. Without a helmet, he would be dead or seriously (permanently) injured.
SO it's Vehicle Excise Duty not Road Tax, so what? The excuse used by the government is that it's to pay for the roads I drive on, which makes it a TAX on my use of the ROAD - a ROAD TAX. Sory to get shouty but it seems that some people - especially cyclists - seem to think that the renaming trick (used in this case by Winston Churchill) makes any real difference.
Guess what? However you try to disguise it, vehicle drivers pay more towards the upkeep of the roads than anybody else - even if you agree with the "VED, not Road tax" arguement - we pay Rao^H^H^H *Vehicle Excise Duty* (happy now?), insurance tax, petrol tax, Council Tax and VAT on everything.
Oh, and now the bastards sting us every ten years for a new photocard part for our driving licence that is practically useless for anything (except raising further revenue)... so don't try to tell me cyclists pay as much as everyone else (and if you're a driver who sometimes cycles then you are a driver - if you own a car, you pay for it even if you leave it at home and use the bike.)
The problem with cyclists who jump red lights is that the red lights are there for a reason - be it pedestrian crossing, cross-roads, road works or whatever; there is some sort of potentially dangerous situation that needs regulating. If some twat on two wheels decides that the red light is unimportant then they are putting themselves - and normally other people too - in harm's way. It's getting to the point where the next two-wheeled prat who cycles through the crossing as I'm walking across the road is going to get a 'physical intervention' rather than just harsh language.
I once had the pleasure of some idiot cycling at full pelt into the side of my car, and why? Because he was in a cycle lane and didn't bother to look at the road - by keeping his head down, he could go a little faster and he *knew* the cycle lane should be empty since He Is A Cyclist, and nobody should dare trespass in his path. The fact that it was shortly after schools had closed for the day and another car had stopped to let me out of a factory gates (turn right across traffic) and I was waiting for the traffic from my left to stop didn't matter - how dare I get in his way, on HIS cycle lane?
Cars are required by law to have brakes that will stop them within a certain distance from a given speed, to make sure that they can stop safely when some idiot steps into the road in front of them. What chance a cyclist doing15-20mph will be able to stop when the poor pedestrian thnks "Oh look, the road's clear, there's a cyclist but there's a red light between me and him, so he's still far enough away for me to cross the road before he gets he<<crunch>>"... Been there, done that - and got a mouthful from the dickhead because he was looking down at his bike (different twat, similar posture) at the time... when I'm driving or cycling and I think there's a problem, I pull over BEFORE I start to look for the source of the noise (or whatever) - I don't just take my attention away from the road and carry on moving at high speed... Most cyclists seem to just carry on whizzing along with their eyes off the road and their minds out to lunch...
Agree totally on the helmet - though I don't wear one.
I find that wearing the helmet interferes with my hearing and I would much rather hear the traffic coming up behind me than wear a hot sweaty polystyrene mushroom that "might" prevent a minor injury - but then again may aggravate "Rotational damage of the brain inside the skull" .
Reference : http://www.cycle-helmets.com/helmet_damage.html
I do wear a Hi-Vis vest though and expect people to behave as blind/tossers regardless of whether they are driving/riding/walking.
I dont know who this chap is but after those comments he is definately a friend of mine! Why do they find a need to cycle as a rolling road block? stay out of the way and no one minds you ... . and why do you insist on cycling 4 wide on the dual carriage way every thursday near my village? one day a truck wont be able to stop abd ive almost been taken out by people swearving lanes to avoid you fools.
but most importantly you deserve all the abuse you town cyclists . . . TRAFFIC LIGHTS are for you as well, and dont push your way to the front cause you take so long to get going again its just plain rude!! i once saw a guy go into a car that was turning left, the car was indicating before the turning and some lycra fool was speeding down the gutter and BANG straight into the side of the car. he had the cheek to kick the car and hurl abuse. so i got out and told him he was the twat. you dont see motorbikes taking such risks
if you want to be treated like normal people, then follow the laws of the road . . . im off to beep at some spandex monkeys
He's a twat. The culture against cyclists in this country is too far gone. Perhaps this is the reason SOME cyclists have the attitude they do - it's chicken and egg here.
Anyway, I drive carefully when I drive, and cycle carefully when I cycle. A twat is a twat no matter how many wheels they're on. How was he enjoying the bird song by the way, when his engine was likely making a lot of noise and he was likely going to fast to hear it? What utter bollocks he writes...
Hmmmm cyclists! I'm not a fan, it's very rare that I am behind ANY cyclist who bothers to look behind him before overtaking a parked car. KNOB! If I didn't anticipate this ignorance which is standard for all car, lorry, motorbike, bus, van, trucks etc, then I'd of killed the whole lot of them as they pull out smack in front of me, no wonder so many get killed.
- You SHOULD NEVER ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends (although the highway code says you "SHOULD NOT" on this one, not that you "MUST NOT")
- You MUST NOT ride on pavements
- You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.
- Stop driving like twats
- Give cyclists at least a car's width when overtaking. Yes, that means always. Yes, that means you too.
- Stop talking on a mobile phone while you're driving (hands-free notwithstanding)
- You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals.
- Just STFU and cook.
And yes, I'm a driver and a cyclist, although the day I wear Lycra is the day Britain gets a roadside vomiting epidemic after catching sight of my substantial moobs.
Oh, and, er, classic cars don't pay any road tax, so does that mean they're not allowed to use the road?
And if your strategy for dealing with other road users is to complain about their existence then tear up your driving licence today. Leave driving to those of us who have developed strategies to deal with all types of road users making all types of mistakes. The only person whose driving you CAN change is your own (or judging by these comments perhaps your not up to that either?).
I've read some crap in the comments section here for this one. I reckon there are some trolls about.
The rule for me is that -
1. When I'm cycling the people in cars are wankers.
2. When I'm driving the cyclists holding me up are wankers.
3. Lorries are always wankers.
4. Learn to live with getting overtaken, there's always someone willing to go faster than you, why make it dangerous?
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