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Video shows careless pass

In another case where a rider’s helmet cam has provided vital evidence against a careless motorist, a Reading bus driver has been disciplined after hitting a cyclist in the town centre.

Richard Black, 33, was riding down Reading’s St Mary’s Butts when the driver of a Thames Travel 144 bus attempted to pass him just as the road narrowed.

He told GetReading: “After turning on to St Mary’s Butts, the 144 bus attempted to pass me on the right hand side and did not complete the manoeuvre before the road gets very narrow as the restricted entry section begins.

“I braced myself assuming the bus would then carry on down the road towards the next set of traffic lights but to my surprise it actually pulled into a bus stop, trapping my bike against the kerb and the bus and eventually hitting me. You can hear this moment clearly on the video.”

Passengers on the bus can be seen looking concerned and bystanders check Richard is all right after he is hit.

“I dismounted my bicycle and walked up to the driver and opened the door to make him aware that he had hit me.

“I was greeted with a rather muted apology and the claim he ‘didn’t see me’.

“I suppose the other option is that he did see me and decide to pull over anyway.

“If this had happened at a number of other locations I could have been trapped against a wall or barrier on the roadside. I wouldn’t have escaped with only a bruised arm.”

Thames Travel apologised to Richard for distress caused by the incident.

In statement to the Reading Post, Thames Travel general manager Adrian Tullett said: “We set the highest standards of safety and driving for our colleagues and as a result of the incident involving Mr Black a full inquiry was conducted and the driver was disciplined.”

Last week a bus driver in Harlow was sacked for using a mobile device at the wheel after being caught on a cyclist's helmet cam video. 

 

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

34 comments

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thelimopit [139 posts] 2 years ago
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Ah, the girl asking if he was "all right" is proof that there are still nice people in the world.

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Carl [136 posts] 2 years ago
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> he ‘didn’t see me’

So the driver is either blind (unfit to drive) or not looking where he was going (ditto), and he keeps his job and his driving license.

Priceless.

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alronald [58 posts] 2 years ago
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The worried faces of the passengers and bystanders says it all. Glad you're OK Richard and glad this didn't happen in Scotland where no doubt the driver's actions would be put down to a "momentary inattention" and deemed not to be a danger to other drivers.

No doubt the Daily Fail will use the excuse of the helmetless cyclist seen cycling across the road on to the pavement at the beginning of the clip to turn this into another anti-cycling rant though

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Condor Andy [204 posts] 2 years ago
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'Didn't see him' - look in your mirrors then you twat!

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RBlack101 [1 post] 2 years ago
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Hi, This is my video.

I did get a bruise on my arm, it really wasn't very big, and was caused by my skin being pinched against the side of the bus as I was wearing a t shirt.

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bendertherobot [964 posts] 2 years ago
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Good to see you're ok. I can never decide whether the deliberate or oblivious close passes are worse.

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Sudor [186 posts] 2 years ago
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Driver lives on another planet

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zanf [814 posts] 2 years ago
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RBlack101: Glad to see that you werent hurt but I have some questions that are not answered by the video.

It looks like a helmet mounted camera but shows no indication of any movement to check over your shoulder. Did you check over your shoulder to see what was behind you?

If you did, and also saw the road narrowing, why did you not take the road by assuming primary position?

When I see videos like this, I cant help but wonder why people still ride in a position where they are no more than a metre away from the kerb. Dont get me wrong, Im no integrationist but you need to assert your space or vehicles will squash you further into the gutter, intentionally or not.

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mrchrispy [444 posts] 2 years ago
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1st person to post that you are okay so whats the problem get a kick in the balls  16

Had this before where you have close call and the driver just seems to think its okay as you are not dead!!!

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Simon E [2654 posts] 2 years ago
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“I was greeted with a rather muted apology and the claim he ‘didn’t see me’."

That manoeuvre is not merely careless, it's outrageous. If he'd said that to me I would have gone apoplectic. You were in front, he saw you allright, it's HI F*CKING JOB to make sure he sees you!

Richard, at least you weren't hurt, that could have been a lot worse. This incident should be reported to the police, regardless of whether they want to do anything about it.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:

When I see videos like this, I cant help but wonder why people still ride in a position where they are no more than a metre away from the kerb. Dont get me wrong, Im no integrationist but you need to assert your space or vehicles will squash you further into the gutter, intentionally or not.

Well, I thought he was a bit close to the parked cars and kerbs too, but that is what some places still teach you to do and it absolutely does NOT excuse bad drivers overtaking where there is blatently not space to do so. That bus driver should have some stronger sanction than an internal company disciplinary: points on the licence, perhaps?

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rogie40 [31 posts] 2 years ago
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Mate,from the moment he over-took you at the bus stop you surely should have started thinking about braking.It's not difficult to see the situation that was looming ahead of you and although you can say "Oh look everyone , I was in the right" it's a bit late when you get squished by a motor vehicle. We all know that the motorist will only get a slap on the wrist.
These helmet cams can lead you into a false sense of security,just look after youselves out there, because the law won't!

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zanf [814 posts] 2 years ago
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a.jumper wrote:

Well, I thought he was a bit close to the parked cars and kerbs too, but that is what some places still teach you to do and it absolutely does NOT excuse bad drivers overtaking where there is blatently not space to do so. That bus driver should have some stronger sanction than an internal company disciplinary: points on the licence, perhaps?

My comment was in no way any kind of victim blaming, and as I said, Im no integrationist but until we get the shitty infrastructure changed in the UK, we might well have to ride in a manner where vehicle drivers think we're deliberately getting in their way.

I have said this a few times to drivers when a 'conflict' has occurred: "Do you think Im riding in a manner deliberately trying to annoy you or in a way to protect myself?"

Living in London where all of the streets are ancient with the exception of the Victorian thoroughfares, vehicles such as buses will just go for gaps that do not exist so I cycle in a way to completely shut them (the gaps) down.

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Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 2 years ago
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Poor driving from the bus driver pure and simple. Glad that you are OK.

I see plenty of this in London. As zanf says, look over your shoulder and make sure you know what is coming and react to ride safely. If you know that you are nearing a bus stop and there is a bus behind you either speed up and move out to take road position, or slow down and allow it to pass. Make it easy for the driver to know what course of action.

Riding buses in central London you can see the indecision of the drivers at times. They are under time constraints and don't know whether to speed up to over take or slow down and sit behind the bike. It's not so much that they are always so much in a hurry, but that it can be hard to judge the rate of over taking compared to a car - they're longer and don't accelerate as fast. Sometimes I see them sit behind a cyclist, and it takes them so long you know that they had wished they had overtaken. I'm not excusing what he did, but if you understand the beast you know how to deal with it. We all make bad decisions from time to time, and if you give a driver the opportunity to make one, eventually he will....

If you take up prime road position buses will not mow you down - in fact, if you hog the middle of the road you are probably as safe as you can get. The competition for the left-hand side with buses and taxis make it a hazardous place indeed.

For my own part I made a bad decision a few weeks ago where I overtook a bus that had just pulled out from a stop. Little did I know that his route was an immediate right into Chingford station. I could have been mince meat but for on-coming traffic.

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Jack Osbourne snr [428 posts] 2 years ago
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Richard, ultimately we are seeing some very poor driving on the part of the bus driver and I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of that.
I encounter this sort of issue regularly and I'm afraid to say it presents you with a choice whereby you can either modify your riding style or run the risk of this happening again and again.
Taking the road (primary position)discourages overtaking in situations like this, but it cannot deal with the inevitable lunatic. In all situations where a hazard presented by changes in road layout occurs you should ALWAYS be ready to take evasive action.
Without trying to sound critical, I have to ask why on earth did you attempt to enter the narrowing alongside the bus?

Also +1 to what Colin says.

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Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 2 years ago
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Jack Osbourne snr wrote:

Taking the road (primary position)discourages overtaking in situations like this, but it cannot deal with the inevitable lunatic. In all situations where a hazard presented by changes in road layout occurs you should ALWAYS be ready to take evasive action.

I get the impression with public transport that they won't directly run you over, but if you are hogging the left-hand side of the road they panic and are more likely to knock you off - so I would definitely recommend taking lane position with a bus.

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mrmo [2069 posts] 2 years ago
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about the not looking over shoulders on occasion, i know what is behind, you can tell from engine note and how loud, and behave accordingly.

But yes, don't ever give the motorist an opportunity to overtake if you don't think it is safe for them to do so.

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Jack Osbourne snr [428 posts] 2 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Jack Osbourne snr wrote:

Taking the road (primary position)discourages overtaking in situations like this, but it cannot deal with the inevitable lunatic. In all situations where a hazard presented by changes in road layout occurs you should ALWAYS be ready to take evasive action.

I get the impression with public transport that they won't directly run you over, but if you are hogging the left-hand side of the road they panic and are more likely to knock you off - so I would definitely recommend taking lane position with a bus.

Come to Glasgow and test that theory Colin! They really don't care here!
Seriously though, bus stops are the goal and attention draw for bus drivers... Everything else can merge into nothing for them. I've had buses attempt to get to stops across lanes by going right through me because they've not seen me or my lights or my bright clothing or my primary road position in the middle of the inside lane of two. Never assume that your presence has been registered.
The message here is that when road features throw up extra hazards you must be prepared to gtf out of the situation. Lane position is just the starter for 10.

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giff77 [1237 posts] 2 years ago
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Jack. That wouldn't be a particular company in blue and white livery would it? As others have pointed out taking the lane does help. I've also found that looking over my shoulder when stopped at lights helps. Especially if you make a point looking at the fleet number. Sadly because there are so many companies vying for business they are racing each other for dares. Something the companies will deny. On one occasion I asked the driver of he would have pulled the same stunt if I was in a car the reply was to close his window and drive off.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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There are some shocking drivers out there, and they deserve to be "outed" on Youtube, but I really feel uneasy about this "accident".

At 47 secs the cyclist becomes aware of a bus slowly overtaking him, but he continues for another 3 secs (more or less at the same speed as the bus) until he comes to a raised section of road (where the road is level with the pavement, ie no kerb hop required). But even when presented with this "escape route" (and with the bus approximately one foot away from his shoulder and getting closer) he doggedly points his front wheel back into the diminishing gap bewteen the bus and the kerb, continuing for a further 5 secs until it becomes physically impossible to continue.

It's pretty obvious that the driver failed to spot the cyclist, which is bad, but this cyclist did seem to "push" for a confrontation when there were two clear opportunities to safely "bail out" and put it down to experience.

Poor overtaking like this happens far too often but, once the mistake is made, it's always best to let the errant driver complete their overtake by just scrubbing off some speed, rather than possibly seeing the opportunity for another Youtube video.

I'd like to see much stiffer penalties for miscreant drivers, but I'd also like to see penalties for cyclists who post videos that appear to be deliberately confrontational.

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Jack Osbourne snr [428 posts] 2 years ago
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@giff

LOL. No, it was a certain company whose name rhymes with 1st - They've killed off all competition on my commute route.
Interestingly, I have also used that very same question on a number of occasions!

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IanW1968 [268 posts] 2 years ago
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I had a bus driver do this to me three times at consecutive stops, that was a fairly open road which speeds close to 20 mph. When I confronted him he tried to punch me.

Of course he saw you but your only a cyclist so will just have to brake and get out of his way was his mindset.

Personally in town centre environments I would ride in primary then some, nobody should be driving faster than I can cycle so they can stay behind me.

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TheOldCog [113 posts] 2 years ago
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only real observation is, driver overtook and then pulled over left in front of you. Highway code purposefully highlights this as unacceptable.

So, as a cyclist, we need to learn to cycle more assertively, as per John Franklins excellent Cyclecraft and

Driver education needs to be addressed by ensuring all vehicle drivers have to undertake "re-training and updating of legislation" courses every 5 years.

Add to that some decent enforcement Policing and a CPS who finally gets some "backbone" and we'll be on track for a safer "shared space" on our roads.

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jollygoodvelo [1402 posts] 2 years ago
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Carl wrote:

> he ‘didn’t see me’

So the driver is either blind (unfit to drive) or not looking where he was going (ditto), and he keeps his job and his driving license.

Priceless.

This.

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A V Lowe [573 posts] 2 years ago
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Check for compliance with section 170 RTA 1988 (did the driver provide details to a person reasonably requiring them and to the Police within 24 hours if an injury occurred?

Also more onerous - the Conduct of Bus Drivers...& Passengers Regulations. The law takes a dimmer view of bus and truck drivers driving like this, and car drivers.

That said, did you actually clock the driver eyeball to eyeball when he was starting this move? I've found that turning back and looking squarely over your shoulder AT the driver of a bus through the screen generally gets them to notice you, and if you see that the driver is looking at his timetable chart or using his mobile phone you have some additional time to opt for a rapid evacuation of the road space in front of the bus, or a suitably loud or visually strong measure to attract the driver's attention (it's not called the lifesaver look for nothing). I didn't notice any head turning at all.

You also failed to take the most obvious escape route and ride on to the footway, thumping the side of the bus in the process. The driver has slowed to pass the island and I'd reckon that riding along the footway parallel to the bus you would have overhauled it and then pulled up in front at the next stop. Staying on the road there was dangerously stupid, and the developing events was obvious when you were both around 5-10 metres away from the pinch point and both refusing to yield. Riding in a primary position to cork the pinch point would also have put you in control of what was happening, although the overtaking move came a good deal earlier than would have warranted a blocking move that far back

Perhaps not serious enough to warrant a report to the traffic commissioner, and both parties acted badly to deliver the final outcome, but it is a trickle of small incidents like this that often mark-out a driver who will eventually have a very serious crash, and a history of bad driving often presages the fatal crash - just read the recent story on Denis Putz as an example of a driver with a major drinking problem.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24281043

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Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 2 years ago
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Mountain-Nic wrote:

only real observation is, driver overtook and then pulled over left in front of you. Highway code purposefully highlights this as unacceptable.

So, as a cyclist, we need to learn to cycle more assertively, as per John Franklins excellent Cyclecraft and

Driver education needs to be addressed by ensuring all vehicle drivers have to undertake "re-training and updating of legislation" courses every 5 years.

Add to that some decent enforcement Policing and a CPS who finally gets some "backbone" and we'll be on track for a safer "shared space" on our roads.

The driver didn't complete his manuoeuvre and didn't do it safely. A fail by any account. But as said, the cyclist fails to deal with the approaching hazard in any meaningful way.

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skippy [408 posts] 2 years ago
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Bus drivers with their " Might is Right attitude"!

With continual adverts seeking for Drivers , their Companies are unlikely to sack a driver for intimidating a cyclist until they are in the dock for " Involuntary Corporate MANSlaughter !

In any situation such as this , DO YOU THINK THAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER ?

Even the best of us fail to note ALL possible Options !

When you see Pro World Racers fall off their bikes in races, it is obvious that " Sh#t happens "!

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andrew streit1 [26 posts] 2 years ago
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Wtf.

He overtakes you with room. And you continue cycling.

I would have checked my right shoulder. Seen a bus stop ahead and slowed down, pre-empting this. Even when he overtakes you continue cycling.

This is as much bad cycling as it is driving.

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Colin Peyresourde [1695 posts] 2 years ago
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andrew streit1 wrote:

Wtf.

He overtakes you with room. And you continue cycling.

I would have checked my right shoulder. Seen a bus stop ahead and slowed down, pre-empting this. Even when he overtakes you continue cycling.

This is as much bad cycling as it is driving.

One more time, with intensity: the driver if the bus does not complete his manuoeuvre because when the cyclist gets to the pinch point he is to the left of the bus. It is not until the cyclist stops that we see the back of the bus. The point being that the bus driver was completely in the wrong as he didn't complete his pass safely.

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tradescant [16 posts] 2 years ago
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All this 'taking the lane' is fine in theory, but we are mere mortals. I know I am often guilty of failing to do so myself. You can call it abject cowardice if you want. I think it's more a case of being ground down by all the crap and abuse that inevitably follows when you do ride assertively. Cycling should not be an activity only available to men and women of extraordinary phlegm. This bus driver clearly wasn't happy that I wasn't sufficiently in the gutter, when in my opinion I should have been further out if anything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQupg9-XKI&feature=share&list=UUatqk5A4g...

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