Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Diary of a New Cycle Commuter - Week 5 - Dodgy Driving Head Cam Videos Galore!

Previous articles in this series can be found here.

The first full week back after Christmas and it seems like everyone is still half asleep. The roads are busier and people are being a lot more impatient.
In the morning there are three bus stops along one stretch of road I take. I overtake a bus at the first, have gone fast enough to keep it behind me at the second and at the third, he overtakes me just to pull over into a bus stop 10 metres up the road. I'm forced to then swing into traffic to overtake the bus once again. Classic example of a MGIF (Must Get In Front). If he'd waited about five seconds behind me, there would have been no need to overtake and he could have safely (for me) and smoothly (for his passengers) pulled into the bus stop. Considering there was a queue at the lights ahead as well, he's saved himself no time what so ever.
(Occurs at 1:23 in the video)

Pretty uneventful Tuesday, except I've now got the downhill commute on the way in down to under 15 minutes and the uphill return journey to under 20 minutes. Which on the way in at least, makes it faster than the tube!

Recorded my first roadsafe worthy event on the way home. The annotations on the video are fairly self explanatory...

I got a letter from PC Walters explaining that the driver had been sent a letter highlighting the youtube clip and stating they have been recorded committing a Road Traffic Offence and the standards of the driver have been highlighted, but on this occasion No Further Action has been taken. I'm happy with that outcome. He obviously wasn't aware that his driving was potentially putting others in danger, and a firm poke in the direction of some video footage will allow him to see it from other road users perspective.

In the morning, another bus on the same stretch of road as Monday, and an excellent overtake from a very patient driver. Unfortunately I can't see his reg plate so the driver's employers can't be informed of the good driving, but well done all the same.

Thursday evening I captured a DGAF (Don't Give A F***). Approaching a junction I know to have a somewhat restricted view, I used my ears to hear a car approaching, and my knowledge from our cycling accident map that a cyclist was injured here in the dark during 2005. Approaching more cautiously I was able to brake to avoid the car who just drove straight across my path.

The importance of using your ears and not having headphones on was very apparent. As well as knowing your route and the potential accident hotspots along the way. Even if you don't change your route, you naturally approach junctions more cautiously if you know someone has been injured there. On this occasion, it helped me avoid a potential collision.

Nothing of note happening on the commute, I spend it wondering if I can cycle to the London Bike Show at ExCeL this week. I decide against it, as we're exhibiting, and it would mean carrying a laptop and bits on my back, as well as not getting home until after 8 at least, and potentially having to do sections of the River Lea cycle route in complete darkness. Not necessarily the best idea!

Previous articles in this series can be found here.


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