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(Post Link) post #1 of 23 Old 27-06-08 Thread Starter
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Madness Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!


Just arrived back home from work having yet again survived a coming together with a car whilst on my bike. I try and ride to work a lot to save fuel and keep the beer baby in check so I realise that makes me the sworn enemy of many drivers but how hard is it to check your mirrors.

I was happily cycling alongside a stationery/slow moving row of traffic when the idiot I was next to decided to drift in towards the kerb and side swiped me , he only realised I was there when I banged his window. He then chased after me and drove far too close so he could vent his spleen at me.

Now maybe I shouldn't have banged his window but I don't have a 100+ decibel horn to alert other road users the way another car would if you were in danger of hitting them, did he think I am some mad militant cyclist who just rides round assaulting random cars.

The roads should be plenty big enough for everybody, we already have to ride in the gutter, on slippy yellow lines, amongst all the broken glass and assorted debris not to mention drains. Whilst there are plenty of bad cyclists (there's a helluva a lot more good ones) who do stupid things out there it doesn't give carte blanche to drivers who resent being stuck in traffic to try and knock us off. Imagine if an articulated lorry decided to try and shove your car out of the way and you might understand what it can be like riding in heavy traffic.
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

I used to cycle around 100 miles a week to/from work & had many encounters like yours (waering high vis gear too) - don't cycle anymore, but have the upmost respect for those that do
 
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

i know its not right, but when things got bad, i took for the pavements
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

So were you undertaking?
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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Originally Posted by mave View Post
So were you undertaking?
where else you gonna go people don't let you out even if you did indicate


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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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Originally Posted by madyak View Post

Just arrived back home from work having yet again survived a coming together with a car whilst on my bike. I try and ride to work a lot to save fuel and keep the beer baby in check so I realise that makes me the sworn enemy of many drivers but how hard is it to check your mirrors.

I was happily cycling alongside a stationery/slow moving row of traffic when the idiot I was next to decided to drift in towards the kerb and side swiped me , he only realised I was there when I banged his window. He then chased after me and drove far too close so he could vent his spleen at me.

Now maybe I shouldn't have banged his window but I don't have a 100+ decibel horn to alert other road users the way another car would if you were in danger of hitting them, did he think I am some mad militant cyclist who just rides round assaulting random cars.

The roads should be plenty big enough for everybody, we already have to ride in the gutter, on slippy yellow lines, amongst all the broken glass and assorted debris not to mention drains. Whilst there are plenty of bad cyclists (there's a helluva a lot more good ones) who do stupid things out there it doesn't give carte blanche to drivers who resent being stuck in traffic to try and knock us off. Imagine if an articulated lorry decided to try and shove your car out of the way and you might understand what it can be like riding in heavy traffic.
As a cyclist myself
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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Originally Posted by alfaspence View Post
where else you gonna go people don't let you out even if you did indicate


I try not to undertake in traffic, the problem is on a bike you're thinking you're on a 2 lane road, in a car you're thinking it's only 1 lane. If you overtake rather than undertake, people are much less likely to swerve into you in my experience.
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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The roads should be plenty big enough for everybody, we already have to ride in the gutter, on slippy yellow lines, amongst all the broken glass and assorted debris not to mention drains.
You don't have to, you are perfectly entitled to use the "good" part of the road, and it will make drivers positively overtake you, rather than treat you as something in the gutter.

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Whilst there are plenty of bad cyclists (there's a helluva a lot more good ones) who do stupid things out there it doesn't give carte blanche to drivers who resent being stuck in traffic to try and knock us off.
De he try to knock you off? Or did he just not see you? I thought you said he only knew you were there when you banged on his window?
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

When taking an advanced driving course, the main thing that stuck in my mind was to always look out for BOB and TOM whenever moving off.
Either from a parked posistion, moving from lights/junction or crawling along in traffic.
BOB is the Boy on Bike that lives in the nearside mirror, and
TOM is the Twit on Motorbike that lives in your off-side mirror. Prior to this I was guilty of just being 'locked-on' to the car infront when crawling along and on occasion been suprised to find a bike or 'bike moving past me that I had not seen (because I hadn't looked!!).
It takes a small amount of time to do (about the same as putting the car in gear and catching the bite) but you'll be more aware of who's around you when you move off.

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(Post Link) post #10 of 23 Old 29-06-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

De he try to knock you off? Or did he just not see you? I thought you said he only knew you were there when you banged on his window?[/QUOTE]

When he hit me it may have been beacuse he wasn't checking his mirrors, despite the high vis jacket, but after he did and I'd banged his window he was stuck in traffic for a bit and I had headed down the road and turned off onto another road. He then chased after me and sat for about 100yds right behind my back wheel before pulling alongside winding his window down and hurling abuse whilst getting as close as he could. So whilst I am prepared to say the first incident was an accident which fortunatley nobody got hurt in the follow up was pretty uneccessary and dangerous.

Before you ask yes I did take a note of his number and no I haven't bothered reporting him as the polis up here wouldn't do anything about it. I would rather keep an eye out for his car and leave him a note explaining my side of things as he obviously doesn't think he did anything wrong.

To answer your earlier comment yes I was passing him on the inside but as far as I'm aware the highway code only says you shouldn't do this if he's stopped to let pedestrians cross, he's a bus letting off passengers or if he issignalling or slowing down to turn left. He wasn't doing any of these, so to the best of my knowledge I wasn't doing anything wrong by being where I was.

As for riding further out into the road that is just a red rag to the bull for some drivers it's hard enough getting to the crown of the road to make a right turn.
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

If cyclists paid road tax and obeyed the Highway Code then they might get more consideration and less abuse.
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

Sorry but thats a stupid comment Chris, many are drivers and many do, the odd ones don't, and that doesn't mean what that driver did was excusable even if Madyak wasn't a driver!

I've cycled for years either for pleasure or to commute, and there are many stupid drivers out there who think that because you are on 2 wheels they are allowed to do what they want when near you, either by misjudging their distances or going past then immediatley turning left? And then wonder why they get a thump on the window for their stupidity, in fact I'd say he's lucky not to havecome up against a 'serious roadie' who may feel it was better to leave a shoe mark in his door if the car came too close or removed the mirror from the door! Been known to happen on more than one occasion.

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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

From what I was always taught you are legally entitled to use up to 3 foot of the road. Although I think you'd actually be in the middle of it if you did this all the time, I think its worth taking yourself out of the gutter.

I am quite a keen mountain biker and tend to 'look the part' when riding on main roads. This normally means that I get a little bit more respect when being passed / in traffic. Have noticed that when I'm not, I'm pretty much treated the same as above.
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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Sorry but thats a stupid comment Chris, many are drivers and many do, the odd ones don't, and that doesn't mean what that driver did was excusable even if Madyak wasn't a driver!
Recent news articles would suggest that my comments are far from ‘stupid’ (thank you for that).

It has been reported that Cyclists regularly disobey the Highway Code for their own reasons, alfaspence’s immediate confession, confirms this point.

If we (as motorists) do something similar, we are spotted, our number plates recorded (remotely, by camera, in many cases) and we are fined .

If cyclists were identifiable and accountable then motorists may, (may) be better behaved towards them.
Identification could be through road tax and/or a ‘plate’.

This is a general comment and not specific to the poster. If madyak wishes to escalate a dangerous incident by banging on a car window then….fine, however, he could have taken the number (because he can) and reported the incident where I’m sure the motorist would have been heavily fined – with points – we always are.
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

My brother used to ccle to and from his work in Aberdeen and always said there were problems when it got busy. I have cycled as well and to be honest I think I actually pay more attention and am more vigilant when on my bike. People sometimes just need to calm it a bit and be more respectful of each others space all round. I try to give cyclists loads of room but it does wind you up when they scoot up the inside close to your car. I have seen cars scratched this way, thankfully not mine, but what comeback does the motorist have? An apology?
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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... but what comeback does the motorist have? An apology?
Good point, lets add insurance and an MOT while we are at it…
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

I have to salute your courage even to get on a pushbike these days and as far as undertaking goes then you were obviously in slow moving traffic, either that or you've got a good pair of legs!
The road authorities certainly seem to expect cyclists to keep left anyway if you go by the occasional 200 metre strips of white paint they laughingly call 'cycle lanes'
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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To answer your earlier comment yes I was passing him on the inside but as far as I'm aware the highway code only says you shouldn't do this if he's stopped to let pedestrians cross, he's a bus letting off passengers or if he issignalling or slowing down to turn left. He wasn't doing any of these, so to the best of my knowledge I wasn't doing anything wrong by being where I was.
Clearly his behaviour after the initial incident was unacceptable, but I think the blame for the initial incident should be shared.

Maybe the highway code doesn't say you can't undertake; does it say you can? does it say that the driver can't manouevre within the lane that he is in?

Yes the driver should realise that in slow moving traffic there is a risk of being undertaken (quite often in Bristol you end up being overtaken and undertaken simultaneously!), but similarly you should realise that there is a risk that you are in someone's blind spot and haven't been seen. I only ever undertake when traffic is stationary; if it's slow moving I overtake on the outside (less chance of someone deciding to suddenly stop and open the passenger door!)
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(Post Link) post #19 of 23 Old 30-06-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

Mave
If I hadn't been on a short stretch of dual carriageway I would probably have gone round the outside of him but if I'd done it there I would have been been at risk from somebody trying to chage lanes. I'm pretty sure the highway code also says you should check your mirrors before manouvering which he either did do and deliberatley tried to squeeze me, or as I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt he didn't and it was an accident (in which case he was driving without due care and attention )

Chris I agree with you points about cyclists needing to obey the rules of the road better. I had words with a fellow cylsist this morning as he was bombing up the pavement (incidentally at the same spot my incident happened) round pedastrians and I told him that is exactly the sort of thing which annoys drivers and causes frustration/confrontation. Whilst the idea of a bike tax or registration sounds fine, in practice it would cost a fortune to set up and run so more taxes all round, it would mean registering children and toddlers as well as adults and this country is orwellian enough and also bikes change hands, get dumped and stolen far more often than cars which would be a logisitical nightmare

However I do take exception to you implying all cylists break the rules of the road and using this as justification to abuse them, I'm pretty sure everybody on here has driven above the speed limit, parked briefly on double yellow lines or any other number of infringements does that make it ok to run them off the road and if everybody was caught and fined as you imply nobody would do it which blatantly isn't the case. Without wishing to seem sarcastic or nit picking if you'd read all my posts you would see that I did take his number but didn't bother reporting it to the polis as with no injuries/damages its very much my word against his. I'm not some mad militant cyclist I just think everybody out there needs to respect everybody else on the roads, (adult) cyclists should stay off the pavements and obey traffic lights and drivers shouldn't treat us as mobile chicanes to be overtake as close as possible and pedestrians should look before crossing the road, but thats a whole other rant
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

No need to take exception… it’s a great post resulting in an interesting argument…
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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Mave
If I hadn't been on a short stretch of dual carriageway I would probably have gone round the outside of him but if I'd done it there I would have been been at risk from somebody trying to chage lanes. I'm pretty sure the highway code also says you should check your mirrors before manouvering which he either did do and deliberatley tried to squeeze me, or as I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt he didn't and it was an accident (in which case he was driving without due care and attention )
I totally agree that he should have been paying more attention. But... if he's staying within his lane, he may not have thought that he was making a positive manouevre (and so would not neccesarily have done a full mirror check). Yes, I know you are supposed to keep a good enough mirror check to know what's going on all the time, but I'm certainly guilty of being caught out occasionally; not because I'm not paying attention, but with cycles, cars, and motorbikes all undertaking, tailgating, and overtaking, it's easy to lose something in your blind spot....
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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

Surely that's undertaking ????

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Re: Why can't drivers use their mirrors!!

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I try to give cyclists loads of room but it does wind you up when they scoot up the inside close to your car. I have seen cars scratched this way, thankfully not mine, but what comeback does the motorist have? An apology?
Exactly, this happened to my Megane when I lived in Aberdeen but by the time the lights changed the cyclist had used the pavement, back streets and a pedestrian zone to evade my fury. Since then when stopping at lights after passing a cyclist, if possible, I'll leave tons of room, if not, I'll park up in the gutter so they ain't getting past without mounting the pavement. Anything in between just increases the chances of them doing something stupid and buggering off.

I'd be all in favour of a licensing system and insurance set up for cyclists to use the road. The license should be free or a nominal fee to obtain after passing a short course on some basic road awareness and insurance should be compulsary. Unfortunately, it'd mean the days of kids playing on bikes would be numbered.
 
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