Boris, red light stategy and police cycle training manuals

Discussion in 'Health, Fitness and Training' started by Nigel Cliffe, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Nigel Cliffe

    Nigel Cliffe Guest

    If you get the BBC listen again for Radio 4's Today programme, around 8.45,
    there was a piece about the police cycle training manual lampooned in the

    Boris was there, promoting safer cycling in a typically Boris manner;
    cyclists should always make sure they are at the front at the lights. Later
    he said; police should clamp down on aggressive cyclists. He also said
    that pavement cyclists were wrong, jumping red lights wrong, turn left on
    red lights was under consideration...

    Boris' heart may be in the right place, but a coherent strategy seems

    - Nigel
    Nigel Cliffe, Nov 12, 2009
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  2. Nigel Cliffe

    Paul Rudin Guest

    Yes - I think I heard something about that earlier. Apparently 94 pages
    long and contains advice on e.g. "deployment into a junction" which is
    apparently what you do if you turn left or right :/

    I haven't seen the actual manual, so it's hard to know what it's like
    for sure, but it sounds a bit like load of statements of the bleeding
    obvious couched in obscure civil-servant-speak.
    Paul Rudin, Nov 12, 2009
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  3. Nigel Cliffe

    David Hansen Guest

    On Thu, 12 Nov 2009 11:00:35 +0000 someone who may be Paul Rudin
    Dave Holladay was hardly given any time by the BBC, they didn't give
    the item long enough and stayed with Boris Johnson for too long.
    However, he did manage to get in a very good point, one would expect
    police bike riders to be better trained/educated than "ordinary"
    bike riders, just like one would expect police drivers to be [1].
    Dave said he had bought a US police bike riding manual over the pond
    for use by Strathclyde Police and it was a lot longer than 93/94
    pages [2].

    If police officers are going to apprehend alleged criminals after
    following them by bike then I expect them to have had training and
    practice in getting off the bike in a controlled fashion. Similarly
    for a number of other situations one can envisage, such as the steps
    shown in the article. There are undoubtedly non-police cyclists who
    have developed some or all of these skills, or better skills, but
    people pootling along to the shops probably haven't.

    Making a choice between the Scum and ACPO Ltd is not always easy,
    but in this case ACPO Ltd appear right. However some of the language
    should be made more Anglo Saxon. "Engaged with the cycle", "rear
    scan", "deployment into a junction" and the like is a load of
    bollocks which should be turned into English.

    [1] though I am aware of all the arguments about reduction of police
    driving training.

    [2] 93 according to the Scum. I very rarely provide links to the
    Scum, due to their disgraceful repeating of police lies about
    Liverpool football fans, but in this case I have made an exception
    and the article in the Scum is at
    David Hansen, Nov 12, 2009
  4. Nigel Cliffe

    Mark McNeill Guest

    Response to David Hansen:

    And it includes the obligatory can of worms, courtesy of Yahoo's report:

    Undercover police are advised that they may have to cycle without a
    protective helmet to avoid being found out.

    But, underlining the importance of sometimes-criticised health and
    safely laws, it warned: "This lack of protection must be noted and a
    full risk assessment of the required role... be undertaken."
    Mark McNeill, Nov 12, 2009
  5. Perhaps he means "aggressive towards peds", which seems perfectly
    reasonable except inasmuch as the police have better things to do.
    I don't see why he can't suppose that RLJ is wrong but that it could be OK
    to permit certain turns under red.
    David Damerell, Nov 12, 2009
  6. Nigel Cliffe twisted the electrons to say:
    Really? I don't see any inconsistency in the statements above. It's
    possible to ensure you're at the front at the lights without being
    aggressive, and possible to be aggressive whilst not getting to the front
    at lights. Likewise, red light jumping is wrong (ie: illegal) but he's
    looking into changing the law wrt one aspect of it.
    Alistair Gunn, Nov 12, 2009
  7. Nigel Cliffe

    KeithT Guest

    Unles the cyclist sis of the 'must get to the front' variety which rings
    in to play all sorts of mishaps - especially the business with left-
    turing vehicles.
    For many the idea to filter in with the rest of the traffic often works
    better as you avoid the clutter of crap cyclists at the lights and
    easily pedal past them while they are still getting in each others way.

    It really does depend on the junction, traffic volumes etc. etc.
    Each junction has to be taken on its own merits rather than a blanket
    policy of 'get to the front!!'.

    It might help if Boris does something about the pics of him riding and
    using a mobile -- cyclists can't bleat on about motorists not being in
    proper control whilst advocating mobile use while riding.
    KeithT, Nov 13, 2009
  8. I don't see these things as incompatible, just poorly articulated.
    Turn on red, for example, is allowed through much of the US (for cars
    as well) and does not seem to be a problem. It would be interesting
    to see if they could come up with a way of permitting straight-through
    traffic across the top of T-junctions on roads with cycle lanes that
    do not conflict with the traffic entering from the right. There are
    surely things that could be done to help cyclists make safe progress
    and still not be on the grid when the lights change.

    Just zis Guy, you know?, Nov 14, 2009
  9. Nigel Cliffe

    thirty-six Guest

    The first consideration should be whether the traffic signals need to
    be there at all or even wether they could operate part time. The
    junction reverts then to precedence indicated by give way lines. You
    generally cannot permit a cyclist to continue on a cycle lane where
    the joining road has been cleared by a green light, you need to
    consider that long vehicles need the extra turning room. I dont know
    if there is a feasible way to operate a restricting light for the
    through cyclist for when a long vehicle wishes to join the major
    road. also how does a cyclist from the minor road join the cycle lane
    if it is obstructed by a long group of cyclists. He exits the minor
    road, turns right and has no refuge because the lane is blocked. He
    then is cycling slower than the long group and holds up the traffic
    behind for two minutes while the group pass him on his left all the
    time with a range rover 12" off his rear wheel. Not a nice thought.
    thirty-six, Nov 14, 2009
  10. Just zis Guy, you know? twisted the electrons to say:
    Doable with, effectively, a bypass cyclelane. There's have to be the
    available space for to push the pavement further away from the road to
    allow room for it, and you'd probably need to seperate the lane from the
    road itself with kerbing.

    The obvious downsides that spring to my mind with that approach are how
    the lane ends[1] and that the possibility of pedestrian conflicts (of the
    "standing the cyclelane waiting for a gap in the cars" variety) has just
    been created.

    [1] Hopefully, end the seperation kerbing and then gradually bring the
    road back to it's normal width. However in the UK it would probably
    mean end the kerbing and then bring the road back to it's normal
    width in about 1-2 metres! :-(
    Alistair Gunn, Nov 14, 2009
  11. Nigel Cliffe

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Perhaps not for cyclists and motorists, but it does make me wonder how
    pedestrians fare when crossing the side roads.

    It could probably work well if all these light controlled crossings that
    have sprung up over the last 20 years or so were replaced with proper
    zebra crossings.
    Danny Colyer, Nov 14, 2009
  12. Nigel Cliffe

    Mike Causer Guest

    Only in some very large cities (eg N'Yawk) do people walk in the USA.
    Everywhere else they drive a car, SUV, Hummer, or Sherman tank (in
    increasing order of "might is right": the dominant philosophy).

    In one smaller town (Spring Lake, NJ) I lived less than a mile from
    work, but walking there, or even cycling, was a horrible prospect and I
    never tried it in three years. The car *really* rules there.

    Mike Causer, Nov 15, 2009
  13. Nigel Cliffe

    rob Guest

    My experience is that it works perfectly well. AIUI the rule is that if you
    turn right on red, you have to give way to all other traffic including
    pedestrians. Cars going through a red wait at the pedestrian crossing bit
    until all pedestrians have crossed, even if that means waiting for someone
    crossing from the far side of the road. In a lot of respects, people are
    much more law abiding over there. I'd be worried about it working in the
    same way over here without specific enforcement effort.
    rob, Nov 15, 2009
  14. Nigel Cliffe

    Rob Morley Guest

    It's already the case in the UK that when turning into a road you must
    give way to pedestrians already crossing that road - yet many motorists
    seem totally oblivious to this simple rule.
    Rob Morley, Nov 15, 2009
  15. Nigel Cliffe

    Phil W Lee Guest

    Indeed, when I had to visit Tulsa for work, people were shocked and
    amazed that I walked to work - from the Hotel NEXT DOOR!
    It would actually have been further to walk from most of the parking
    lot attached to the office, and owing to the one-way system the return
    trip would have been a mile and a half by car.
    But they still couldn't understand why I walked.
    Phil W Lee, Nov 15, 2009
  16. Nigel Cliffe

    Peter Grange Guest

    I've experienced turn-on-red drivers in Los Angeles try to muscle
    their way through a queue of peds crossing a side road. It takes
    courage to walk right in front of a Hummer. I'd be concerned about
    turn-on-red. Having seen cyclists weave across a zebra crossing full
    of peds I'd be concerned about even cyclists getting turn-on-red.
    There are enough nutters to get us all a bad name. Come to that, there
    are enough nutters now even when it's illegal to give us all a bad
    name :-(
    Peter Grange, Nov 16, 2009
  17. The Highway Code instructs you to do this. But it doesn't say you
    "MUST", meaning there's no law to back it up.

    I think the continental (or do I just mean German?) approach to
    crossroads is better: pedestrians and car drivers in the same
    direction get green simultaneously, and car drivers turning into the
    crossing pedestrians get a big flashing amber turn sign to remind them
    to give way.

    On the other hand I don't like the Danish approach to cyclists at
    crossroads - you're not allowed to turn left with the car traffic, but
    you have to cross to the far side, wait for green again, and then
    cross again. I sometimes ignored this, but it seemed to annoy
    Julian Bradfield, Nov 16, 2009
  18. Nigel Cliffe

    Rob Morley Guest

    I'm not so sure about that - it says
    "146. Take extra care at junctions. You should ... watch out for
    pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have
    started to cross they have priority, so give way". The "should"
    seems to apply only to "watch out for pedestrians", "they have
    priority" isn't given a "should" or a "must" i.e. it doesn't say
    "pedestrians should be given priority", but simply states as a fact
    that they /do/ have priority.
    Rob Morley, Nov 16, 2009
  19. Yes. There's no "MUST". Every legal requirement in the Highway Code is
    stated as a MUST or a MUST NOT and the relevant law cited.
    So, as I say, it's not a legal requirement to give way - it's just one
    of those things where if you don't, failure to obey the Highway Code
    will be taken as good reason to make it your fault if anything goes
    wrong. (Or maybe to justify a charge of inconsiderate or careless
    driving; but not an offence against road regulations.)

    There are lots of things in the Highway Code that are like that - it's
    an interesting question, from the cyclist's point of view, which of
    them ought to be converted into regulation. (Refer the thread about
    passing distances.)
    Julian Bradfield, Nov 16, 2009
  20. This is now rule 170, but the wording is identical.

    There is no law cited, and I cannot immediately find anything in the
    RTRA1984, RTA1988 or RTA1991, about this subject.
    Roger Burton West, Nov 16, 2009
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