5 questions about cars v cyclists

5 questions about cars v cyclists

TV and radio presenter Jeremy Vine was recently involved in an altercation with a motorist when on his bike in London, which you can see in the video below. The video went viral on his Facebook page.

 

It shows that, despite all the work done in terms of dedicated cycling lanes in the capital, there are still many places where cars and cyclists will operate at close quarters while using the roads, and that education about exactly how the relationship between the two should work remains much needed.

 Here are five questions that came to mind when we watched this.

 

1. Was Jeremy right?

Yes he was. When he tried to tell the motorist that he was supposed to be keeping a car’s width away from the parked cars on that narrow stretch of street, he was in line with the Highway Code’s Section 67 which says: “Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for pedestrians stepping into your path.” So there was no lawful requirement on him to wedge himself tight to the parked cars for her to try and get past.

 

2. Should he have moved to the pavement?

According to the rules, no he shouldn’t. Section 64 of the Highway Code says this is not allowed, so he was fine to be in the road despite how narrow that part seems on the film.

 

3. Was he right to stop in front of her to take the issue up?

If he felt threatened by the way she was beeping her horn at him then he obviously felt the need to stop and explain, but you have to pick your battles don’t you? Perhaps moving into the next available space at the side of the road for her to come past would have been the safer option. Aside from the issues surrounding cyclists and drivers, it may be a good thing that he got the opportunity to record the exchange to flag up a particularly aggressive individual.

 

4. How common is this sort of thing?

A study entitled the Near Miss Project published its first report in 2015 and found that near misses are an everyday experience for cyclists in the UK, with women having higher near miss rates than men. Of the incidents complied for the report, close passes made up over a third.

 

5. Are drivers and cyclists really ‘at war’?

We don’t think so. As Peter Walker points out here in the Guardian, most cyclists also drive, and incidents like this are more to do with the person and their character than a cultural divide between two and four wheels.

 

Here on the Cycling Bug we’re keen to know if any of you have had similar experiences and how you’ve coped with them. Tell us here.

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