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Newspapers ask whether driver or cyclist was at fault

A London cyclist has posted a video to Twitter and appealed for help after being involved in a collision at a junction. Twitter user BrokenLegs says that the driver involved failed to stop and has asked for help identifying them.

In the helmet cam footage, the cyclist is approaching a side road when a Volkswagen Polo coming from the opposite direction turns across his path.

Cars travelling in the same direction as the cyclist partly obscure the car until it is too late. He collides with the side of it and we see the bike fly into the air as he falls.

There are a few groans and it is a good few seconds before the cyclist starts to pick himself up.

Both The Sun and The Mail have run the video asking which party was in the wrong.

There has also been a lively response to the video on Twitter with some users questioning whether the rider should have been cycling more cautiously in the circumstances.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

57 comments

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psling [275 posts] 1 year ago
22 likes

Irrespective of fault, the driver failed to stop and exchange details and, it would appear, failed to report an accident where injury was likely to have happened.

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racyrich [308 posts] 1 year ago
10 likes

Hard to see how anyone other than the motorist is wrong.

 

If the vehicle in the bus lane had been a bus, would anyone seriously say the bus was in the wrong.

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MikeOnABike [105 posts] 1 year ago
14 likes

No one is technically a fault. The cars had stopped with room for the silver car to make it's turn. The driver of the silver car was unsighted as was the cyclist, by the same black car.

As a vulnerable road user I always slow down in instances like this, it's called commen sense. 

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STiG911 [289 posts] 1 year ago
12 likes

Hmm. I know it's a nice empty bus lane but I'd say he's going a bit too fast given that it's cold, damp and therefore slippery, and he's not factored in a big enough safety margin which is  demonstrated by the collision occuring in the first place.

That said, psling is bang on stating that the driver failed to stop. I'm not going to look for any comments elsewhere as they're bound to be filled with 'Drivers' using this as a case for cyclists to be insured

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hoffbrandm [40 posts] 1 year ago
30 likes

The cyclist SHOULD have taken more care at the junction to go slower (and I'm sure he will be from now on)

The Driver MUST not cross a lane of traffic unless it is clear to do so.

The Cyclist could have avoided it, but its still legally its the drivers fault

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Duncann [1213 posts] 1 year ago
17 likes
MikeOnABike wrote:

No one is technically a fault. The cars had stopped with room for the silver car to make it's turn. The driver of the silver car was unsighted as was the cyclist, by the same black car.

As a vulnerable road user I always slow down in instances like this, it's called commen sense. 

Totally disagree.

If you drive you car (or ride your bike) across the opposite lane when you cannot see that it is safe to proceed then you are at fault. This driver was totally at fault.

I am extra careful in these situations too - because I know drivers are at fault for doing this kind of thing and being legally right while dead or seriously injured isn't much compensation.

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Duncann [1213 posts] 1 year ago
14 likes
hoffbrandm wrote:

The cyclist SHOULD have taken more care at the junction to go slower (and I'm sure he will be from now on)

The Driver MUST not cross a lane of traffic unless it is clear to do so.

The Cyclist could have avoided it, but its still legally its the drivers fault

"Should" and "must" are usefully distinct terms - you'll find them in legal practice advice. And your use of them is absolutely correct too, IMO.

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srchar [736 posts] 1 year ago
11 likes
MikeOnABike wrote:

No one is technically a fault. The cars had stopped with room for the silver car to make it's turn. The driver of the silver car was unsighted as was the cyclist, by the same black car.

Nope, the driver of the silver car is at fault. If you're driving a bus rather than riding a bike, and someone flashes a car into the junction across your path, leading to a collision, is that nobody's fault also?

Just because the cyclist could have avoided the collision by riding more defensively, pulling a Sagan or wearing a very tall hat, doesn't make it his fault.

The cyclist rode at speed along a slippery bus lane without slowing down for the gap in traffic at the junction, which is an indicator that something is about to cross the lane. Careless, but not at fault. The driver turned across a lane while unable to see traffic in that lane, causing a collision. This means that it is 100% the driver's fault.

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ChrisB200SX [623 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

Driver was entirely at fault, anybody who doesn't realise this shouldn't be on the roads.

8 or 9 seconds into the video you can see the Polo carry on down the road, didn't even frickin stop! Looks like she might have had her kids in the car too.

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IanW1968 [357 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Aero wheels on a commuter!

 

Not how I would have ridden through that junction but still the drivers fault all day long. 

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jollygoodvelo [1691 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
hoffbrandm wrote:

The cyclist SHOULD have taken more care at the junction to go slower (and I'm sure he will be from now on)

The Driver MUST not cross a lane of traffic unless it is clear to do so.

The Cyclist could have avoided it, but its still legally its the drivers fault

This is my position too.  The driver had restricted vision because of the other cars so should have been going much slower, and the cyclist should have recognised the risk and slowed too.

Hope the cyclist recovers well.

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djpalmer32 [91 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I think there is an element of 50/50 here. Both the cyclist and the driver are unsighted by the black car. The cyclists makes no effort to slow down as he approaches the junction, neither does the driver make any effort to creep forward ensuring that the bus lane is free of traffic.

Having said that the driver does need finding  as she has clearly broken the law by failing to stop.

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richardint [3 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

It's interesting from a cycling security standpoint. Of course the driver was in the wrong legally, but:

- the cyclist didn't seem to slow down

- the cyclist seemingly made no attempt to swerve to avoid the car

 

However wrong the driver was, it's the cyclists' bones...

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Chuck [590 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
djpalmer32 wrote:

I think there is an element of 50/50 here. Both the cyclist and the driver are unsighted by the black car. 

Yeah, but only one of them is turning across a lane of traffic when they can't see.

 

I think hoffbrandm nails it. The cyclist could have done more to keep himself safe but the driver caused the accident. 

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therevokid [1017 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

isn't the Polo's number plate captured ???

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brooksby [2919 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
djpalmer32 wrote:

...  neither does the driver make any effort to creep forward ensuring that the bus lane is free of traffic.

Exactly.  They were assuming it was clear because someone had slowed, left a gap and waved them through.  But it is still their responsibility to check that the lane they are crossing (the bus lane) is actually free of other road users.

(Next time they do this, they might just get t-boned by a double-decker bus...)

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handlebarcam [1082 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

The crash is society's fault for making it acceptable to litter the place up with so many metal boxes on wheels, typically with only one or two of the seats filled, that people can't see each other sufficiently to manoeuvre safely.

Driving off not knowing whether a man you've hit accidentally is dead or dying, that's the fault of the scumbag in the VW. Should be banned for life for that, and that alone.

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Hipshot [61 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Hard to see how this is a debate. Drivers fault. Cyclist had right of way. End of discussion.

The fact that the car didn't stop kind of gives the game away, does it not?

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MuddyGoose [53 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Just wondering how long we would expect the car driver to wait for?  If this is typical commuter traffic (I don't know this road personally) then he/she might be sat there waiting to turn right for up to or beyond an hour before the traffic clears sufficiently to be able to spot a cyclist in the 'hidden' bus lane.  That's clearly not practical.

Clearly the driver should have stopped and checked on the cyclist.

I also think the cyclist should take more responsiblity for his own safety.

Oh, and a bus is a bit more visible than a cyclist.

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rliu [123 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

There have been cases in this kind of scenario where liability has been split. It depends on visibility and if there were other risky/careless manoeuvres before the collision. But the majority fault has usually attached to the party performing the turn.
Either way, not stopping after an accident and exchanging details is a criminal offence. But this is all legal/enemies of the people territory to the Sun and Mail so unsurprisingly they didn't care.

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oozaveared [937 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

It's a pretty simple one really.  The motorist is legally in the wrong. 

1  They pulled across a carriageway into the path of oncoming traffic and caused a collision

2 They left the scene without exchanging details (an offence in its own right regardless of liability for the collision)

The rider is not technically to blame for the collision. He was legally entitled to ride at that speed in that lane.  But he was not riding as safely as he could.  There is a turning, there is stationary traffic. There's a reasonable chance of oncoming traffic on the other side turning right. 

I would have approached a scene with this much congestion with more care.  And have been known to have a little stand on the pedals for a better view over the traffic and to be seen. 

The driver need prosecuting.  There are careless drivers out there.  You need to ride in a way that means your safety is in your hands as far as possible not in theirs.

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japes [83 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

reg looks like ST04 LCG to me, & DVLA tax checker says that reg belongs to a grey VW. 

 

difficult to tell though.

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pjs_hull [9 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The exact same thing happened to me, I don't remember it apart from what the police told me after speaking to witnesses - the said the driver was to totally to blame and had to attend a driving course or face prosecution

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allgearnoidea [58 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

vw should have edged out first, totally at faul... how fast was the cyclist was tanking it down the bus lane for that kind of collision? epic bike throw!

 

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gazpacho [112 posts] 1 year ago
12 likes

Driver in the wrong... they should have known it was a Strava segment.

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Duncann [1213 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes
MuddyGoose wrote:

Just wondering how long we would expect the car driver to wait for?

Until it was safe to proceed...?

 

MuddyGoose wrote:

If this is typical commuter traffic (I don't know this road personally) then he/she might be sat there waiting to turn right for up to or beyond an hour

That's almost certainly untrue since:

1. it's a bus, cycle and possibly taxi lane. The whole point of it is to exclude most traffic and it's unlikely that buses, taxis and cycles are going to be a constant stream. Even if there were sufficient numbers of them, then junctions and traffic lights break up the flow and create gaps; and

2. If there was SO much traffic then it would slow down, back up and leave gaps at junctions - just as the cars on the right had.

You seem to be suggesting that it's OK to just pile through a gap even if you can't see what's coming just because you're bored waiting. Sadly, it's the kind of defence that might work if you only hit a cyclist....

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srchar [736 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
MuddyGoose wrote:

Just wondering how long we would expect the car driver to wait for?  If this is typical commuter traffic (I don't know this road personally) then he/she might be sat there waiting to turn right for up to or beyond an hour before the traffic clears sufficiently to be able to spot a cyclist in the 'hidden' bus lane.  That's clearly not practical.

Clearly the driver should have stopped and checked on the cyclist.

I also think the cyclist should take more responsiblity for his own safety.

Oh, and a bus is a bit more visible than a cyclist.

Nobody's arguing that the driver should sit their waiting until the entire road clears, that's a complete straw man.

The driver did however proceed across the lane far too quickly. It should have been a tortoise-like creep, which would have resulted in brown pants for the cyclist, but nothing more serious.

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Bigdai100 [6 posts] 1 year ago
8 likes

Firstly the fault for the collision is entirely with the driver, he must not cross a line of traffic unless it is clear to do so. Secondly, the driver has committed a more serious offence (in law) by failing to stop. 

That said, there is a big and painful difference between being 100% in the right and how we should ride in an enviroment like this. Anyone who riden in busy traffic has experienced something like this. We can argue it shouldn't happen but it does and we need to be aware that it might and learn to read the tell tale signs and ride accordingly. 

I will not filter past queuing traffic (left or right) at full speed, I will take much more care as I approach junctions. I will read the signs that motor traffic is being considerate to other road users and letting them through. The car emerging from the side road  is another threat in that clip too and he is closing on that bus pretty fast.  Default position with queuing traffic is expect something to turn and ride defensively within your vision scope. 

The graveyard is full of cyclists who were 100% in the right

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bendertherobot [1494 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
japes wrote:

reg looks like ST04 LCG to me, & DVLA tax checker says that reg belongs to a grey VW. 

 

difficult to tell though.

That appears to be a Golf.

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bendertherobot [1494 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Does the driver of the BMW ever get out?

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