Cycling blogger hit by a car – here’s how it happened..

Just shared this on my Twitter but thought it would probably be of interest here on the blog too..

Cycle Gaz who runs The Views of a Cyclist from Croydon was yesterday hit by a car as he cycled on the bus lane. Here is the YouTube of the accident:

Fortunately he has escaped without serious injuries. As Gaz said in his comments on YouTube on a good day he may have seen this coming. The video acts as a good reminder to be as careful as possible especially in the wintery conditions. In this situation there is little Gaz could have done differently.

The video is also a good demonstration of the value of having a helmet camera to record your cycling. Something that I’ve noticed is becoming more common amongst London’s cyclists.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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76 Responses to Cycling blogger hit by a car – here’s how it happened..

  1. Rajiv, Going Going Bike 20/12/2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I hope the bike wasn’t too damaged

    • Andreas 20/12/2010 at 3:32 pm #

      Buckled front wheel. More worried about the rider!

  2. Henry 20/12/2010 at 3:40 pm #

    This happened to me when I was new as well.

    As a regular cyclist, I would say he was clearly going too fast, and is possibly unexperienced.

    When there is a gap like that *almost always* The car is leaving it for another car to proceed. The thing to do in this situation, would have been to slow down, and look in that direction. Usually the car will see you, and stop. In that case you can almost come full stop, and interact with them. You can say “Hi” and waive, or just glare as you roll by. No need to flip the bird unless they honk you first. If you slow down and they don’t see you (you can tell by looking at them through the glass), come to a full stop of course. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to slow. Stop peddling. If you want to stop, it is more difficult to react if you need to instruct your legs and hands and body together.

    Its not a race. If it is, I hope its closed-course, and your have your protective gear on.

    • Andreas 20/12/2010 at 3:42 pm #

      Roger on the above advice. Dropping the speed and watching out for the danger signs could have prevented the accident. Like Gaz said he probably would of spotted it on a better day

      • Jules 20/12/2010 at 11:24 pm #

        When I first started commuting I was having about one close shave a week but I soon learnt to read the traffic (gaps between cars, reflections in car doors and drivers changing hand position before turning the steering wheel, etc, etc) but my two big smashes just came out of the blue from totally erratic (illegal) driver maneuvers. Keep changing your route slightly so that you don’t go into auto-pilot after a hard day at work and drop your guard. Makes your ride more fun if not the same old thing day in and day out too!

    • John 20/12/2010 at 6:13 pm #

      Yes , I agree completely with you, just because you have the right of way means nothing.

      Also as he was riding in the bus lane he should have noticed the solid white line of the bus lane on his right had stopped, making him think that traffic maybe crossing, the car pulling out was a slow down call to me in that situation.

      People do look over cars to a bus lane and go on auto pilot of ‘I can’t see a bus coming’ and forget about all the other legitimate people who use bus lanes.

      Glad he is OK and not too much damage to the bike, but these are the ones that make you remember next time you are in the same situation.

      John

    • Chris 01/01/2011 at 9:35 pm #

      He should have been paying attention .But sympathy to the person on the bike.
      If it was two cars its classed as without due care and attention

  3. ian 20/12/2010 at 3:43 pm #

    From the video it looks more like he hit the car than the car hit him. Did he not wonder why the traffic to his right had stopped!

    • Filippo Negroni 20/12/2010 at 4:01 pm #

      No: from the video it is clear it was the driver who, without due care and attention, crossed the bus lane.

      Sure he could have easily slowed down: he could have just as easily walked or indeed stayed at home.

      He wasn’t going too fast: if he had been, he would have come off a lot worse than just a bit of pain. He was going at a reasonable speed, and had a collision with another vehicle.

      In a way, he was lucky he hit the front and went over the bonnet, a part of cars designed for impacts with pedestrians at up to 20mph, rather than the side door, a part usually built for strength to resist impacts with other vehicles…

      • Andreas 20/12/2010 at 4:07 pm #

        I think it’s tough to play the blame game. What’s obvious is the car should have been paying more attention when crossing the lane. This largely seems to be behaviour that motorists have not yet learnt. Looking out for road users smaller than other cars. At the same time Gaz probably could have spotted the danger signs. I guess it’s easy with hindsight to point these things out but in the moment a minor distraction can result in an accident like this.

  4. Steve 20/12/2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Drivers fault as he/she turned right without checking road clear. They were lucky not a bus or a mad cabbie but cyclist should always expect that to happen. I want a helmet camera for Christmas. I bet driver said “sorry I didn’t see you mate”

    • Andreas 20/12/2010 at 4:10 pm #

      Definite smidsy. Got a good post going up on Wednesday about how you’d make a claim in a scenario such as this one. Step 1: Never admit it’s your fault..

  5. Pete 20/12/2010 at 4:11 pm #

    That’s an absolute classic cycling accident; you have to be very careful when approaching junctions as drivers will often not look for you coming down the bus lane.

  6. Dave 20/12/2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Drivers turning like that happens all the time in Oxford, I’ve had a number of close shaves myself. When it’s stop-start traffic it’s not easy to tell until you’re right at the junction whether someone has stopped to let another car cross or whether the line has just come to a natural stop. The driver might well have been at fault, but that’s cold comfort if you get badly hurt, you just have to ride defensively in those situations.

    • Andrea 20/12/2010 at 7:47 pm #

      Yeeees, HELMET CAMS!!!
      The other day I was reading a post about “making the daily commute more interesting” and one of the suggestions was to record the journey and post it on YouTube. What would be more interesting and possibly useful is to have a dedicated website or blog of videos and details of infractions against cyclists. I was going to make this suggestion after reading Headhunter’s post on the “Where do you wait at traffic lights?” thread which really infuriated me until I saw this thread which in honesty left me shocked. Now, it wasn’t the accident that shocked me as it also happened to me and will probably happen to most, no what shocks me is how “matter of fact” everyone’s reaction is. We see these accidents as motorists not as cyclists and too often our reaction is to relate accidents like these to cars, where the worst that could happen would be damage to bodywork and possibly an argument. If we look at “accidents” like these in due perspective, the cyclist’s, we should condemn them as shocking unlawful acts which could easily lead to serious injury or death.
      It is incredible how cycling for commuting is badly reputed by most. Non cyclists, in their ignorance, would tell us that cycling in traffic will get us killed and that we’re looking for trouble, the police see us as an easy target and motorists do too! And the media just paint a picture that is hard to believe and justify.
      But I think that mainly, the blame is on us. I believe that deep down we all (motorists and non) think roads are for motor vehicles and that we somehow have lower priority. I think this notion is deeply rooted in everyone’s brain and that definitely won’t do. Economically, environmentally, sociologically, etc, etc, etc, there are a billion reasons why bicycles should ALWAYS have priority over motor vehicles especially in congested cities and we, as cyclists we should ALWAYS remember this. We should not just receive a pathetic (now reduced) tax break on a brand new bike, we should get paid for each motorized journey we replace! We should be praised for being on a bicycle!! We should not just remind non-cyclists that we are doing the right thing by cycling to work or to school or the shops but we should remind ourselves!!!
      And we should not campaign or wait for priority, we should just take it!!!!
      Now, I know I digressed but with that in mind let’s also all wear helmet cams and condemn motorized traffic for all to see!

      RIDE PROUD

      • superkaos 12/01/2011 at 10:06 pm #

        Giving more priority to a certain type of vehicle, just because of the type of vehicle it is is just asking for trouble. It is not safer to give priority to bicycles. For some reason you might think you deserve the moral right to have priority over cars. If it is because of ecological reasons then shouldn’t pedestrians deserve even more priority, after all your bicycle pollutes more than a pedestrian, it throws rubber from the tires, it takes energy to build, you throw away worn out parts, oil is used to keep it in good running condition, etc. So following that logic, let’s remove all traffic lights in pedestrians crossings, they are not needed anymore, since they should have the highest priority. That would not be a safe practice, similarly it is not safe to try to treat bicycles different as any other road user. What is best is to be treated equally and to behave like everybody else.

        • Jules 12/01/2011 at 11:01 pm #

          Pedestrian do have priority over ALL road users. Has superkaos read the Highway Code?!
          Also the traffic lights at pedestrians crossings are to protect the pedestrians from vehicles. How many pedestrians were killed by vehicles in the last 10 years? Just over 7,600! How many killed by bicycles in the last ten years? 29. 29 too many for sure but it is a massive difference. superkaos tell us what car you drive (I am sure she/he doesn’t even have a bike!) I think this thread has been mentioned on a driving forum somewhere which has lead to some pitiful polarised comments!

        • superkaos 13/01/2011 at 9:25 pm #

          Jules, that’s nonsense, pedestrians do not have the priority if they have a red light. That’s what traffic lights are for, to assign the right of way to certain road users and deny it to others. I don’t know why you think it is important for the discussion the kind of car that I might drive. But since you seem so interested I do not have a car, I ride a bicycle 30 miles to work 3 or 4 days a week and it is my experience that the best thing to avoid being hit is to behave like any other vehicle (sometimes a slower vehicle but a vehicle nonetheless). I find that car drivers see me and respect my right of way if I am in the center of the lane for example while crossing an intersection or going around a traffic circle. Not to mention using a good front light at night.

        • Jules 14/01/2011 at 10:38 am #

          Good grief superkaos I am obviously talking about the need to give way NOT at traffic signals!!! I said “over ALL road users”. That is road USERS not over traffic signals, signs or laws! We all have to obey traffic signals.
          I thought this was a thread about the collision captured on the cam and not just a general rant about cycling in traffic. Yes, there are idiots on bikes out there. And there are also idiots in cars. That’s life.

        • superkaos 14/01/2011 at 5:54 pm #

          I was just replying to Andrea’s claim that bicycles should have priority over other vehicles. That is just dangerous nonsense and following the same logic pedestrians should ALWAYS have the priority which is not the case as it is also dangerous nonsense. But I guess your confusion comes from the fact that claiming priority of bicycles over other vehicles is not even a well defined concept, it is just marketing talk, what exactly did Andrea mean? priority in which situation? Should cyclists be allowed to run through red lights and expect everyone else to yield to them? that’s what I mean by dangerous nonsense.

  7. John 20/12/2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Nice thoughts but it is just life – the smaller you are the more you get pushed out of the way.

    Pedestrians complain about cyclists

    Cyclists complain about cars

    Cars complain about buses and lorries

    We have all seen it, how many cars take on a bus forcing it’s way out onto the road – very few!

    The option for us is to try and gain the respect of other vehicles through things like Boris bikes by simply putting more of us out there, or we can be segregated from traffic in cycle lanes and then we get less respect overall as we end up being considered only being allowed on the road in a cycle lane.

    Commuter cyclists have a lot of experience behind them and use it every day out there to travel as safely as is possible.

    Take care folks

    John

  8. Rhys 21/12/2010 at 2:09 am #

    Gotta agree with Steve on this one. If there was a motorbike or taxi in the bus lane that white car would still have hit it as well. They looked to be turning too fast to be able to see if the way was clear.

    I just hope everyone, cyclist and driver, was okay in the end.

  9. Dave Escandell 21/12/2010 at 9:47 am #

    I’m glad to see Gaz was OK.

    While this accident appears to look like a common scenario there are a couple of factors that lead me to believe that liability on this would be split approximately 70/30 in the cyclists favour. This would normally otherwise be a 50/50.

    They are a) The blue vehicle emerging from the side road. He is already out into the lane and it is likely that gaz’s attention is focused on making eye contact with the driver of that vehicle. and b) the offending right turning vehicle is travelling too fast – there is no way that he is carrying out his manouvre with care. He should have been edging forward.

    Another factor in this accident is that the vehicle gaz passes is actully minibus which is relatively high sided. This not only reduces Gaz’s view but also that of the car driver.

    The key point to remember is that when a vehicle stops to allow another vehicle to turn across it’s path, he is saying ‘I will wait here for you to complete your manouver’. He is not saying ‘it is safe to turn so go ahead’.

    Turning motorists should proceed with utmost caution, and this guy wasn’t.

    • Andreas 21/12/2010 at 10:27 am #

      Thank you for the expert advice Dave. It’s great to have you around to intervene in posts like this when things are not so clear for the rest of us :)

    • Charles Layton 24/12/2010 at 3:40 pm #

      I don’t understand why it would normally be 50/50. Shouldn’t the turning vehicle give way to the oncoming one which is proceeding straight though the intersection? If the turning vehicle could not see then shouldn’t he have proceeded slowly enough to avoid collision with any sort of oncoming vehicle?

  10. Dave Escandell 21/12/2010 at 10:39 am #

    One additional point that I would certainly put forward.

    The fact that this occured in London is a point that I would dwell on for a while. London is now a place where there are now a lot of cyclists and other vehicles that use the bus lane. Any driver in London should now actually expect the bus lane to be occupied.

  11. thereverent 21/12/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Bad driving and very difficult for Gaz to spot in that kind or stop-start traffic. I did wonder if the white van had (wrongly) waved the car through (without checking his mirrors).

    The car is turning across three lanes (including the bus lane) so he should have exercised more care.
    Highway Code Rule 180:
    Wait until there is a safe gap between you and any oncoming vehicle. Watch out for cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and other road users.

    I have to disagree with Ian and Henry
    As there were high sided vehicles in the lane next to the bus lane the driver turning would not have been able to see a taxi or motorbike using the bus lane (which would be much faster). Had it been a taxi there would have been a fairly heavy collision, had it been a motorbike it could have been much worse.
    Near my old flat a few months ago there was a similar collision where a vehicle turned right across a bus lane as a motorbike was coming up the road. The motorcyclist was killed.

    • Jules 21/12/2010 at 2:09 pm #

      How can anyone with common sense allow motorbikes to use bus lanes? http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1941

    • eccles 21/12/2010 at 2:54 pm #

      The cyclist is a moron in this example.
      I hope he learned a very valuable lesson from this else wise he won’t be around to post any more youtube videos.
      if it were my car I would be pressing for damages.

      • Jules 21/12/2010 at 5:41 pm #

        LOL! See what we are up against?! eccles we all feel sorry for you; was it a bad childhood that made you so angry?

  12. eccles 21/12/2010 at 2:57 pm #

    “From the video it looks more like he hit the car than the car hit him. Did he not wonder why the traffic to his right had stopped!”

    +1 !.

  13. Dave Escandell 21/12/2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Eccles – exactly what was the cyclist supposed to do?

    The blue vehicle in the side road is in the process of pulling out, Gaz would therefore be concentrating on this vehicle. This is evident by the change of line that Gaz appears to take. Yes he could have slowed down a touch, but I don’t think that I would have done too much different. Unfortunately his change of direction comes almost at the same time as the whte car crosses 3 lanes of traffic.

    If it were your car and you pressed for damages, you’ll be looking at receiving around 30% because you’re more than likely 70% at fault certainly no less than 50% at fault.

  14. ian... 21/12/2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Really glad Gaz is okay, but echoing what some of the others have said, this isn’t the first youtube vid I’ve seen where the cyclist could’ve exercised a bit more caution.

    Shit happens and amongst traffic you have to expect the unexpected – for your own sake as much as anybody elses. That isn’t excusing the driver of course, but passing standing traffic at that speed – what if a pedestrian had been crossing the road and appeared from between the vehicles to step into Gaz’s path?

  15. Mike Smith 21/12/2010 at 11:13 pm #

    “From the video it looks more like he hit the car than the car hit him. Did he not wonder why the traffic to his right had stopped!”

    Legally, the traffic should stop and leave access to the side road clear whether or not anything is waiting to turn in or out.

    The plain fact is that he was on the road with the right of way and the car was completely at fault.

    No amount of ‘he should haves’ can alter that fact.

  16. K 22/12/2010 at 1:38 am #

    All the warning signs were there. Stopped traffic leaving gaps, and at night in the rain you didn’t even slow down? I think the rider has to accept some of the blame here. Sure, the car was probably “legally” in the wrong, but all the warning signs were there that there was something worth seriously slowing down and taking care for.

    I wouldnt be leaving my wellbeing up to others – Id be riding REALLY carefully through a situation like that even in dry daylight conditions.

    Then again, you might be one of those self righteous cyclists who puts a camera on and goes looking for situations like that to vindicate your “rights” and moreso, your opinions.

    Either way, hope noone was seriously hurt, and everyone got on with their lives.

  17. Gaz 22/12/2010 at 3:35 pm #

    It’s very easy for people to watch a video and say ‘I saw that coming, why didn’t he slow down’ I’ve said in various places already that all it takes is an itchy nose or some snow on your glasses and you are distracted. That distraction which may only take your eyes off the road for a split second and can cause you to miss a hazard ahead.
    It’s no uncommon for cyclists to say that, it makes them feel safer as a cyclist thinking that they could avoid this and that they will avoid this every time. I don’t mind people blaming me or thinking that they could avoid this, it’s up to them. But everyone needs to be aware that this can happen to anyone.
    The only way to avoid these incidences 100% of the time is to leave your bike at home.

    • Andreas 01/01/2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Very true Gaz – I’ve had a few close calls where I think “how didn’t I see that?” I find they mostly happen when I’m in a bit of a rush! Which is way too often!

  18. Pete Cruze 22/12/2010 at 3:46 pm #

    No finger pointing, but we all need to learn.

    I think we can see from the video that there is no bus lane where the accident happened. Buses aren’t trams, they don’t have non-stop continuous lanes, just stretches of road where they and usually cycles and taxis are allowed. These don’t often stretch straight across crossroads and other junctions.

    So the police would probably say that when the bus lane ran out at the junction, Gaz was actually undertaking which he is not allowed to do.

    • Dave Escandell 22/12/2010 at 5:11 pm #

      Gaz IS allowed to undertake in this situation. There is no law that prohibits cyclists from filtering. In fact the Highway Code expressly warns motorists that cyclists may well be filtering.

      If this was a junction at a red light, with an ASL, how would teh cyclist be expected to enter the ASL without undertaking?

    • Gaz 22/12/2010 at 5:19 pm #

      Lets also not forget that whilst the painting of the bus lane had stopped, the lane is still there.
      The term undertaking is perhaps used incorrectly. I’m passing stationary traffic which is something you are allowed to do. Passing on the left of moving traffic is something you are not meant to do.

      • pete cruze 28/12/2010 at 2:32 pm #

        True, undertaking was the wrong word. And I think almost everyone on this whole thread accepts that it boils down to the need to take more care at a busy junction, whether you’re a pedestrian, on a pedal bike or motorbike, in a car, van or lorry. Especially with so much traffic obscuring everybody’s vision.

  19. Rory 24/12/2010 at 10:54 am #

    If that had been me I’d have slowed down further – I have been in the exact same situation and not hit (or been hit by!) anyone yet – been very close to it – so I always presume that there’ll be a car pulling across in rush hour traffic and the .

    Gaz, the reason I do this is just that there might be a bit of snow on your goggles, etc. that makes this a very dodgy situation – I consider myself a safely aggressive cyclist in some situations but sometimes like this you gotta play defense.

    Safe cycling and Happy Christmas!

    PS I think the guy pulling a random u-ey on Hi St Ken yesterday deserved the choice words i gave him – my evasive actions saved him ££££ in body work repairs (mine and the cars!).

  20. There is this etiquette drivers have about giving way to right turning vehicles, but drivers who give way need to check their rear and left mirrors to make sure the coast is clear first!

    It’s obvious that the driver giving way and the driver turning right is at fault but this is something that has almost happened to me so many times because friendly drivers who give way don’t check their mirrors. They give way to traffic without thinking a bike or motorcyclist might be undertaking.

    Because of this, it’s really important to slow down if you see gap in traffic alongside you. I have managed to avoid collisions like this countless times.

    Bus lanes are great but its really easy to for your mind to wander as you steam down them on a bike so keep your wits about you! I’m glad the cyclist wasn’t hurt too.

  21. Eric 25/12/2010 at 4:40 pm #

    If I was this cyclist I wouldn’t have posted this video. It plainly shows he should have taken more care. There’s a SIXT van indicating left there’s a car pulling out from the side road and there’s a big gap in the stationary traffic. Cyclist is a plonker like so many other cam wearing young riders who have a lot to learn.

    • Andreas 01/01/2011 at 5:40 pm #

      As Gaz said he probably would have spotted it on another day. I think posting the video is useful for the rest of us with less cycling experience to spot the danger.

  22. Trevor 25/12/2010 at 11:13 pm #

    Of course if you are going to cycle in a “Bus only” lane you need to be aware that other road users are looking out for buses only. We have “bus lanes”, “taxi lanes” and “cars with 3 passengers” lanes but cyclists seem to append the words “and Cycles” to all those. I am sure there would be a hue and cry if an accident was caused by a bus using the cycle path. Why are there insufficient cycle paths, because cyclists in most cases don’t pay any road tax.

    • AdamS 30/12/2010 at 4:29 pm #

      In case you hadn’t noticed (and there’s a sign showing this at 8 seconds into the clip), bus lanes also allow cycles to legally use them, therefore drivers do need to watch out for cyclists!!!!

    • Amoeba 24/01/2011 at 6:25 pm #

      There is a strong likelihood that ‘Trevor’ hasn’t read the highway code, which means if ‘Trevor’ is driving, he’s doing so illegally, because it’s an essential part of the driving test..

  23. Steve 25/12/2010 at 11:42 pm #

    May I point out? for the millionth time that there is NO repeat NO road tax it was abolished by Winston Churchill in 1937. There is a thing called Vehicle Excise Duty which is based on the size, weight etc of motor vehicles. The cost of road building, maintainence etc. is payed out of general taxation. I as a non car owning tax paying cyclist should get a tax rebate for the little impact I have on roads. But do you hear me complaining about it? No

  24. Alex 29/12/2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Sorry to go against the grain but the driver will have had very limited vision of the bus lane as they turned with the cars that are in the way, at that speed the driver could have checked before moving and they still would have collided. You have to give drivers a chance to see you, their view of the road is not as good as ours when cycling.

    • AdamS 30/12/2010 at 4:27 pm #

      If you have very limited vision then you need to proceed with caution which he clearly didn’t do…he had enough time to brake a little but didn’t even appear to notice the cyclist.

  25. thereverent 29/12/2010 at 12:36 pm #

    I don’t think Gaz was going too fast for the conditions, other users of the bus lane (motorbikes, Taxis and Buses would have been going much faster).
    The driver of the Merc was going very fast for turn across three lanes of traffic when you can’t see all of what is coming. If he had gone slower both he and Gaz would have had more tie to react and stop.
    As some people have already said if instead of Gaz coming down the bus lane, there was a Taxi it would have smahed the front of both vehicles.

    It different watching the video at work/home in the warm ad being able to replay it several times. I doubt wheather many of the people who said they woudl have spotted this would have actually managed to in a real situation.

  26. AdamS 30/12/2010 at 4:25 pm #

    If I’d been in the car driver’s position (either in a car or especially on a bike), I would have been acutely conscious that there may be someone filtering in the bus lane and would have proceeded very slowly.

    I’m not afraid to admit (as some other respondants seem to be) that I would have had exactly the same accident as Gaz in that situation, and I glad he posted that video as it has made me more aware of this kind of risk!

  27. el-gordo 01/01/2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Cheers for posting the video. Irrespective of who is technically ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ an accident happened and if this can help raise awareness then it could help avoid a potentially more serious issue in the future.

    Personally I have to say I would probably have slowed down going into that junction, due to the fact that there was a gap in the traffic that I couldn’t see through. I ride watching over/through traffic for this sort of stuff and if my visibility is restricted I will tend to slow up a bit to give me more time. The fact that it is your right of way is somewhat irrelevant if you end up on the bonnet of a car.

    Finally @ Trevor – the reason cyclists tend to append the word ‘cyclist’ to those lanes is because they are specifically and legally allowed to use them. In this instance you can clearly see that it is a bus/cycle lane on the sign that is passed on the video. Drivers therefore need to watch out for buses, cyclists, taxis etc. Don’t need to repeat the idiotic road tax comment as that has been covered.

    • Andreas 01/01/2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Videos like this definitely push the point home to watch out for dangerous scenarios. I think often that’s something you only normally learn with time.

  28. Cycle Maximus 01/01/2011 at 8:22 pm #

    What happened here was a cyclist hit a car. He was riding recklessly. Overtaking on the inside is dangerous and a bit of red and white paint doesn’t magically make it safe. The white van is a significant hazard, the side road also a hazard. The cyclist should have slowed down and been able to stop in time.

    • Andreas 02/01/2011 at 12:51 pm #

      Cycle Maximus you must remember he was cycling in a bus lane. A cyclist is like any road user. Replace the cyclists in the video with a taxi or a bus and you wouldn’t say he was overtaking on the inside.

      • Cycle Maximus 02/01/2011 at 3:34 pm #

        As I said “Overtaking on the inside is dangerous and a bit of red and white paint doesn’t magically make it safe”. I don’t limit my comments to just cycles. A cycle is a vehicle like any other and should behave responsibly. Even if the road system encourages bad and dangerous behaviour. It’s very foolish to overtake at speed past two hazards. I find this automatic support of cyclists by other cyclist repugnant and divisive.

        Absurd bus lanes and advance stop lines encourage bad behaviour in buses and cyclists. You have only to look with open eyes and you will see.

        • Jules 07/01/2011 at 5:08 pm #

          Cycle Maximus the cyclist was NOT “overtaking on the inside”! The highway code states that you can pass vehicles on your right if your lane is moving faster than the adjacent lane on the right. But this situation is not two lanes of traffic with one moving faster than the other because the inside lane is a bus lane. The bus lane is created to keep it’s users (buses, taxi’s, cyclists and now motorcyclists) flowing when other road users are bumper to bumper. Please explain to us all how ASL encourage bad behavior? Do you mean car drivers ignoring them?

          You said “I find this automatic support of cyclists by other cyclist repugnant and divisive.” You mean just like motorist support each other?! Cyclists have shared experience of repeatedly being bullied or intimidated by motorists.

          I let my cycle experience influence my driving and my driving experience influence my cycling.

          Most cyclist also drive but the same cannot be said for drivers.

  29. Nick B 03/01/2011 at 2:38 pm #

    The cyclist should have been proceeding with caution … already there was a huge risk of the car on the left pulling out. The fact that he couldn’t see through the van and there was a gap should have been warning enough. I would be claiming against the cyclist if I was the driver.

    • Dave Escandell 03/01/2011 at 6:47 pm #

      Nick, the likelyhood is that if the driver made a claim against the cyclist, he would almost certainly recover between 50 and 30 percent of any damage.

      The cyclist here, with a cycling specialist lawyer, should therefore recover 50 – 70 percent.

  30. botogol 07/01/2011 at 12:02 pm #

    he was going too fast – - note that there was also a car on the left, clearly visible, edging OUT from the side road, hoping to turn right on to the min road through the gap. that was another hint for cyclist to slow down…. instead he swerves gently to the right to go past it at full speed.

    • Gaz 07/01/2011 at 12:32 pm #

      If you think that was fast, perhaps you should watch a few of my other videos.
      I have no problem hitting +30mph on the flat and my crusing speed is just above 20mph.
      In this clip i was going 15mph, quite clearly taking it slower in the conditions.

      As i have said before, it’s easy to see the incident comming when watching the video but you miss lots of things when on the road. At some point you will miss something fairly major, something you wouldn’t normally miss, and it will result in either a close call or you getting hit. That happens as a fact of life, i just hope that A. you don’t get too badly hurt B. You don’t get lots of people telling you they would have done better.

  31. Dave Escandell 07/01/2011 at 3:14 pm #

    agree with Gaz, none of us are perfect, and 15mph is well within what I would call reasonable and cautious.

    If that was any other vehicle nobody would be claiming 15mph was too fast.

    Why should we as cyclists have to come to a virtualy stop each and every time somebody else does something? In my own opinion, that is not having a right to share the road.

    I believe that looking at this video, I would have probably acted the same way. I would have noted the vehicle exiting from the side road, made eye contact, noted it had seen me and stopped, altered my line slightly…………….. almost at the immediate same time as another vehicle crosses the path of others and into me.

  32. Jules 07/01/2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I still don’t get how the cyclist can be held responsible at all.

    The car is turning right, crossing the cyclists direction of travel. The cyclist is just going forward, not changing his principle direction or or turning to cross across the cars direction i.e. the car turned to cross the cyclist’s route and not the other way around.

    Speaking from a car driver’s point of view, if I am driving and I was waiting to turn right in heavy traffic like this and I saw the dark car edge forward (an action that made the cyclist veer slightly to his right) I would take it as a sign that dark car driver with a better view up the bus lane (my view is blocked by the van) had thought it was clear to pull out encouraging me to also start my maneuver to turn. Only I would edge forward to check it was clear.

    Saying the cyclist was going too fast is ridiculous! Imagine if every car driver slowed to less than 15mph every time they crossed a junction even when it was their right of way?!

    However I think it is plain to see why there has been an increase in accidents involving motorcycles in bus lanes since TfL allowed motorbikes to use bus lanes; they often rattle up the bus lanes at great speed relative to everyone else (lucky them!)

    The sad bottom line is that cyclist’s are at the bottom of the pecking order on the road especially in a city like London. They have to ride very defensively at ALL times especially in dark and/or wet conditions and also when traffic is heavy (because driving in London is such a dog eat dog situation and very frustrating; drivers often need to drive forcefully or quickly to make or use gaps in the traffic.)

  33. botogol 10/01/2011 at 8:56 am #

    shrug….. if Gaz amakes a habit of cycling like that, I suspect he’s going to have a lot of accidents that are ‘someone else’s fault’.

    the problem is, as a cyclist, it’s not really very important whose fault it is, either way you’re the person likely to come out of the collision worse.

  34. Steve 12/01/2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Dear Gaz,

    I hope you’ve learnt a very valuable lesson by posting your video. There is no fathoming human stupidity or malevolence as some of the comments on this thread will attest (you know who you are). I suggest you get a helmet and a kevlar body suit plus X-ray vision.

  35. Vix 01/02/2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi everyone. I found this thread through a spot of Googling after something incredibly similar happened to me. Except I was the driver, and it was one of London’s Super Cycle Highways, not a bus lane. It was the evening rush hour, it was dark and a snow/sleet storm had just hit SW London. Visibility was dreadful and everyone (drivers, cyclists, pedestrians) seemed to be in that ‘just need to get home’ mind-set. In an ironic twist I was actually giving my friend a lift home, with her bike in the boot, because of the awful conditions. She’s an experienced cyclist / triathlete so knows a thing or two about how to handle bad traffic but things were pretty bad out there.

    Anyway, I was waiting to turn right, into a side street, through virtually stationary traffic. As soon as someone let me go I started to edge forward. I knew there was a cycle lane there so crept forward, actually saying out loud to my friend ‘sorry, just need to check for cycli….’, I barely finished my sentence and there was a cyclist, on my bonnet. An awful, heart stopping moment.

    Thank God he was ok. Amazingly his bike too. But here’s the thing, he was going down a slight hill, in heavy snow and sleet, in the dark, at a high speed, in heavy traffic, past a junction. He admitted to me he was going too fast for his brakes to work in such conditions, and actually asked if my car was ok. (Bless!) A passer-by stopped to see if everyone was ok, and hit the nail on the head saying ‘it was just an accident, absolutely no-one’s fault’.

    Yes, the cyclist could’ve gone at a more condition-appropriate speed, but I’m sure he’s learned his lesson there. Thankfully, because I was only edging into the cycle lane he hit the softer bit of my car (if there is one) and so was unharmed. The accident left all involved very shaken up, but in the full knowledge that it was just that, an accident. I’m so grateful to the cyclist for his honesty and understanding of the situation. I think what shook him up as well was when I pointed out that lots of pedestrians were walking between the stationary cars to cross the road, and thank God he hadn’t hit one of them. At the speed he was going he really could’ve killed someone (not that I mentioned that to the poor guy!)

    As for the incident above, the white vehicle was obviously turning without even considering the bus lane; no edging out there. He certainly should’ve been more cautious. Maybe Gaz could’ve gone slower and anticipated the car, but who knows.

    As everyone’s ok – let’s just hope the driver has learned something from the experience; that Gaz carries on being alert to such hazards, if not even more so for the fright he got; and that we all learn that in these situations there is rarely a black and white argument. We just learn as we go and hope we all get through it intact.

  36. Vix 01/02/2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Sh*t, that was a long post. Sorry.

  37. Mr Jon 03/02/2011 at 5:00 pm #

    One of my neighbours was knocked off his motorbike on the New Kent Road (approaching the Elephant roundabout) in a scenario very similar to this. Luckily he was only pootling along so wasn’t bad injured.

    After being knocked off he went into the nearest shop (a Kwik Fit) for help. As soon as the guy in there saw him, he said ‘Been knocked of your bike?’ ‘Yup, how did you know?’ said my neighbour, ‘We see someone in here every few weeks.’

    There are these blind spots that car drivers take a chance on and…

  38. Issacc 31/03/2011 at 6:52 pm #

    This is something I’ve only experienced in London as before I was in a town when I was never as fast as the cars due to lack of traffic.

    I’ve nearly come a cropper a few times in exactly this situaiton and every time I’m pissed at myself as I’m not spotting the situation (yet).

    I think it’s a bit of both. Cyclists need to be aware BUT if it had been a motorbike then I don’t think we’d even be asking who was a fault… right?

  39. Gary 07/04/2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi
    Thought I would share my experience, which, thankfully ended well.

    Gaz, first of all, glad to hear and see that you are OK.

    Top of my road, large roundabout. 1 lane North and South, 2 lanes from East to West.
    I was stopped behind a car, I sense another car stop behind me in the queue. The car in front goes. I am now at the line, the car behind me thinks I have gone and goes into the back of me.
    My bike is ruined, back wheel 90 degree bend, rear stay buckled. I, thankfully don’t have a scratch on me.
    Calmly (which is unheard of for me), I take an image of his car, including number plate, take his name and address and telephone number. Turns out he lives just by me.

    I invite him over for a coffee to discuss and show him the bike. I mention that I don’t have a car and that this is my mode of transport.
    Advise him that I have seen a new Langster and I am going to buy it today as I need a bike to get to work.

    The guy writes me a cheque for the full amount, there and then, in my garden.

    Goes to show that there are still some decent people out there.

    • Gaz 07/04/2011 at 11:24 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your accident Gary but glad to hear that you where all good.
      Sometimes you do get a nice fella. It’s cool that you lived near by and where able to discus it over a hot brew. Nice result for you as well.
      Safe cycling!

  40. Vladimir 21/10/2011 at 5:21 pm #

    I cannot see he video…
    Is there another link to it?

  41. Steve 21/10/2011 at 10:33 pm #

    I can’t see video either I get a This video is private box instead

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