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Drivers In The Dock airs at 8pm tonight, repeated in early hours of Monday

A programme on ITV1 this evening called Drivers in the Dock poses the question: “On the UK's roads the car is king, but with thousands of collisions between cars and bicycles each year, is it time cyclists were better protected?”

In the show, which airs across all regions from 8pm-8.30pm, presenter Fiona Foster reports on proposals to increase cylists’ safety, including the call for a no-fault liability scheme to be implemented which we have previously reported on here at road.cc.

It might sound from the teaser that this show is going to take a more balanced approach from the usual us-versus-them them tabloid TV formula, which usually leans towards the motorists side. We certainly hope it is, but although we haven't seen the show we have some doubts.

For a start, as we reported last month, a film crew for the show was out on the streets of Cambridge recently when police were conducting a crackdown on anti-social cycling in the city, just days after an alleged bike rage incident there.

And we also know that an ITV researcher posted on the Autocar forum to try to get drivers to come forward and take part in the show. To be fair, once it turned out a few cyclists were following the thread, she asked for their views too. For the most part, our four-wheeled friends saw the invitation to participate as the set-up it was, and politely declined to participate.

Let's not pre-judge things though, the show also goes to the Netherlands to look at why the Dutch many to combine such a high proportion of journeys by bicycle with such a low casualty rate for cyclists and the CTC's Chris Peck talks to a panel of celebs about cycling. Oh, and they send Quentin Wilson out riding around London on a bike to see if it changes his opinion of cyclists… it's probably worth watching just for that. For full details check out the ITV website.

For those unable to catch the programme this evening, it will be repeated on Monday at 3.30am, although given the time, that might be one to record on the PVR , or VCR if you’re still using videotape.

We're checking whether it will also be available to watch on the catch-up service on the ITV.com website and will let you know once we hear from them.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

12 comments

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londoncyclist [13 posts] 6 years ago
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Hmmm, here's to hoping its better than the cheap bikes on watchdog! At least cycling is hitting the mainsteam media agenda, I think that's definitely a good thing.

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 6 years ago
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Pity I'll miss it at that time slot as I'll be getting my sons off to bed. But I'd be interested to hear what it was like.

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jobysp [143 posts] 6 years ago
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I've just Sky +d it from my phone incase I miss it.

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 6 years ago
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jobysp wrote:

I've just Sky +d it from my phone incase I miss it.

Reading this on way into Oxford to go to the cinema and realised I forgot to set this to record.

Oh well, it's not the end of the world. Mind you, the film we're going to see is 2012, so maybe it is  4

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TiNuts [97 posts] 6 years ago
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What an utterly useless program. I should really count to 10 (or maybe 1000) before posting, but really - it was atrocious. I think the thing that most sticks in my mind is the London cabbie (no surprises there, then) who clearly thought it was the cyclist's fault if he drove into a door that had been opened in his path by an idiot motorist. The program conveniently failed to mention that it is actually illegal to open one's car door in the face of oncoming traffic.

Aaaaaarrrrrgh!

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dave atkinson [6246 posts] 6 years ago
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well, i watched it. and despite being convinced i was going to have to turn it off before i threw the remote through the telly, i didn't think it was that bad. okay there was a heavy dose of pantomime but generally it was a more balanced view than i expected. from the channel that brought us the X factor

there's still a lot of misunderstanding about the role of automatic liability though, and the prog didn't exactly help to clear those muddy waters. i did feel like shouting at the screen at that point: look, it's really, really simple: in accidents between motor vehicles and bikes where there are no witnesses the cyclist is always – ALWAYS – the one that comes off worse. therefore the burden of proof should lie with the driver. Where there are witnesses, nothing changes. is it really so hard to understand? the same should apply to bikes hitting pedestrians, and artics hitting cars. it's just common sense, the natural order of things.

what did the panel think?

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cactuscat [284 posts] 6 years ago
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TiNuts - you've got to expect the cab driver that they've selected from all the cabbies that wanted to appear to be an arse of the highest order

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 6 years ago
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Yes, it was a lot better than I thought it would be, though it did remind me how little information you need to fill a TV programme.

And I'd like to think that none of the three featured accidents would happen to me. In the first one I would have been out in front of the moving car well before I needed to pull out to get past the parked car. In the second I would have been overtaking on the right, not going up the left. And I would have avoided the third because I leave a gap of at least a metre between me and parked cars. I have a metal plate in my wrist to remind me how dangerous cycling close to parked cars is. (I hit a dog which ran out from behind a parked car, and went over my handlebars.)

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TiNuts [97 posts] 6 years ago
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Ha ha! Yes, cactuscat, you may well have a good point there. In fact, I think my cat agrees with you. But that nonsense about car drivers rear-ending cyclists who suddenly swerve out in front of them to overtake parked cars....WTF? And cyclists who "undertake" motorists who are already indicating to turn left...I'm sure most of us would agree that it is motorists who pass us and then immediately turn left without any consideration for our right to unimpeded progress down the highway that is the problem. All, of course, not mentioned in the prog and, apparently, not by any of the cycling representatives present. Maybe I should blame it on the edit.....

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Barry Fry-up [187 posts] 6 years ago
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heh. nice to see the classic panel make up: four reasonable people on either side of the argument and one giant anus flinging nonsense over the fence from each camp.

honestly, on one hand we've got the cabbie, we know what to expect from him. but that scouse drink of water, what's up with him? ride down the inside of a car indicating left and you get what's coming to you. man up and admit that he's in the wrong instead of wringing your hands and going on about mutual respect and trying to blame the driver for going where he said he was going to go. TiNuts is right, the main issue with left turns is that it happens the other way round: car overtakes cyclist, turns left into cyclist.

I thought the two illustrations summed up quite nicely the reason for automatic liability. a cabbie who could have lost his no-claims bonus - gasp! - and a father and husband who lost his life. who should we protect?

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Denzil Dexter [140 posts] 6 years ago
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missed it… and yet

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London Commuter [8 posts] 6 years ago
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Just for info the English guy living in the Netherlands who was interviewed has quite an interesting blog about how they do things over there here: http://hembrow.blogspot.com/