/ Petition-strict liability between motorists and cyclists

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Dave Kerr - on 28 Aug 2013
And pedestrians too but it wouldn't fit on the topic title.

Apologies if this has been done on here already.

Whatever my doubts about the effectiveness of petitions I'm happy to put my name to this one:

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/pass-a-member-s-bill-for-strict-liability-between-motorists-c...

Scotland only at this point sadly.
The New NickB - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I would prefer a more robust evidence based approach.

Cyclist, motorist and pedestrian.
RCC - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

> I would prefer a more robust evidence based approach.

Indeed. Hard to see how strict liability could fit with the idea that everyone has the same right to use the road. Seems very different to other uses of strict liability (product liability etc).

Strict liability would seem more appropriate for a motorist on a cycle path, or a cyclist on a motorway.

Sir Chasm - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: Innocent until proven guilty? Can't see anything wrong with that.
DancingOnRock - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: What is strict liability?
RCC - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) What is strict liability?

It is a legal principle under which you can be held liable without being negligent. For example, if you buy a new car and the brakes fail on the way back from picking it up, the manufacturer is held responsible unless they can prove that you caused the failure. i.e. you don't have to show that they were at fault.



DancingOnRock - on 28 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: So in the event of an accident it's the motorists fault unless he can prove otherwise?
stewieatb on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to RCC) So in the event of an accident it's the motorists fault unless he can prove otherwise?

Yes, but only in the civil court case IIRC. The criminal law principle of "innocent until proven guilty" still stands.
Dave Kerr - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to stewieatb:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> Yes, but only in the civil court case IIRC. The criminal law principle of "innocent until proven guilty" still stands.

This is how I understand it.
Tom V - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
I've never had a run-in with a grown up cyclist -in fact, I got into an argument the other week for driving too carefully behind a bloke on a bike- but the number of kids who have bounced on and off the pavement and veered across the front of me without so much as a backward glance make this a non starter for me.
Then there's young mothers who stand with their toes on the pavement edge and the pushchair sticking half a metre out into the road....
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: Tom V you as a motorist have a duty of care whilst driving one ton of steel around streets with children playing, also why do so many people who would normally hold open doors and help carry prams down stairs think as soon as they get behind a steering wheel thing this no longer applies, hence the 20mph being introduced in many urban areas.
A child running across a motorway would be a different matter
We could do what they have done in some areas of Holland which is to remove all the road signs and rules and take away the pavement and all road users have to share the same space, but the onus is on the person driving the most dangerous vehicle to be aware of who is around them, so cyclist have to be aware of pedestrians and car users everyone etc.
oggi on 29 Aug 2013
Marek - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to stewieatb)
> [...]
>
> This is how I understand it.

Indeed. The direct effect is to ensure that insurance companies cannot use the argument that there was no criminal conviction to avoid paying out on a claim by a pedestrian or cyclist. The indirect effect is a longer term change in the attitude in drivers with respect to the responsibilities of operating a lethally dangerous machine in a public space.
Dax H - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Tom V: Dont bother trying to argue Tom, as the guy above says YOU have a duty of care to others, to fulfil your duty of care you need to stop your car and turn off the engine every time you see a cyclist or a pedestrian and wait patiently until they are no longer in view before you proceed.
That is the only way to be sure you won't run one over when they step or ride out in front of you with no warning or observation on their part.
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> A child running across a motorway would be a different matter


No it wouldn't. If the wording proposed in that petition were adopted, then it would not be sufficient to claim that the child had no place on the motorway. You would have to actively prove that you were not at fault. That could be very difficult under some circumstances.

Likewise, if you were cycling along an empty street and a pedestrian stepped out in front of you, you would almost certainly be held liable.

Strict liability makes sense when there is a clear difference in the duty of care between the parties (e.g. manufacturer vs consumer). On the road, there is no difference, whatever vehicle you use. The difference is how much easier it is to breach that duty of care when you are driving a car.
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: Calling for laws like this is a bit of fashion currently, surrounded by a lot of myth about what is actually in place elsewhere.

http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/strict-liability-in-the-netherlands/

It does make sense to me to have a system that allows for apportioning blame rather than the black and white we currently have. Automatically assuming cyclists are blameless seem nuts, within the British legal systems.
Siward on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: I'm not sure how one could sign up to a petition with such a dearth of detail.

Where is an explanation of the proposed bill? How would it work in practice? Whilst sympathetic to the idea I do not feel sufficiently informed...
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to RCC) Calling for laws like this is a bit of fashion currently, surrounded by a lot of myth about what is actually in place elsewhere.
>
> http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/strict-liability-in-the-netherlands/
>
> It does make sense to me to have a system that allows for apportioning blame rather than the black and white we currently have. Automatically assuming cyclists are blameless seem nuts, within the British legal systems.

Funily enough we already apportion blame.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dax H: Any body who uses a potentialy lethal peice of equipment has a duty of care to others around them. The cheldren cant hurt you your in a steel box, a cylist is only likely to scratch your paintwork and a pram again a minor paintwork job, you on the other hand as a car driver have the abilty to kill or seriosly injure the other road users this places greater responsabilty on you. This doeasnt remove the responsabilty from others to look after themselves. and no you dont need to stop the car and wait but again you must try and pass the cylist giving him enough room and wait if you cant, and if you are aware of children playing in the street you may have to reduce your speed to below the speed limit.
its about behaving in away that not only keeps you save but others around you. All car drivers are pedestrians all children are pedestrians, the majority of cylists are car drivers so retreating to the them and us mentality doesnt help any one.
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to MG)
> [...]
>
> Funily enough we already apportion blame.

OK, proportionally apportion blame, as in 20%/80%, which I don't think we do, do we?

Sir Chasm - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: Nobody is suggesting that drivers don't have a duty of care and the fact that most drivers don't mow down toddlers and cyclists very often suggests they probably do keep a look out most of the time.
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG:

> OK, proportionally apportion blame, as in 20%/80%, which I don't think we do, do we?

I think we do. It is called contributory negligence, and can affect the proportion of damages that are awarded.
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> its about behaving in away that not only keeps you save but others around you. All car drivers are pedestrians all children are pedestrians, the majority of cylists are car drivers so retreating to the them and us mentality doesnt help any one.


Quite, so why advocate a law that does just that!?
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: Fair enough.
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to jethro kiernan) Nobody is suggesting that drivers don't have a duty of care and the fact that most drivers don't mow down toddlers and cyclists very often suggests they probably do keep a look out most of the time.

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/blog/521234/furious-cyclists.html

jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: I believe the post I was replying to gave the impression that his duty of care as a car driver was no greater than any other rode users, I may have misunderstood the shouty YOU
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> I believe the post I was replying to gave the impression that his duty of care as a car driver was no greater than any other rode users...

It isn't. Common sense will show you that a greater degree of negligence is required from a cyclist to cause as much damage as a driver, but the duty of care is identical. It may seem pedantic, but it is an important distinction when you are talking about introducing strict liability.

jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG:I believe it is the feeling in britain that that the consequences for injuring/killing some one when behind the wheel of a car is some how less seroius than if it was any other situation. I know if that happened in my industry there would be no shrugging of shoulders and accidents happen attitude.
We are all guilty of thinking of our cars a non lethal modern appliances with lots of safety devices, they maybe safer for us when we are sat in them, but other than a reduction in stopping distances they are not much safer for cylist or pedestrians.
The law at the moment doesnt regonise the greater responsabilty of the driver, if no law is broken then the driver can walk away this doesnt mean they was showing care at the time.
Sir Chasm - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to MG)I believe it is the feeling in britain that that the consequences for injuring/killing some one when behind the wheel of a car is some how less seroius than if it was any other situation.

I believe you're wrong, it still comes down to intention and not many drivers intend to kill.

> We are all guilty of thinking of our cars a non lethal modern appliances

Speak for yourself.

> The law at the moment doesnt regonise the greater responsabilty of the driver, if no law is broken then the driver can walk away this doesnt mean they was showing care at the time.

Well, durr, are you proposing to lock people up for not committing crimes?
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> ...if no law is broken then the driver can walk away this doesnt mean they was showing care at the time.

No they can't. If the driver was negligent, then the cyclist can recover damages through a civil claim. This proposal would remove the requirement to show fault. As far as I can see, the only group left in a worse position are road users who show care to those around them.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Ramblin dave - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC:
Yes, agree. There's a difference between having a greater duty of care and having a to be more careful in order to exercise the same duty of care.

To be honest, I'm as grumpy a "two-wheels-good four-wheel-bad" type as the next man, but I have trouble seeing how campaigning for strict liability is going to achieve much - it's a massively divisive issue and I can't see it doing much to change people's behaviour.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: Surly the duty of care is proportionsal to the consequences, A man walking through a room of people with a flask of nitro clycerene has a greater duty of care not to go arse over tit than someone with a hot cup of tea?
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> Surly the duty of care is proportionsal to the consequences, A man walking through a room of people with a flask of nitro clycerene has a greater duty of care not to go arse over tit than someone with a hot cup of tea?

No, a duty of care exists or it doesn't. If your actions can harm others, then there is a duty of care. The standard of behaviour that is expected from those under this obligation will obviously depend on the consequences, but that is a separate issue. It makes no sense for strict liability to exist in a situation where there is a reciprocal duty of care between the two parties.

I would certainly agree that car drivers must be held to a higher standard of behaviour than cyclists, and that the same degree of negligence should carry a higher penalty when the consequences are more severe.

M0nkey - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> OK, proportionally apportion blame, as in 20%/80%, which I don't think we do, do we?

That is literally exactly what we do.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
(In reply to MG)I believe it is the feeling in britain that that the consequences for injuring/killing some one when behind the wheel of a car is some how less seroius than if it was any other situation.

I believe you're wrong, it still comes down to intention and not many drivers intend to kill.

I believe no driver intends to kill that is called murder, but some people drive in such a manner that injury or death for others is increased dramatically, they may not even be aware of it that doesnt make it excusable

We are all guilty of thinking of our cars a non lethal modern appliances

Speak for yourself.

And you have never broken the speed limit, we are all at times lulled into a false sense of security.

The law at the moment doesnt regonise the greater responsabilty of the driver, if no law is broken then the driver can walk away this doesnt mean they was showing care at the time.

Well, durr, are you proposing to lock people up for not committing crimes?
On the road it is possible to kill someone and break no laws
IE. if you routinly leave 2 inches between your wing mirror and a cyclist's elbow and one day one of them swerves a pot hole and gets tipped head first into the gutter by your wing mirror you have not specifically broken a law as there is no law specifying how much clearance you have to give a cyclist.

Ramblin dave - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> IE. if you routinly leave 2 inches between your wing mirror and a cyclist's elbow and one day one of them swerves a pot hole and gets tipped head first into the gutter by your wing mirror you have not specifically broken a law as there is no law specifying how much clearance you have to give a cyclist.

Wouldn't that be "driving without due care and attention" or "dangerous driving"?
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> IE. if you routinly leave 2 inches between your wing mirror and a cyclist's elbow and one day one of them swerves a pot hole and gets tipped head first into the gutter by your wing mirror you have not specifically broken a law

Of course you will. Something like driving without due care and attention. If you feel punshiments for this sort of thing are insufficient, then campaign for that, not to reverse the burden of proof in all cases. As someone said above, all this is likley to do is punish drivers who *do* take care. You also seem to have missed the point that this isn't about criminal law but civil liability.
Sir Chasm - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: Sorry, I've lost track of your point. Is it that cars can be dangerous if drivers don't pay attention? If so, I don't see anyone arguing.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: When did you last see a police man pull some one over for dangerous driving for the driving to close to a cyclist? its not driving without due care and attention if you are aware of them and think it is a normal and acceptable distance to leave someone

its not windy in the nice warm car and you cant see the pot hole so why would the idiot cyclist swerve into your path.
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: What exactly is it you are suggesting? A law about passing distance for cyclists? Why would this better enforced than existing laws. What connection does it have with the OP?
stewieatb on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I'm with MG, you seem to be rambling on without making a coherent point.

Passing a cyclist by inches is a driving habit which is dangerous; dangerous driving. It doesn't matter if the driver "thinks" it's acceptable.

If one day a cyclist moves fractionally while a driver is attempting such a dangerous passing manoeuvre, resulting in their death, the driver is guilty of causing a death by dangerous driving.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG: I am suggesting it is possible for a motorist to kill a cyclist or pedestrian through poor but "acceptable" driving without breaking a specific law. Do we drive around cyclist and pedestrian as though they were our children or close relatives, there is a an attidude among some people that cyclists and pedestrians are just something that slows them down between A & B
In many countries there are clear laws about how much clearnce you should give other road users its not rocket science 1.5m is fairly common abroad.
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to MG) I am suggesting it is possible for a motorist to kill a cyclist or pedestrian through poor but "acceptable" driving without breaking a specific law.

Can you give an example of how this might occur? Note, as above, passing too close is not acceptable.


> In many countries there are clear laws about how much clearnce you should give other road users its not rocket science 1.5m is fairly common abroad.

So you do want such a law. How would it improve on the current situation, where any form of dangerous or carless driving is criminal?
Sir Chasm - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: Do you want a law about how close cars can pass cyclists?
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG: ^ careless not carless!!
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to MG) I am suggesting it is possible for a motorist to kill a cyclist or pedestrian through poor but "acceptable" driving without breaking a specific law.

This is all utterly irrelevant. If a car hits the cyclist through negligent but not criminal driving then they can already be held liable.

Strict liability is asking for the driver (or cyclist) to be held liable even if they were not negligent. In other words, it would punish careful drivers and cyclists, but leave poor drivers in exactly the same position as they are now!
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
http://road.cc/content/news/90037-driver-who-killed-oxford-cyclist-found-not-guilty-dangerous-drivin...
I would like things like this not to happen, Cylist on road man drives into him not guilty
People seem very convinced its clear what dangerous driving is but obviosly from cases like this it isn't
I don't think that more laws are needed but an awarness of our duty as drivers to ensure we dont injure and kill other users, the cyclist driver conflict becomes heated because the consequences for one party are minimal and for the other are pretty life changing
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:


Umm, he was found guilty of a serious criminal offence despite the cyclist not have the required reflectors and quite possibly not lights!
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG: death by careless driving routinly results in a ban and community service
My point being a number of people have stated that driving inches from some one is "clearly" dangerous driving
this chap drove over someone despite having 176m in which he could see him so dangerous driving is not as clear as some people might think
MG - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> My point being a number of people have stated that driving inches from some one is "clearly" dangerous driving

No one has said that. I still don't understand what you are calling for or how you think it would help. If it is simply stiffer penalties for various motoring offences, then say so.

I would say we have things about right regarding the rules of the road - there are various criminal penalties for being careless, dangerous and reckless that rightly require a high level of proof. Often of course there is insufficient evidence but that is just the nature of things Changing the burden of proof or making sentences more draconian want help matters. What might help are greater efforts to separate cyclists from motorised traffic, as is done with pedestrians. The article linked above strongly suggests it is this, not the legal system, that encourage cycling in the Netherlands and makes it safer.
Ramblin dave - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to MG:
I think greater education would help a lot too, along the lines of the various other road safety campaigns we've seen down the years. A lot of people, for instance, think that cyclists should always be 30cm from the kerb, or that if you don't actually brush them with your wing mirror you've left enough space.

I don't think fiddling with the law would make a great deal of difference, largely because most people who don't cycle only come into contact with the law after it's too late...
Liam M - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC:
> (In reply to jethro kiernan)
> [...]
>
> Strict liability is asking for the driver (or cyclist) to be held liable even if they were not negligent. In other words, it would punish careful drivers and cyclists, but leave poor drivers in exactly the same position as they are now!

The name strict liability seems something of a misnomer, but what you state above isn't the case. Presumed liability is closer to the mark and often the main advantage is that it results in reduced legal costs.

Under the current system an injured party, whether the outcome is clear cut or not, has to employ a lawyer and begin court action against the other party, who will themselves require legal representation, and take up court time.

Under strict/presumed liability the default position is unless they chose to contest it, the 'presumed liable' party will accept the cost. They are still free to take it court at which case the position remains as now. However the result is achieved with fewer court proceedings being required.
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Liam M:

> Under strict/presumed liability the default position is unless they chose to contest it, the 'presumed liable' party will accept the cost. They are still free to take it court at which case the position remains as now. However the result is achieved with fewer court proceedings being required.



That isn't quite correct either, it does shift the burden of proof away from the balance of probability. Under strict liability, the defence has to actively prove lack of negligence. In any case, there is no requirement to go to court under the current rules (the vast majority of civil claims for road accidents do not).
Tom V - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I should have thought that a mother pushing a pram containing an infant also has a duty of care.
You also seem to be implying that streets are play areas for children and that any accident there involving me, as a driver, and a child on a cycle is bound to be my fault. Is this the essence of your argument?
Later on in the debate you appear to bemoan the "them and us" attitude which exists between car drivers and cyclists. Well, I can't think of anything more likely to engender such an attitude than a "driver is always at fault" piece of legislation.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Tom V: In many urban and suburban areas the streets are areas that children play in, so we as drivers have a duty of car to recognise this and moderate our driving accordingly, I have children and they don’t have a sense of danger or an awareness of their actions that we adults have, thus I am afraid it is the adults driving the cars who have to assume the greater responsibility when driving anywhere were there are other vulnerable road users. I moderate my driving at school opening and closing time, I avoid going out on my bike on certain roads between 08:00 and 09:00.
As for cycling incidents the presumed innocence is a double edged sword, the driver of a car who kills a cyclist has the benefit of being presumed innocent whereas the cyclist is presumed to be guilty of causing their own death? It is an attitude not one that will easily be dealt with by changing the law
elsewhere on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Tom V:
Residential streets were definitely play areas when I was a kid and that should be restored for health reasons. If somebody hits a child in a residential area the onus should be on the cyclist or driver to explain why the failed to anticipate that children play outdoors.
Outdoor play should be encouraged and protected.
Tom V - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I don't understand your point about the cyclist being "presumed guilty". Unless they were running red lights or doing something equally foolhardy.

Since you seem to be the person who introduced the phrase "duty of care" into the thread, perhaps you can comment on its application with regard to parents teaching young children about where it is safe to play and under what circumstances; about teaching children with cycles the basics of safe riding; and about anyone legally responsible for other people helping them be aware of safe behaviour as exemplified in the Highway Code - whatever their age.
Eric9Points - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> the driver of a car who kills a cyclist has the benefit of being presumed innocent whereas the cyclist is presumed to be guilty of causing their own death?

??????

I'm lost for words.
John Stainforth - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Tom V:

I am with you there.

A colleague of mine was tragically killed by a car last week whilst cycling in Houston. As far as I know, the police have not charged the driver with any offence, which suggests that his driving was neither reckless nor negligent.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: in a collision between two vehicles or a vehicle and pedestrian someone sometimes both parties are usually" guilty" of a an error of judgment
i was being provocative in my statement about cyclist being guilty by default,
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Tom V: all parents and adults in general have "duty of care" to the children within that society to educate and care for them its one of the cornerstones of a civilised society that education takes time and during that time we must all be aware of a child's limited grasp of some of the dangers surrounding them, and preventing that danger shouldn't mean excluding them from the outside world which in urban and suburban areas can mean the streets.
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to Eric9Points) in a collision between two vehicles or a vehicle and pedestrian someone sometimes both parties are usually" guilty" of a an error of judgment
> i was being provocative in my statement about cyclist being guilty by default,

Sometimes both parties are innocent.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: very rarely will someone not had a lapse of judgment leading up to the incident, but you are right in that there are times when prosecution would be unjust
Ramblin dave - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Pop quiz for people who are OUTRAGED at the VERY IDEA of UNDERMINING OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM with strict liability - can you name an example of strict liability concerning road accidents that we've already got in British law?

Answer (and a reasonable argument for why campaigning for strict liability is still wrongheaded) here:
http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki/dutch-cycle-because-strict-liability-made-everybody-drive-saf...
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) very rarely will someone not had a lapse of judgment leading up to the incident, but you are right in that there are times when prosecution would be unjust

A lapse of judgement is not a negligent or a deliberate act.
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Pop quiz for people who are OUTRAGED at the VERY IDEA of UNDERMINING OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM with strict liability - can you name an example of strict liability concerning road accidents that we've already got in British law?

I presume you mean rear end collisions. If so, that is very different. It is clear from the highway code that following cars are responsible for separation distances in a way that leading cars are not. In any case there has been at least one recent case where strict liability was not applied in that situation. Nobody (certainly not me) is arguing that strict liability should never be used, just that it is inappropriate in this case.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: in most other scenarios a lapse in judgment would be seen as negligent, if I was a pilot, a crane driver or anyone operating heavy industrial equipment then a lapse in judgment would be dealt with as a very serious matter especially if some was injured as a result
IainRUK - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: Its a crazy motion.

I cycle to work every day in Germany. Cycling in cities designed for cycling is incomparable to the UK.

The main thing is the roads are empty of cars. EVEYONE cycles. Go to a club/pub and you'll see 200 bikes outside.

But also bikers generally, 99%, NEVER break a road law. Even if the road is empty few will cross on a red. Most of us will in the UK, cyclists jusify it as needing to get space.. which is fine.. but then you can't expect these ideas to work here.

Having lived in a city designed for commuting.. you almost never feel threatened by a car, own lights, lanes etc, often off the road, the UK needs to totally redesign its road structure for it to work.

I cycle down the main road to work, through the center of a city at 8:45.. and I'll maybe see one car every minute.. sometimes not even that. They realise that proper investment in cycling lanes reduces traffic. But in the UK we seem to want to squeeze cycling into already congested areas.. the more I experience central europe the less I think the UK can match it in that way.
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) in most other scenarios a lapse in judgment would be seen as negligent, if I was a pilot, a crane driver or anyone operating heavy industrial equipment then a lapse in judgment would be dealt with as a very serious matter especially if some was injured as a result

No they wouldn't. Negligence is not the same as making an error of judgement.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: it's not the same, but depending on its degree then a lapse of judgment could be deemed negligence.
Ramblin dave - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
>
> [...]
>
> Nobody (certainly not me) is arguing that strict liability should never be used, just that it is inappropriate in this case.

I dunno, every time the subject comes up you get someone saying "whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'" or something.

In any case, I agree with you that it's a bad idea (or at least not particularly helpful) in this case.
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) it's not the same, but depending on its degree then a lapse of judgment could be deemed negligence.

The thing about driving is that so many people do it that it's fairly easy to ascertain whether someone was exercising the expected level of caution. If they weren't then they're negligent. If they were taking reasonable care and driving while paying attention and they make a mistake. Then it's a mistake, not negligent and this should be pretty simple to determine by jury because most people drive.

Cranes and Aircraft require a different approach to testing for negligence but in principle they're exactly the same.

If they weren't nobody would ever step outside their house.
RCC - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I dunno, every time the subject comes up you get someone saying "whatever happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'" or something.

OK, fair point, there have been one or two like that.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: I think therein lies some of the problem, driving a car is the one situation that most people are going to be in a position where they have the potential to seriously hurt or kill someone, and because we all drive we are all a little bit scared of being held accountable for a lapse of judgment or mistake if the worst came to the worst. We have as a society have lowered the bar for car safety because car ownership and use is so widespread. So what would be seen as negligence in one field is seen as an acceptable mistake in car driving. And if we thought about it two much then yes we wouldn't get out, but you could argue that it is possible for this it wont happen to me attitude to cause some people to neglect the duty of care for other road users that comes with car ownership
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: Not at all. Car drivers are trained and must follow laws. Those that don't can be and are prosecuted.
jethro kiernan - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: by lowering the bar I mean in relationship to other things of comparable risk, I work in industry and all training has to be re certified every three years, random drugs tests are common, any incident is investigated and there are constant reminders about the risks involved and the consequences of making mistakes.
Pilots, train drivers, crane drivers, forklift drivers and heavy machinery operators all follow similar stringent rules.
I am not arguing that we do the same for car driving I just think we need to accept that this exists and that we have a system that collectively doesn't penalise bad driving even when it results in a fatality because we fear it may be us who makes the mistake one day. This is more about a shift in attitude than law and certainly isn't confined to this country but tweaking of some laws would help.
DancingOnRock - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: The key word there is work. You're bound by health and safety law to do that. If you don't do that, not only does the employee get prosecuted so does the employer. The laws are designed to stop people being put into dangerous situations by unscrupulous employers who care more about making money than they do about safety.

We drive cars voluntarily for our own benefit to our own timeschedules.

You are comparing apples to oranges.
Tom V - on 29 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

It would be helpful to people like me if you could differentiate between points which are serious and points which are merely made to be provocative.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: the point being doing this for our own benefit and in our own time we still have the ability to put others at risk. The duty of care and health and safety law follow the same spirit, that when engaged in an activity that may put others at risk we must ensure we do everything reasonably practicable to ensure we don't cause harm to others.
That is why the duty of care lies with the car driver not the pedestrian or cyclist, the cyclist and pedestrians are not engaged in an activity that can normally harm the car driver ( the cyclist and pedestrian have a duty to each other)
Your apples and oranges argument implies that off duty I can hold myself to a lower standard which is my argument , we do hold a lower standard which is why more people are killed on the roads than in industrial accidents and as you say for our own benefit and voluntarily
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

There were more people killed in work related accidents than cyclists last year.

148 v 122.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: only 34% of those deaths were due to careless or dangerous drivers.

The perception is that the roads are far more dangerous than they actually are.
ThunderCat - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to oggi:
> (In reply to jethro kiernan) Not directly on topic but relevant to what Jethro was saying. Have a look at the attached video if the Poynton shared use scheme. I was sceptical beforehand but it is now good to cycle through and was a major pain beforehand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vzDDMzq7d0

I like this. I had no idea it was in place. I'm suddenly thinking of occasions where lights at junctions go down and everyone going through is on high alert, creeping through and actually looking around them.

Does anyone know how the scheme is panning out in terms of accident rates though? It seems to have been a bit selective with the reportage in terms of traffic volumes....in the 'before' scenes, seem to have four lanes of back to back lorries yet in the 'after' scenes, there is hardly a lorry in sight and the traffic volumes are much lower.

Different times of day, or do the HGV's avoid it?

Sorry it's slightly off topic.



Marek - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) only 34% of those deaths were due to careless or dangerous drivers.
>
> The perception is that the roads are far more dangerous than they actually are.

This underlines the misconception about 'strict liability'. One reason for the low percentage of convictions for careless or dangerous driving is that it carries a very high burden of proof ('overwhelming evidence'). So in a situation where no witnesses come forward or the police don't actively investigate there's little chance of a conviction. It doesn't mean there wasn't careless or dangerous driving, it means it can't be proven in court. Strict liability is about civil liability - i.e., getting an insurance company to pay out - not about getting a conviction. Civil law carries a much lower burden of proof ('balance of evidence'). It's all about getting insurance companies to pay out, not about getting convictions. The arguments about 'innocent until proven guilty' are no more relevant here than then when you have a car-car shunt and your insurance company pay for the repairs.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek: In which case the simple answer is for cyclists to be insured..
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: I think you will find the figures below dwarf the industrial incidents

pedestrians
Killed 613
Seriously injured 6,145
Pedal cyclists
Killed 130
Seriously injured 2,398
Motorcycle users
Killed 544
Seriously injured 5,776
Car occupants
Killed 1,407
Seriously injured 11,577

being on the road is more dangerous than being at work, and far fewer people cycle and for fewer days per year than work so your figures dont really mean anything
My point is driving is potentialy dangerous and there are a significant number of road users who do not give adaquate heed to the potential danger to themselves and more relevent to this thread other road users. A combination of poor attitude to other road users, a frustration with your journey combined with less than perfect road awarness can create a toxic combination for other road users and very specifically cyclist because they are most vunerable in this situation.
MG - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> This underlines the misconception about 'strict liability'.

What you say is true(ish) for place like the Netherlands. However, whenever the suggestion is made that strict liability is introduced here the argument that it will make convictions of drivers easier is always presented as a benefit(see numerous posts above), which implies criminal liability is being discussed.
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: And what do you think "strict liability" will do to help the situation?
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: The simple answer insurance can’t resurrect the dead or mend a spinal cord, prevention is better than compensation.
Also insurance for drivers is Mandatory to compensate other road users who you have collided with (third party insurance)so the only persons to benefit from cyclist being insured would be poor drivers having there no claims protected and the insurance companies
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) The simple answer insurance can’t resurrect the dead or mend a spinal cord, prevention is better than compensation.
> Also insurance for drivers is Mandatory to compensate other road users who you have collided with (third party insurance)so the only persons to benefit from cyclist being insured would be poor drivers having there no claims protected and the insurance companies

But it's a civil law not a criminal law. All it seeks to do is recompense after an accident. Which is all insurance does.

Earlier in the thread someone asked what happens if a cyclist swerves into the path of a car to miss a pothole. No one asked why was the cyclist riding in such a way as to have to swerve into the path of traffic.

In the UK this will just serve to make belligerent cyclists who consider themselves always right even more so.

I've lived in Holland and the people there are naturally less confrontational in all areas of life. It's not a road issue.

The point about workplace deaths is that you have control over adults and what they can and can't do. The road is a much less controlled environment not least because you have children, old people, wild animals etc thrown into the mix. Training children not to run into the road (one of the biggest cause of injury/death) is not a case of legislating and retraining every few years. They don't behave like that.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: I don’t think it will improve safety greatly per se it will make insurance claims easier for cyclist’s and may help raise awareness slightly but as the linked posted earlier suggested it will mainly be the behind the scenes with the insurance companies that will be affected.
I think as I have stated that it is a shift in perception that is required there may be some changes in the law that could assist this 1.5m clearance being mandatory being one.
Some of the problem has historically been that cycle accidents have been viewed in an “accidents will happen” way as the first response from those attending the scene thus preventing further investigation. This perception is changing with pressure from public campaigns but probably still exists in more minor incidents.
ads.ukclimbing.com
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> ...the only persons to benefit from cyclist being insured would be poor drivers having there no claims protected and the insurance companies

Cyclists would benefit from being covered for any damage that they were responsible for. More importantly, if they took legal protection(as many, myself included, do) it would allow them to more easily recover losses for which they were not responsible.

Personally, I don't think there is a case for making civil liability insurance mandatory for cyclists (the risks don't justify it), but lack of insurance or legal cover cannot be used as an excuse for changing the burden of proof in civil cases.

DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: 1.5m clearance? Seriously? How do you work that out?
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: At 15:12 yesterday you didn't think more laws were needed. Now you're saying a 1.5m gap should be mandatory.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to jethro kiernan)
> [...]

> Earlier in the thread someone asked what happens if a cyclist swerves into the path of a car to miss a pothole. No one asked why was the cyclist riding in such a way as to have to swerve into the path of traffic.

How do you ride in such a way that you don't have to swerve if there's a pothole in front of you?
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
Maybe they should put something about how much space to leave in the highway code?

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/overtaking-162-to-169
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> How do you ride in such a way that you don't have to swerve if there's a pothole in front of you?


I find that looking at the road ahead of me works pretty well.
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> How do you ride in such a way that you don't have to swerve if there's a pothole in front of you?

If there's a car next to me and a pot hole in front of me I cycle through the pot hole rather than fling myself under the car wheels.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: I said I don’t think it is the answer to the shifting people’s perception, I think the 1.5m rule would make a huge difference to cyclist’s safety and would also make prosecuting poor drivers far easier
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: Earlier in the thread someone asked what happens if a cyclist swerves into the path of a car to miss a pothole. No one asked why was the cyclist riding in such a way as to have to swerve into the path of traffic.

Your answer highlights the reason the why training may be required for some drivers. The question you should be asking is why a driver wouldn’t choose a path that allows room (1.5M) for a cyclist to avoid a commonly found obstacle on today’s road. It’s as ridiculous as suggesting someone tailgating someone has the right to complain that they shouldn’t stop suddenly, obviously for the cyclist the consequences are more serious than a dented bumper.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave)
> [...]
>
> If there's a car next to me and a pot hole in front of me I cycle through the pot hole rather than fling myself under the car wheels.

But this does open up exciting possibilities for hitting the pothole awkwardly and falling off under the wheels of the car anyhow. In general I'd rather the car was more than five centimetres for my elbow.

What would you do if (eg) a child ran out in front of you?
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: You said "I don't think that more laws are needed". Now you're saying you want another law.
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: I'd stop, because I wouldn't be going too fast.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: My point is that the driver shouldn’t leave you with only those two options. If a driver doesn’t know that British roads have potholes and that for someone not riding a mountain bike it could be potentially dangerous for them to hit it head on then then shouldn’t they just hand their driving licence in to the nearest DVLA because they aren’t equipped with the perception of risk that is required to operate a potentially dangerous machine
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm)
> [...]
>
> But this does open up exciting possibilities for hitting the pothole awkwardly and falling off under the wheels of the car anyhow. In general I'd rather the car was more than five centimetres for my elbow.
>
> What would you do if (eg) a child ran out in front of you?

I ran two children over. Certain accidents are unavoidable.

Cyclists should avoid sudden maneuvers and car drivers should be aware that cyclists may wobble. That is all. What is this arbitrary 1.5m? Who has decided on that? On a 5m road - a huge proportion of roads are this wide, it would make passing cyclists impossible.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm: And if the driver not giving 1.5m to the side felt that tailgating you was acceptable what then when you hit the brakes?
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm) My point is that the driver shouldn’t leave you with only those two options. If a driver doesn’t know that British roads have potholes and that for someone not riding a mountain bike it could be potentially dangerous for them to hit it head on then then shouldn’t they just hand their driving licence in to the nearest DVLA because they aren’t equipped with the perception of risk that is required to operate a potentially dangerous machine

Don't cyclists know there are pot holes? Why aren't you cycling accordingly?
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: if the cyclist isn't aware that he might hit a pot hole he shouldn't be on a bike. Suddenly swerving to avoid one suggests careless cycling to me.
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm) And if the driver not giving 1.5m to the side felt that tailgating you was acceptable what then when you hit the brakes?

How is making a 1.5m gap mandatory (you accept you've changed your mind on this new law?) going to stop a tail end shunt when I brake to avoid a child?
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
Do you think tailgating cars is fine? Because you could apply the exact same arguments to anything that might make a car stop suddenly.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: The cyclist is aware there are pot holes but he has no part in the decision making process that the driver goes through when he decides it is acceptable do drive with the wing mirror inches from the cyclist elbow,
I take it you are both suggesting a car driver has no obligation to give other road users room to manoeuvre?
Maybe you should look up the definition of duty of care
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) I'd stop, because I wouldn't be going too fast.

So cyclists have to go so slowly that they can stop before any obstacle or obstruction rather than having to swerve, but it's fine for drivers to assume that the cyclists who they're passing will keep on in a dead straight line and never have to swerve?

That seems balanced.
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
FWIW, you should be the one campaigning to get the law changed here, because the highway code disagrees with you:
https://www.gov.uk/road-users-requiring-extra-care-204-to-225/motorcyclists-and-cyclists-211-to-213
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> I take it you are both suggesting a car driver has no obligation to give other road users room to manoeuvre?

The obligation is on the vehicle making the manoeuvre to check that it is safe to do so, and signal their intention if neccessary. This applies to repositioning in the lane as much as it does to changing lanes. The only situation in which you don't check is an emergency stop. A stationary object in the road (like a pot hole) should never cause you to make an emergency stop.
elsewhere on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> Earlier in the thread someone asked what happens if a cyclist swerves into the path of a car to miss a pothole. No one asked why was the cyclist riding in such a way as to have to swerve into the path of traffic.

A driver should be able to answer that, it's in the Highway Code:
"Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make."

> (In reply to jethro kiernan) 1.5m clearance? Seriously? How do you work that out?

Again a driver should know that from the Highway Code:
"give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car", the photo next to Rule 163 shows about 1.5m too.

A swerve won't be into the path of traffic if overtaking vehicles follow the Highway Code.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: yes it would make it legally impossible to do so where it is not safe to, the average car is 2010mm wide so if two oncoming cars were to pass even if they were to clip wing mirrors this would only leave 800mm for the cylist, if they leave 500mm between wing mirrors this leaves a grand total of 300mm for the cylist as the average handle bar width is 420mm the maths point to one cyclist in the ditch, the 1.5m reinforces the drivers duty of car to other road users.
Sir Chasm - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> So cyclists have to go so slowly that they can stop before any obstacle or obstruction rather than having to swerve, but it's fine for drivers to assume that the cyclists who they're passing will keep on in a dead straight line and never have to swerve?
>
> That seems balanced.

That was in response to your question about a kid running into the road, not pot holes. Really, some people should try and remember what they've written.
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to elsewhere:

> A driver should be able to answer that, it's in the Highway Code:
> "Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make."


The highway code also states that kids may suddenly run into the middle of the road; it doesn't make that good practice!
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: The point about workplace deaths is that you have control over adults and what they can and can't do. The road is a much less controlled environment not least because you have children, old people, wild animals etc thrown into the mix. Training children not to run into the road (one of the biggest cause of injury/death) is not a case of legislating and retraining every few years. They don't behave like that.

Pedestrians
Children: 0-15 years 20
Young people: 0-17 years 26
Adults: 18-59 years 211
60 and over 183
All casualties1 420
Pedal cyclists
Children: 0-15 years 13
Young people: 0-17 years 16
Adults: 18-59 years 75
60 and over 27
All casualties1 118
Car occupants
Children: 0-15 years 27
Young people: 0-17 years 56
Adults: 18-59 years 517
60 and over 228
All casualties1 801

as you can see children and old people are the smallest % grown ups are at greatest risk
Toby S - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm) I said I don’t think it is the answer to the shifting people’s perception, I think the 1.5m rule would make a huge difference to cyclist’s safety and would also make prosecuting poor drivers far easier

I cycle more than I drive now and a considerable amount of the roads I cycle on are single-track or narrower than normal. I'd suggest that driver and cyclist education is always going to be the best way forward. Motorists should be aware that they need to give cyclists room and be aware that they may move to avoid obstacles on the road. Cyclists should be attentive and not get pancaked by lorries by going to the left of them at junctions, should use the lifesaver before turning right or moving out onto the road etc etc etc.

A 1.5m rule is unworkable. And if the traffic is slow moving, completely unnecessary.

Personally I'm not into the blame game and have no interest in antagonising other road users. I also don't think the way to solve these problems is to legislate the hell out of it. A bit of common sense and mutual respect would go a long way.
elsewhere on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC:
"Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make."

That warns drivers, motorcyclists & cyclists of the obvious hazard.
The Highway Code makes it clear that overtaking should allow space for this known hazard.
ads.ukclimbing.com
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to elsewhere:

> That warns drivers, motorcyclists & cyclists of the obvious hazard.
> The Highway Code makes it clear that overtaking should allow space for this known hazard.


Yes, I agree, but it is a hazard caused by poor forward observation. Even on my motorbike, I have never had to 'swerve' to avoid a pothole. On my bike (going at most, half the speed), it is inconceivable that I would not spot a road defect in good time unless I was not paying attention.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Toby S:
I agree that education and changes in attitude is going to make the biggest difference in safety on the roads, I disagree that the 1.5m rule won’t make I difference, a situation I have found myself in many times and so will other cyclist is you are on a road with white lines no overtaking, there may be just enough room for the driver to squeeze past you without crossing the double white line he may have not adhered to the highway code but he hasn’t broken the law, in doing so he has put you in danger. Even if he was being followed by a police car it would be entirely up to their subjective interpretation of the highway code whether the police wished to do something, with the 1.5 m rule they would be put in a position that they would be breaking the law (not the highway code) if the carried out this elbow brushing manoeuvre and they would be breaking the law if the crossed the white line thus putting them in a position of breaking the law if the make the risky manouver.
The 1.5m rule offering similar protection to cyclists that the white line offers to oncoming traffic.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: Please read what I wrote. The biggest cause of injury and death to children is from the road.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: the solid white line does not mean no overtaking. It means you must not cross except to pass a slow moving vehicle.

The biggest problem on the road is people who don't understand the current rules. If they don't understand the current rules, bringing in new ones won't magically help.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: How many times on your motorbike driving on a single carriageway do you have a car sitting at your elbow for any length of time other than in slow or stationary traffic, the situation is different.
If I was cycling defensively I would occupy the middle of the road rather than the edge, but this can wind drivers up and I have no desire to hold people up
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to RCC) How many times on your motorbike driving on a single carriageway do you have a car sitting at your elbow for any length of time other than in slow or stationary traffic, the situation is different.

That is irrelevant. Like I said, I have never had to swerve, or alter lane position without mirror and shoulder checks because I look at the road ahead of me. i.e. the position of other traffic has not been a concern. Same on my pedal bike.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to jethro kiernan) Please read what I wrote. The biggest cause of injury and death to children is from the road.

Training children not to run into the road (one of the biggest cause of injury/death)
elsewhere on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC:
It is inconceivable that all cyclists spot all road defects in good time, hence vehicle making overtaking maneuver expected to give space.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: Swerve may be a misleading term, if a car is sitting at your elbow then you have no room to conduct a reasonable manouver, and if with a car on your elbow whilst cycling through potholes you have the balls to take your hand off the bar to indicate your a braver man than me :-)
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to RCC) Swerve may be a misleading term, if a car is sitting at your elbow then you have no room to conduct a reasonable manouver, and if with a car on your elbow whilst cycling through potholes you have the balls to take your hand off the bar to indicate your a braver man than me :-)

So the car isn't overtaking then?
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to elsewhere:

> It is inconceivable that all cyclists spot all road defects in good time, hence vehicle making overtaking maneuver expected to give space.

That's fair. You always have to assume poor standards of driving/ cycling from those around you. Different from accepting liability though...

Toby S - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I just don't see it. What if he was passing at 1.5m and the cyclist wobbles or moves to the right lessening the distance? Is the driver at fault? How do you measure it? I might judge distance differently from you. Should we carry tape measures with us?

Yes, I'm being facetious but on many of the roads I cycle on it would be impossible for a motorist to give me that amount of room. Usually I have to either slow down and let him pass or wait for a passing place to pull in to. On a 30 mile ride on Sunday I'd say the vast majority of cars came past me within 1.5m and it didn't really cause me too much concern (apart from a van driver who scared the shit out of me, but he was just being a dick). Most of the traffic was going at 30mph + and we all coped just fine. Provided everyone is aware of their surroundings and sensible then there should be no need to add further pointless 'rules'.
RCC - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to RCC) Swerve may be a misleading term, if a car is sitting at your elbow then you have no room to conduct a reasonable manouver, and if with a car on your elbow whilst cycling through potholes you have the balls to take your hand off the bar to indicate your a braver man than me :-)

I ride defensively when I need to. In heavy traffic I will leave lots of room on the nearside, in light traffic I will frequently check behind and edge out/ slow down when needed.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: ?? have you never been overtaken in traffic where the manouver has taken some time with the overtaking car taking their time because of traffic ahead because the driver see's the space between him and the car in front occupied by you as up for grabs , not all overtaking manouvers are accompanied by the smell of burning rubber and the revving of engines
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to RCC: I agree with you but a lot of cyclists are afraid to do this because it is counter intutive and there is education required there, also as stated I dont want to hold people up, if i had confidence that people would manouver safely around me I would allow more room for overtaking
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Toby S:
I agree that expecting everyone to leave 1.5m at all times would be excessive (even though that appears to be roughly what the Highway Code suggests). On the other hand, expecting them to leave at least 10cm would seem reasonable, but there seem to be a lot of drivers out there who don't think so.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Toby S: All you would have to do is apply the same guidlines as the whitelines to the 1.5m rule and every one is happy it makes the safety of the cyclist paramount in any overtaking manouver
Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: 10 cm you are having a laugh I presume?? I dont know if you have children but if you where to have them cycle along a road and have a stream of traffic pass them at 30+MPH with 10cm clearance, after conducting this experiment please tell me how comfortable you felt!! I dont even feel comfortable suggesting it
Ramblin dave - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
I don't mean that 10cm is enough in fast moving traffic, just that a surprising number of people don't even leave that.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: In my rambling way that is my point that we accept a lower level of safety when it comes to driving than we do other facets of life where risk is involved (I am not talking voluntary risk such as climbing)
And I would like to see the bar raised that, Toby S stated that in a 30mile bike ride he was only scared shitless once by a near miss with a van, if that was a club run then it is quite likely that Toby feels this is a normal state of affairs and something he has encountered many times just part of the cycling scene something we just have to live with, I am just questioning this expectance from all parties
I would like to see the van driver get 3 points on his licence for doing that kind of shit because it is unacceptable for one person to put another’s life at risk whether it be through ignorance, impatience, lack of concentration or breaking the law.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: In which case TobyS can report him to the police. Now due to the recent changes in how the police can prosecute careless drivers the van driver is much more likely to be fined and offered a course. We don't need new laws we just need the existing ones to be applied properly. Which is happening.
Marek - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to jethro kiernan) In which case TobyS can report him to the police. Now due to the recent changes in how the police can prosecute careless drivers the van driver is much more likely to be fined and offered a course. We don't need new laws we just need the existing ones to be applied properly. Which is happening.

But unless you can offer some hard evidence (e.g., independant witnesses), the police will do nothing since there's no chance of a conviction. That evidence is rarely available.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> But unless you can offer some hard evidence (e.g., independant witnesses), the police will do nothing since there's no chance of a conviction. That evidence is rarely available.

They don't need evidence any more. That's part of the change. The idea is they can now issue fixed tickets at the roadside like speeding fines. Obviously if the police don't witness it they can't do anything about it. However now if they do witness it they don't have to take it to court. People like White Van Man will be stopped a lot more frequently and soon get the idea.
andrewmcleod - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.

Most (but not all) cyclists will be doing more than 10mph.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: I quite agree and have never put forward as a suggestion that a raft of new legislation is thew way forward, I think shifting the attitude and enforcing our exhisting laws is the way forward, this isnt to say that there isnt a place for some well placed legislation to offer further protection to vulnerable road users.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod: I know the particular stretch of road near myself I have issues with I regularly travel at 30+ KMH on the bike but still have major issues with people and dodgy overtaking
Marek - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to Marek)
> [...]
>
> They don't need evidence any more. That's part of the change. The idea is they can now issue fixed tickets at the roadside like speeding fines. Obviously if the police don't witness it they can't do anything about it. However now if they do witness it they don't have to take it to court. People like White Van Man will be stopped a lot more frequently and soon get the idea.

That's no different. In this case the police are the 'independant witness'. The reality is that the police are simply not around to witness most incidents, so this new power makes little practical difference.

jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
With the number of surveillance cameras around I would have thought it possible to pick up dangerous driving remotely, if big brother is spending that much monitoring everyone it would nice to see it being used in a way that stops obviously bad driving.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> That's no different. In this case the police are the 'independant witness'. The reality is that the police are simply not around to witness most incidents, so this new power makes little practical difference.

Like speed cameras. People who drive dangerously don't only drive dangerously occasionally. Sooner or later they get caught.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: Like speed camaras but also monitering accident black spots many of which in urban areas are under survielance and activly persuing blatent acts of bad driving, not waiting for the footage to be used to in a coroners inquest.
DancingOnRock - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan: You miss my point. Speed cameras catch people who speed. People who speed do it everywhere, not just at accident blackspots.

Catching people speeding has a many factored approach.
1. It penalises them directly for that offence.
2. It targets them for education.
3. In future they drive more carefully and slower which means that the people who normally just 'go with the traffic' are less likely to creep up. Effectively those who've been caught become mobile speed limiters.
4. They tell their mates they've been caught by a speed camera on X road so their mates start driving on that road with a bit more caution.

Once people start actually getting stopped, fined and sent on careless driving courses then standards will improve.

This is effectively targeting the people who need to be educated about their careless driving rather than just changing a law or blanket educating people, neither of which is cost effective or necessary.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock: I am not missing the point, I agree with all the above points; I am just saying we use a resource that already exists just use it more effectively. there are more camera’s out there than could ever be effectively monitored for bad driving, so if we randomly chose cameras around the countries accident black spots and scrutinised for obviously bad driving that carried penalties and target those drivers all the affects you have listed will kick in eventually, this doesnt rule out tweeking the law if it improves safety and not all people who cause accidents are "bad Lads" in corsa's, sometime's they are the people who consider themselves sensible drivers who drive sensible and comfortable cars who forget that adjusting radio 4 at the wrong time could end up with you hurting someone.
MJ - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I assume that you could use the same cameras to identify and prosecute cyclists?
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to MJ: yes no objection to that
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to MJ: may be dificult with no number plates
Marek - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to Marek)
> With the number of surveillance cameras around I would have thought it possible to pick up dangerous driving remotely, if big brother is spending that much monitoring everyone it would nice to see it being used in a way that stops obviously bad driving.

You'd think so, but reality seems different. Have you heard of any careless/dangerous driving precution based on surveillance cameras? It's also a bit of a city-centric solution. My typical rural cycling routes have very few surveillance cameras of any sort - that I know of.
Marek - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock) Like speed camaras but also monitering accident black spots many of which in urban areas are under survielance and activly persuing blatent acts of bad driving, not waiting for the footage to be used to in a coroners inquest.

Ooh, a real bag of worms. Speed cameras are easy to automate, but how do you automate the monitoring of driving standards? Do you have to have a human behing every camera? AI (ha ha)? I would imaging either approach would raise significant civil libery eyebrows!
elsewhere on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
Unmarked police bicycles with cameras & distance measuring to act as a "rubbish driving trap" just like an unmarked police car.

I think they'd have to be twinned with a police car to catch the drivers though.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek: I dont think that 24 hr monitoring really would work, maybe snap shots of an copuple of hours of certain places at certain times, and in some ways I would be feel less threatened by all this survialance being used for something rather than feeling that someone somewhere is gathering huge amounts of data about me and doing something sinister with it behind my back. At least someone getting a letter saying your being charged £100 and 3 points for cutting someone up heres the video is slightly less sinister than some company buying the info off the goverment and data mining it :-/
Marek - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to DancingOnRock:
> (In reply to Marek)
> [...]
>
> They don't need evidence any more. That's part of the change. The idea is they can now issue fixed tickets at the roadside like speeding fines. Obviously if the police don't witness it they can't do anything about it. However now if they do witness it they don't have to take it to court. People like White Van Man will be stopped a lot more frequently and soon get the idea.

Just seen this: http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40052&t=12935670
Allowing for biassed reporting it still seem to be a case where there was an independant witness, CCTV footage and still the police refuse to do anything apparently because this sort of incident is too common.
jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek: Fixed penalties and points, its hard to be a professional driver if you have no liscence.
The police often need someone to drive these reforms, recovery rates for bike theft increase dramatically when one or several officers are tasked specifically with dealing with it. The average beat copper when confronted by someone who has had an near miss or bike stolen is to file it low down on the priority list, if there was someone he could pass it onto then reults are more likely to happen
Eric9Points - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Obviously you're a very nervous cyclist, why don't you just buy a small car or get the bus to work and save yourself a lot of angst?

jethro kiernan - on 30 Aug 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: I am not sure I understand you, why does objecting to people driving in a way that threatens me makes me a nervous cyclist.
DancingOnRock - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Marek:
> (In reply to DancingOnRock)
> [...]
>
> Just seen this: http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40052&t=12935670
> Allowing for biassed reporting it still seem to be a case where there was an independant witness, CCTV footage and still the police refuse to do anything apparently because this sort of incident is too common.

That was previous to 16th August when the new legislation was passed.
garycrocker - on 06 Sep 2013
Lots of replies to this thread quote other countries as having something better than UK but the UK has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, death rates on its roads of any country. Significantly lower than Germany or Holland, which are both very low compared to 10 years ago.

Many motorists are idiots who should never have been allowed to sit behind the wheel of a car but endless car driver bashing is tedious and unfounded. I am currently very irritated by the number of cyclists on the roads using very bright, flashing front lights. What's that all about? I speak as a mountain biker of 26 years + and a qualified MTB guide.
a lakeland climber on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to garycrocker:

I got pulled up by a motorist for not having a flashing front light! I'd got a dynamo driven B&M light which is good enough for German traffic laws but the driver reckoned I didn't stand out enough from the traffic with that. He wasn't being nasty, he just didn't want to be in an accident, we had a bit of a chat whilst in a queue at some road works.

On a bike you are never going to outshine modern car headlights so having a secondary flashing unit helps get drivers' attention. I can see that if there's a group of cyclists all with such lights it's going to be very distracting though. If the lights are aimed upwards then it's going to be very annoying (and probably illegal).

ALC
Neil Williams - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

I know someone who is epileptic for whom those flashing lights risk setting off an attack. Obviously they don't drive, but when a passenger it's a problem.

Personally I'm more irritated by the 50Hz-ish flicker on LED car tail lights, though I seem to be one of the very few people who can see that. (An old style TV is similarly unpleasant)

Neil
a lakeland climber on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

50Hz is a surprisingly low frequency - old CRT monitors were usually around 70Hz to avoid that problem and quite a few could see them flicker, though usually out of the corner of the eye.

I've a LED light that flashes at different rates and the fastest rate is definitely off-putting even for someone like me who doesn't suffer from epilepsy. It raises the question why they don't use slight variations in the flash rate to avoid such problems.

ALC
garycrocker - on 06 Sep 2013
Its when the only light is flashing and now that modern lights are so bright, agreed not as bright as car lights, it is just not necessary and very distracting. I also find it hard to judge distance when the light is flashing. Had a group of 6 mountain bikers come towards me, all with super bright lights flashing, with not a non-flashing light between them.
loopyone on 07 Sep 2013 - 02dd8cfb.bb.sky.com
In reply to Dave Kerr: for every motorist on the road acting like an idiot there's a cyclist acting like an idiot.
ewar woowar on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to tatty112: I don't think so.

But the percentage of car drivers who are dicks is probably similar to the percentacge of people on bikes who are dicks.

There are a lot of people who drive cars, some of them are motorists.
There are a lot of people on bikes, some of them are cyclists
Goucho on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

So basically you want to pass a law, which makes the motorist to blame for every incident caused by a cyclist riding like a dick head, based on the premise that a car is bigger, and therefore a collision with a cyclist will usually mean the cyclist ends up worse off?

That's the equivalent of passing a law which penalises a big guy in a fight with a little guy, even if the little guy started the fight, because the big guy is....bigger!!!

I'm a cyclist as well as a car driver, but I'm sick to death of this holier than thou attitude of the 'Peoples Militant Cycling Front', which blames car drivers automatically for every collision with a cyclist.

Drive through London at rush hour, and for every sensible cyclist, there are 5 dick heads, who, if they end up taking flying lessons over a car bonnet, have no one to blame but themselves.

Yes car drivers need to be vigilant, but so do cyclists too.
llechwedd - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Years ago (about 1980?)I had a inebriated female, of pensionable age, suddenly jog into the road ahead of me whilst I was 'proceeding along the Queen's highway in an orderly manner on my motorbike'.
I clipped her with the handlebars and we both went down. A crowd gathered whilst we both lay in the road. From the comments I heard, most of the onlookers jumped to the same conclusion regarding motorists as you seem have done- e.g. young lad on a motorbike knocked that old lady down...must be his fault.
As the 'motorist' I had to pay for the ambulance for her. not sure if that still goes.
garycrocker - on 08 Sep 2013
Absolutely right and, more to the point, the CTC reckon 3 million people cycle every week and there were 120 cycling fatalities in 2012. Any death on our roads is tragic but does this very low casualty rate require a change of law which would probably have no effect on reducing the death rates. Surely better driver and cyclist education and training, such as stopping idiots using flashing front lights, have a greater effect.
rmt - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: I'm sick to 'death of this' us and them attitude on this forum when it comes to cyclists. I've seen some idiots riding bikes. I've nearly been hit whilst cycling by idiots but that doesn't mean they have no right to be on the road. The irresponsible car drivers need to drive more carefully, the every day motorist needs to be aware that they are, whether they accept it or not, in a deadly weapon and treat it accordingly (waiting ten seconds before passing a cyclist really won't wreck your day that much), and the idiot cyclists that jump red lights/ride on pavements etc need to stop being idiots. But mostly, we all need to say that actually, whichever side of the 'them and us' we choose to sit on we're not blameless, and we should promote sharing with care (watch the Poynton Regenerated' link at the start of this thread, so that this tragedy never happens to us or someone we know - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10293094/It-took-satnav-18-seconds-to-tear-two-families...
G
Accept responsibility and stop this bullsh@t arguing about a matter that costs lives. Save it for when a solo's not a solo or something. FFS, the attitude of some people really pisses me off.
ewar woowar on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to garycrocker:
> as stopping idiots using flashing front lights, have a greater effect.

Earlier you quote some CTC stats.

This is also from the CTC site.

Front Lamp

One is required, showing a white light, positioned centrally or offside, up to 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the front. If capable of emitting a steady light, it must be marked as conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard.

If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.
timjones - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to rmt:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) I'm sick to 'death of this' us and them attitude on this forum when it comes to cyclists. I've seen some idiots riding bikes. I've nearly been hit whilst cycling by idiots but that doesn't mean they have no right to be on the road. The irresponsible car drivers need to drive more carefully, the every day motorist needs to be aware that they are, whether they accept it or not, in a deadly weapon and treat it accordingly (waiting ten seconds before passing a cyclist really won't wreck your day that much), and the idiot cyclists that jump red lights/ride on pavements etc need to stop being idiots. But mostly, we all need to say that actually, whichever side of the 'them and us' we choose to sit on we're not blameless, and we should promote sharing with care (watch the Poynton Regenerated' link at the start of this thread, so that this tragedy never happens to us or someone we know - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10293094/It-took-satnav-18-seconds-to-tear-two-families...
> G
> Accept responsibility and stop this bullsh@t arguing about a matter that costs lives. Save it for when a solo's not a solo or something. FFS, the attitude of some people really pisses me off.

You were doing quite well until you feel into the trap of using the words "deadly weapon" ;(

You might benefit from checking your dictionary.
Neil Williams - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to timjones:

He's right, though. If you are using any kind of vehicle, it could kill people. Therefore, using it impatiently, inconsiderately or recklessly is not acceptable. A bicycle included.

Neil
garycrocker - on 08 Sep 2013
Fairplay. Still think flashing front lights are not as safe as a powerful steady beam. I reserve the right to be selective in my use of CTC stats and info.
ewar woowar on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to garycrocker:

My point was that you can choose to have a constant light, a flashing light or both.

The CTC site is merely quoting the relevant legislation/regulations regarding cycle lights.

Both are perfectly legal.

As you said, it's your choice.

I personally choose both.

I also prefer others to choose both when I am behind the wheel.

Likewise with rear lights (I prefer to use and prefer others to use both)
ads.ukclimbing.com
nufkin - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Goucho:

> So basically you want to pass a law, which makes the motorist to blame for every incident caused by a cyclist riding like a dick head, based on the premise that a car is bigger, and therefore a collision with a cyclist will usually mean the cyclist ends up worse off?

> That's the equivalent of passing a law which penalises a big guy in a fight with a little guy, even if the little guy started the fight, because the big guy is....bigger!!!

Isn't there something to be said for those with the greater capacity to do harm being held to a greater degree of responsibility? Doesn't necessarily mean that each case shouldn't be viewed on its own particulars, but any bike/car collision is going to be pretty one-sided, so maybe the law should take that as a starting point. Same for big guy/small guy





Unless the small guy is Bruce Lee. Though maybe the big guy is Mike Tyson, so it's still hard to call. Probably need a new thread for this one
Neil Williams - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to nufkin:

"but any bike/car collision is going to be pretty one-sided"

True. But if it's the cyclist's fault, why shouldn't he pay for the damage to the car and to his own bicycle?

As a cyclist and a driver I cannot support this, at least not in the strict sense. The one causing the accident coughs up, IMO. As there are bad cyclists and bad drivers, to me it should depend on which was bad on that occasion.

Neil
John_Hat - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to rmt:
> (In reply to Dave Kerr) I'm sick to 'death of this' us and them attitude on this forum when it comes to cyclists.

Agreed. I occasionally stray into this area of the forum and am constantly slightly disturbed and dispirited by the, as another poster put it, Peoples Militant Cycling Front.

As other posters have said, there are bad cyclists and bad car drivers, but there are also many good examples of both in the world too.

However the vitreol spewn on here at any-other-road-user-not-a-cyclist comes across as vastly over the top, unpleasant and often frankly nasty, to the point where I'm considering blocking this forum. The whole idea of this thread that in any cyclist-car accident the car driver is automatically to blame is an example.

What also does bother me slightly is that on many of these threads cycling behaviour that I can only describe as openly aggressive is being actively promoted. This concerns me because this is likely to cause more accidents than less. As several people have pointed out, road accidents in the Uk are actually very, very low compared with pretty much everywhere else in the world.

If you really want to discover an environment where cyclists are treated badly by car drivers, try rush hour Delhi. I suspect that after a week cycling there UK drivers would be held up by most cyclists as outstandingly considerate human beings.

Lets have a radical idea. Cyclists and motorists get on and are both considerate to eachother. Lets try it, it might catch on.
Squarf - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to John_Hat: Peoples Militant Cycling Front.

Splitters

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