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Anger grows over deaths of five London cyclists this month

After a horrific run of crashes in which five cyclists died on London’s roads in nine days, London cyclists are taking action both on line and in real life. A  ‘Save Our Cyclists’ petition calling on London mayor Boris Johnson to take urgent action is rapidly approaching 20,000 signatures after just 24 hours, and a ‘die-in’ protest and vigil has been organised for November 29 at Transport for London headquarters.

The die-in protest will start at 5pm on Friday November 29 with a vigil for the cyclists who have died on London’s roads outside Transport for London HQ at 197 Blackfriars Road. That will be followed at 5.30 by the die-in and rally, before the event ends at 6.30.

“Transport for London needs our peaceful protest to be brought right to their door - the HQ of those who have failed to make our streets safe for our children or our pensioners to cycle on, never mind fit adults,” say event organisers.

“Cycling safety needs to be top of TfL's priorities, as should befit a 21st century city looking for ways to tackle congestion and pollution. If Crossrail was predicted to kill 120 workers during its construction, work would be halted immediately. Cyclists are just as important.”

The full details are on the event’s Facebook page

Save our Cyclists

Addressed to Boris Johnson and his cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan, the Save our Cyclists petition on 38degrees asks: “Where is your sense of urgency?”

Petition creator Rhiannon Redpath wrote: “We call on Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan to vastly accelerate their plan for expenditure of the £913 million cycling fund, by releasing an accurate, costed and time-bound plan for how the fund will address cycle safety over the next 12 months, from the end of December 2013.

“TFL and the Mayor for London do have the right idea. But, as plans are drawn up, consultations are carried out, and meetings are had, London’s roads continue to be unsafe, and cyclists are losing their lives.

“We are calling for urgent action from Boris Johnson and the Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan to accelerate their plans, and to be clear about their intentions for cycle safety in London.”

Launched yesterday, the petition hit 10,000 signatures within hours and is now racing toward 20,000.

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.

52 comments

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jasecd [417 posts] 3 years ago
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In.

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jollygoodvelo [1540 posts] 3 years ago
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Signed, and maybe in for the die-in too. Is fake blood and a t-shirt with 'SMIDSY' on it too much?

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themartincox [532 posts] 3 years ago
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I think I'll be coming down from Nottingham for this!

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GoingRoundInCycles [133 posts] 3 years ago
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A video view of CS2 for those who haven't cycled on it (yet).

Three of the five cyclists killed recently in London died on or near Cycle Superhighway 2, a cycle-path route running from Aldgate in the City to Stratford in the east of the capital. Rigged with a camera mounted on his helmet and another on his bike, Peter Walker rides the route. It takes in some of London's worst cycle infrastructure – lorry-choked roads and just a blue-painted lane for protection – and the best, with a new, fully segregated section at the end.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2013/nov/15/cyclist-london...

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CameronB [10 posts] 3 years ago
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This wasn't the cyclists fault! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCS3FLgYWM

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zam [13 posts] 3 years ago
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Signed. Personally, I would like to see accountability automatically revert to the powered vehicle as per mainland Europe (French anyway). I'm sure this would make drivers more aware and/or alert - at a minimum.

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arfa [806 posts] 3 years ago
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In - TFL have alot to answer for

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

A video view of CS2 for those who haven't cycled on it (yet).

Three of the five cyclists killed recently in London died on or near Cycle Superhighway 2, a cycle-path route running from Aldgate in the City to Stratford in the east of the capital. Rigged with a camera mounted on his helmet and another on his bike, Peter Walker rides the route. It takes in some of London's worst cycle infrastructure – lorry-choked roads and just a blue-painted lane for protection – and the best, with a new, fully segregated section at the end.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2013/nov/15/cyclist-london...

Quite a good little video (I didn't want to like it, especially the way he began by parking himself next to busy traffic). The thing that struck me was that he hits the nail on the head early on when he says 'quite scary for a novice cyclist'. He navigates it perfectly well, but that is because of his experience.

The CS is a sham of blue paint. Though I'm not sure why the Bow roundabout is so troublesome except that there is lots of traffic queued up. The problem comes when as a novice you trust the CS markings and they lead you into parked cars and other scenarios which require experience and judgement.

Education is ultimately the key. But people should be dissuaded from using this CS stuff unless they know what they are doing.

Cycle lanes and segregated roads can't make up for cycle education.

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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CameronB wrote:

This wasn't the cyclists fault! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCS3FLgYWM

I'm not saying the driver isn't without fault. The road layout does not help, but neither does the cyclist. She should really have looked over her shoulder and made some indication of taken the lane. By hugging the side of the road she shows no intention of where she is going.

The driver should have given her more space and should not overtake her. But in another respect, it is the left-hand turning lane and she is following the curb. So I can see what he is anticipating. Ultimately as a cyclist you have to take charge of that scenario and move early, safely and decisively, indicating what you are doing. You can have all the high viz, lights and helmets, but if you are not indicating your intentions and do not look before making your manuoeuvre then you will get into those situations. Even my cycling proficiency from 30 years ago taught me that.

There will always be bad drivers, but hardly any want to be killers.

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William Black [193 posts] 3 years ago
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GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

A video view of CS2 for those who haven't cycled on it (yet).

Three of the five cyclists killed recently in London died on or near Cycle Superhighway 2, a cycle-path route running from Aldgate in the City to Stratford in the east of the capital. Rigged with a camera mounted on his helmet and another on his bike, Peter Walker rides the route. It takes in some of London's worst cycle infrastructure – lorry-choked roads and just a blue-painted lane for protection – and the best, with a new, fully segregated section at the end.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2013/nov/15/cyclist-london...

I emailed Delphi Foods regarding the vehicle that passed within a couple of feet of the rider:

"We are currently taking this issue up with the Peter Walker at The Guardian, who published this misrepresentation of Delphi Foods."

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Leviathan [2276 posts] 3 years ago
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CameronB wrote:

This wasn't the cyclists fault! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCS3FLgYWM

I watched this until Gaz starts to shout (reminds me too much of myself; I always regret shouting at people, but I still do it because fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.) The lady is not *really* at fault but a better position might have help. But it is not really down to cyclists to be moving out to avoid left hooks, moving out here could have been just as bad.

The real question I have is, why does this divergent/diagonal junction even exist? Are there a lot of junctions like this in London? As it seem like trouble having this kind of corner which can be taken at speed. 90degree turns are good enough elsewhere. Perhaps London's medieval layout needs to be reviewed to eliminate junctions like this.

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VeloPeo [335 posts] 3 years ago
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William Black wrote:

I emailed Delphi Foods regarding the vehicle that passed within a couple of feet of the rider:

"We are currently taking this issue up with the Peter Walker at The Guardian, who published this misrepresentation of Delphi Foods."

Farking hell.

Not the most reputable of companies by the look of it....
http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Regulation/Food-firm-faces-120k-fine-af...

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Andy G [26 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
CameronB wrote:

This wasn't the cyclists fault! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCS3FLgYWM

I'm not saying the driver isn't without fault. The road layout does not help, but neither does the cyclist. She should really have looked over her shoulder and made some indication of taken the lane. By hugging the side of the road she shows no intention of where she is going.

The driver should have given her more space and should not overtake her. But in another respect, it is the left-hand turning lane and she is following the curb. So I can see what he is anticipating. Ultimately as a cyclist you have to take charge of that scenario and move early, safely and decisively, indicating what you are doing. You can have all the high viz, lights and helmets, but if you are not indicating your intentions and do not look before making your manuoeuvre then you will get into those situations. Even my cycling proficiency from 30 years ago taught me that.

There will always be bad drivers, but hardly any want to be killers.

The lane that the cyclist was in is marked as straight on and left turn. If the cyclist was going to turn left she would have been in the bus lane/cycle lane to the left of the island. How is a cyclist supposed to signal that they are going straight on? She could have been further out from the curb but heavy traffic can be very bullying and intimidating. This was entirely the lorry's fault and the mini bus behind is just as bad, if not worse for tailgating and about to do the same to the bloke with the camera.

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tourdelound [159 posts] 3 years ago
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Signed. Could I also suggest signing the London Cycling Campaign petition - the more voices heard, the better.

www.lcc.org.uk

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SiWS [7 posts] 3 years ago
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"...Signed. Personally, I would like to see accountability automatically revert to the powered vehicle as per mainland Europe (French anyway). I'm sure this would make drivers more aware and/or alert - at a minimum...."

Whilst being a lifelong cyclist: club rider, mountain biker, bike shop worker, tourer both home and abroad, commuter - including Central London and Bikeability instructor, I, like I'm sure the majority of cyclists on here, also drive. I enjoy driving and cover 20,000+ miles a year.
In an accident, I don't want to be automatically blamed for the idiocy and lack of common sense exhibited by a sizeable minority of cyclists who don't make any effort to make themselves visible or turn their heads to look over their shoulder before carrying out a maneuver or signal their intentions, fit lights, etc, etc.
Whilst the above will not guarantee safety in all circumstances or protect from dangerous, inconsiderate and inattentive driving, I'm sure it would go a long way to prevent a large proportion of accidents or at least lessen their extent.
I do understand that a driver can put forward mitigating evidence in defence but I'd rather not be assumed guilty and then have to prove my innocence.
I talk from experience as, in my mid teens, I was involved in 4 separate collisions that sent me sprawling across bonnets onto the road or into flower beds(!) - all of which, looking back, I shared a sizeable part of the blame for. If I knew then what I now know, I could probably have avoided all of them by amongst other things, wearing hi-vis clothing, fitting lights, making proper observations and better positioning. I'm just lucky to have the benefit of hindsight, others, as we have seen recently, aren't.
Whilst signing petitions such as these we, as cyclists, need to make sure our own house is in order and that each one of us are doing as much as we can to ensure our own safety.
I would like to see compulsory training for all 16 year olds to act as a refresher for those that have done Bikeability in primary school and as a life skill for others before they go on to take driving lessons - hopefully giving the next generation of drivers better awareness of cyclists and giving the next generation of cyclists the tools that they need to keep safe.

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valdestana [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Transport planners, unfortunately give "priority" to keeping the traffic flow moving and by that they mean motor vehicles. Safety of cyclists including sorting out junctions/roundabouts etc. with some sort of priority or separation is not high up the list. Think this is the essential problem, I think.
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Ush [755 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
CameronB wrote:

This wasn't the cyclists fault! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCS3FLgYWM

I'm not saying the driver isn't without fault. The road layout does not help, but neither does the cyclist. She should really have looked over her shoulder and made some indication of taken the lane. By hugging the side of the road she shows no intention of where she is going.

While I agree that she was really too far in at that point, I also suspect looking at the video that the truck driver changed his mind at the last moment.

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giff77 [1258 posts] 3 years ago
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Andy G wrote:

The lane that the cyclist was in is marked as straight on and left turn. If the cyclist was going to turn left she would have been in the bus lane/cycle lane to the left of the island. How is a cyclist supposed to signal that they are going straight on?

Using your left arm as if indicating a left turn but raise your forearm so it is at a right angle to your upper arm and parallel to your body. Sadly the majority of motorists are unaware of hand signals that should be used when indicators fail. You can also use this to let the police or traffic warden on points aware of your intentions to move ahead.

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angus h [11 posts] 3 years ago
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SiWS wrote:

In an accident, I don't want to be automatically blamed for the idiocy and lack of common sense exhibited by a sizeable minority of cyclists who don't make any effort to make themselves visible or turn their heads to look over their shoulder before carrying out a maneuver or signal their intentions, fit lights, etc, etc.

That's not how Strict Liability typically works. What it does is place the burden of proof on the operator of the heavier vehicle. HGV > Car > Bike > Ped. So if something bad happens, the onus is on the person bringing more kinetic energy to the table to prove they were in the right.

I think that's fair enough. Yes, some cyclists are absolute bloody idiots. However, whenever we drive, we're making an active choice to put enough mass and energy on the road that their idiocy may very well be fatal. As a society, we don't generally regard the death penalty as a just punishment for stupidity, so as I see it that's a reasonable balance.

It's also nice to know, as a car driver & especially on motorways and trunk roads, that lorry drivers have an extra imperative to look out for those most likely to be hurt by their actions. (Though personally, I'd like to see more legal liability focused on the operating companies, rather than the individual drivers).

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eurotrash [88 posts] 3 years ago
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Another cyclist has been killed in London today: http://news.radiojackie.com/2013/11/cyclist-killed-in-roehampton.html

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Colin Peyresourde [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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But to give no indication at all is not helpful. Cyclists in London are terrible at signalling. Drivers rely on it. That is why they have indicators. This is why cycle education is key!

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Ush [755 posts] 3 years ago
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giff77 wrote:
Andy G wrote:

The lane that the cyclist was in is marked as straight on and left turn. If the cyclist was going to turn left she would have been in the bus lane/cycle lane to the left of the island. How is a cyclist supposed to signal that they are going straight on?

Using your left arm as if indicating a left turn but raise your forearm so it is at a right angle to your upper arm and parallel to your body. Sadly the majority of motorists are unaware of hand signals that should be used when indicators fail. You can also use this to let the police or traffic warden on points aware of your intentions to move ahead.

In the USA that's often used to mean a right turn: allows you to keep your right-hand on the the bars/brake. I had thought that an arm completely raised vertically was proposed for straight-ahead but never accepted?

Interesting the signal you mention is not shown here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highway-code--60

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SiWS [7 posts] 3 years ago
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[/quote] So if something bad happens, the onus is on the person bringing more kinetic energy to the table to prove they were in the right.[/quote]

Yes, I do understand that you will always have to prove you took reasonable care but it does seem like 'guilty until proven innocent'.

[/quote] As a society, we don't generally regard the death penalty as a just punishment for stupidity[/quote]

That is correct but I would regard punishment as a deliberate imposition of a penalty. Where a cyclist gets killed or injured in an accident through negligence or stupidity on their part, the motorist hasn't set out to deliberately (assuming they have taken reasonable care) kill or injure the cyclist - indeed the motorist also becomes a victim of the cyclist's negligence (having to live with the consequences).

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alexwheeler0 [4 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
CameronB wrote:

This wasn't the cyclists fault! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCS3FLgYWM

I'm not saying the driver isn't without fault. The road layout does not help, but neither does the cyclist. She should really have looked over her shoulder and made some indication of taken the lane. By hugging the side of the road she shows no intention of where she is going.

The driver should have given her more space and should not overtake her. But in another respect, it is the left-hand turning lane and she is following the curb. So I can see what he is anticipating. Ultimately as a cyclist you have to take charge of that scenario and move early, safely and decisively, indicating what you are doing. You can have all the high viz, lights and helmets, but if you are not indicating your intentions and do not look before making your manuoeuvre then you will get into those situations. Even my cycling proficiency from 30 years ago taught me that.

There will always be bad drivers, but hardly any want to be killers.

Watch the video again, the lane clearly indicates straight on with the option to turn left. Leave your poorly compiled comments at home.

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jacknorell [974 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

The driver should have given her more space and should not overtake her. But in another respect, it is the left-hand turning lane and she is following the curb. So I can see what he is anticipating. Ultimately as a cyclist you have to take charge...

Blaming the victim much?

The courts, for once, decided that the driver was wholly at fault. You actually disagree about the proportion of blame?

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jacknorell [974 posts] 3 years ago
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Ush wrote:

In the USA that's often used to mean a right turn: allows you to keep your right-hand on the the bars/brake.

You're right about the signal, but it's usually drivers using it when there's no indicator on the vehicle or the bulb is gone.

In the UK, that signal would be done with the right arm out the window, for a left turn. I do wonder why it's not shown, as it's part of the Highway Code booklet I got this year (driven for 20 years, just wanted to properly look it over again).

US bikes are set up with front brake on the left-hand lever, so you'd usually want to keep your left hand on the bar. More so than the right.

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kie7077 [887 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
GoingRoundInCycles wrote:

A video view of CS2 for those who haven't cycled on it (yet).

Three of the five cyclists killed recently in London died on or near Cycle Superhighway 2, a cycle-path route running from Aldgate in the City to Stratford in the east of the capital. Rigged with a camera mounted on his helmet and another on his bike, Peter Walker rides the route. It takes in some of London's worst cycle infrastructure – lorry-choked roads and just a blue-painted lane for protection – and the best, with a new, fully segregated section at the end.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2013/nov/15/cyclist-london...

Quite a good little video (I didn't want to like it, especially the way he began by parking himself next to busy traffic). The thing that struck me was that he hits the nail on the head early on when he says 'quite scary for a novice cyclist'. He navigates it perfectly well, but that is because of his experience.

The CS is a sham of blue paint. Though I'm not sure why the Bow roundabout is so troublesome except that there is lots of traffic queued up. The problem comes when as a novice you trust the CS markings and they lead you into parked cars and other scenarios which require experience and judgement.

Education is ultimately the key. But people should be dissuaded from using this CS stuff unless they know what they are doing.

Cycle lanes and segregated roads can't make up for cycle education.

I'm no novice on London's roads, I know what I'm doing and this changes nothing, CS2 is f****g dangerous and the close passes that just can't be avoided are scary, take primary - they'll still do it to punish you for taking primary.

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kraut [131 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm not saying the driver isn't without fault.

Indeed not. The driver is entirely and solely at fault. He cleary sees the cyclist, overtaks with a minimum of space, and then turns immediately left into her path.

The road layout does not help, but neither does the cyclist. She should really have looked over her shoulder and made some indication of taken the lane. By hugging the side of the road

She could have taken the lane more - but look, she's riding on the blue paint which is exactly where TfL is telling her to go. If she was taking the lane more, she'd probably get honked at by dozens of motorists for "not being in the cycle lane".

And, hang on: Are you really suggesting that we can blame the cyclist for not checking over her shoulder for some idiot cutting in in front of her WHEN SHE'S CONTINUING IN A STRAIGHT LINE IN HER LANE??

You must be reading the '68 version of the highway code from when the entire DoT was on acid  3

she shows no intention of where she is going.

Come on. A blind man without a stick or guide dog can see she's going straight ahead, and given her speed, the intention is pretty damn obvious.

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kraut [131 posts] 3 years ago
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Drivers complaining about cyclists not indicating is a blatant case of pots calling kettles black.

I've come to two conclusions recently:
1. Indicators are now an optional extra, and in the times of austerity most drivers clearly couldn't afford them (what with AC, electric everything and video players being essential!)
2. Indicating when changing lanes is the a terrible faux pas. Forget farting in a crowded lift, shouting into your mobile on the train, sitting down next to the fainting pregnant lady on the tube, or throwing up over your boss at the christmas party. All those you can get away with. Indicating before changing lanes on the motorway is now the only unforgivable sin in Britain.

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RPK [93 posts] 3 years ago
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That video is really helpful for those of us living outside the UK. It gives all these reports a bit more context.

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