I’ve been trying to get this one off my chest for a while now, looming in my drafted posts until I make sense of it all. It wont make any difference either way but it’s worth the rant.
It soon dawned on me last week as I watched a driver make two dangerous manoeuvres inches in front of me one after the other, that the footage recorded by my GoPro was pretty much useless, even pointless to some degree.
Faced with some pretty horrendous driving all week, I decided to confront one gentleman in particular who choose to cut me and many others up in order to sit at some lights further down the road. When I confronted him, to my surprise he was pretty civil and apologised for his pointless erratic driving.
“It’s completely unnecessary to make moves like that! A friend of mine was hospitalised for 9 months due to arrogant driving similar to that! Please, please think more wisely next time”
None the less I went on my way hoping he might think the next time he considers to cut other road users up and swerve between three lanes of traffic.
I film my commutes on the basis of if something happens, like a collision for example, I’ll have evidence to claim against injury or damage (providing the fault is not my own).
This post doesn’t even come from the emphasis of a cyclist – I’m trying to be as neutral as possible because it’s not just cyclists that suffer, in fact it’s these arrogant manoeuvres which put just as many vehicles drivers in danger.
It saddens me to think that when I choose to confront a driver I usually lie in order to get the point across. Drive stupid and the results will be fatal – I split between telling people a friend was hospitalised (as above) for 9 months due to similar manoeuvres and (depending on the type of stupidity) I even go as far as saying a friend died as a result of similar driving.
It’s pretty tragic, in fact maybe as far as shameless that I lie in order to get the point across but otherwise I’m not taken seriously, the moment is shrugged off.
If I use loosing life as an excuse it becomes much more of a reality.
On the way home I thought about uploading the footage to YouTube like many others – name and shame. But the question begs if I were to do this, indicate the vehicle type and license plate so it can be linked to search engines would it actually help the situation? No, I’m not sure it would, in fact I think it would do the complete opposite andadd to the already noticeable divide between road users.
I’d contemplated installing the camera on my helmet so I could record the interactions but I believe this would only add fuel to the fire – “I’ve got this all on camera mate”. It’s antagonising and doesn’t help the situation nor will it prevent further foolish driving.
Vehicle drivers now have options to introduce camera’s to their dash boards in order to obtain cheaper insurance rates, this also helps to prevent those wanting to cheat the system and claim from intentional collisions. You’re a safe driver? Prove it? Film all your journeys and we’ll drop your insurance rate.
It’s a shame we’ve bought this on our selves, soon everything will be videoed and it wouldn’t surprise me in the long run that roads will eventually have restricted vehicle speeds introduced automatically preventing accidents etc.
The Nissan GT-R has built in technology preventing it from going as fast as it’s capable unless you’re in specific GPS zones, certified tracks to be specific.
It was only just announced earlier this week that the first 3 automated self driven vehicles were being tested in the UK.
The point of this post is really me being insightful as to how I and the rest of us approach ‘road users’ and the ‘heated’ moments we all some time have.
These roads are ours. We all pay in to the pot and what’s most important is the level of respect we owe to one another in order to keep safe.
I get angry because more often then not the driving is at fault due to arrogance and ignorance and not because of general human error.
One thing that was bought to my attention last weekend, in factual sense, as a cyclist I don’t ‘drive’ – I ‘ride’. This frustrates me as it immediately creates a divide and adds immediate connotations in regards to how much (or little) ownership cyclists have of the road. This is something I feel doesn’t help the whole ‘road tax’ myth that still plagues many a road users mind.
This post was derived from a conversation on Twitter about dealing with bad driving – confrontation on the roads and the best approach. It’s hard to keep a cool head and I’ve struggled in the past. It’s far easier to loose your temper, swear and get obnoxious then it is to take a calm & reasonable approach but the later is almost always much more beneficial in the long run.
Something else I want to add which might be deviating a little but still contributes to the taboo of ownership of our roads.
This video emerged last week:
Shocking as it is the main focus of this video throughout many of the main media channels hasn’t been in regards to the driver missing the cyclist – It’s been about how the cyclist miraculously landed on his feet. As amazing as it is, lucky, what ever you choose to call it, the real issue here is the complete error of the driver. NOT the fact that the cyclists landed on his feet. It’s a shame that the real issue here, something that commonly happens on our roads, has been completely diluted and dumbed down as if it were some sort of circus stunt.
It’s this sort of ‘dumbing down’ that makes the statistics provided by News beat so real:
“From the figures obtained from 45 Police forces nationwide, the BBC calculate that between 2007 and 2014 there were 276 recorded incidents where a cyclist was killed in a collision involving a motor vehicle. Of those, 148 resulted in the driver of the vehicle being charged with an offence – that’s just 54%. Of the 108 convicted, only 44% – or 47 people – received a prison sentence, with the average spell behind bars less than two years. Just over a quarter of this sample who were convicted for killing a cyclist didn’t receive a driving ban at all. Of those who did, the average length of disqualification was 22 months – or just shy of two years – in return for taking someone’s life.”
Even after a fatal accident recorded footage doesn’t look like it would benefit a great deal, it might be a viral video for the likes of the Daily Mail, The Sun and the rest of the grim mainstream media to promote but baring that maybe a pushy year or 2 in jail and 12 month ban – all for a life.
It’s safe to say that we still have a long way to go but as pessimistic as this post may seem, it can only get better.