Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Near Miss of the Day 190: Pedestrian steps out in front of cyclist

Our regular feature highlighting close passes caught on camera from around the country – today it’s Manchester

In the 12 months since cyclist Charlie Alliston was sentenced for causing the death of pedestrian  Kim Wilkes after the pair collided in London's Old Street, the issue of collisions involving people on bikes and those on foot has received a lot of attention in the mainstream media - and has also led to the government looking to introduce a law for dangerous or careless cycling.

Campaign groups such as Cycling UK argue that government time would be better spent on tackling drivers who kill, pointing out that there are on average three incidents a year in which a pedestrian dies following a collision involving a cyclist.

What is seldom mentioned, however, is that when it comes to such cases, there seems to be a presumption that the cyclist must be at fault (and ignores the fact that often in such collisions, it is the cyclist who will come off worse). 

But anyone who cycles around a city will experience pedestrians stepping out without looking, sometimes between stopped vehicles. 

That's the situation highlighted in today's video in our Near Miss of the Day series, which happened to road.cc reader James on Chester Road in Manchester.

Fortunately in this case, the young woman crossing the road managed to dart out of the rider's way, while James himself was alert enough to spot her and avoid a collision that could have resulted in one or both of them being injured.

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment

45 comments

Avatar
srchar | 5 years ago
6 likes

Not sure why we're debating the cyclist's speed here.  He was able to stop when a ped crossed the road from behind a large vehicle without looking.  The fact that he was able to stop (just) means his speed was appropriate (just).  We could pointlessly argue about how much margin people personally like to leave all day; the guy in the video left enough, however slim.

Avatar
ChrisB200SX replied to srchar | 5 years ago
2 likes
srchar wrote:

Not sure why we're debating the cyclist's speed here.  He was able to stop when a ped crossed the road from behind a large vehicle without looking.  The fact that he was able to stop (just) means his speed was appropriate (just).  We could pointlessly argue about how much margin people personally like to leave all day; the guy in the video left enough, however slim.

...and if the pedestrian runs out in front of him, it's still the pedestrians fault. It seems some people find it easy/convenient to blame a cyclist.

Avatar
alansmurphy | 5 years ago
0 likes

@John Smith

 

I also don't know why you think a motorcyle would stop quicker than a bike. I'd imagine the full face helmet means processing of the pedestrian would be slightly longer, and for all you say about contact patch etc. would be negated by the weight of the bike...

 

Pretty sure an emergency stop for a cycle and motorcycle from 20mph wouldn't have much margin of difference...

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
4 likes

Sunday I'm waiting for a big enough gap to get to the right filter lane on my local roads toward the retail park, stupidly it's a 40mph single carriageway leading up to it, widens into a dual for no logical reason (and back to single through the lights) so it it causes all sorts of issues. It's Sunday afty so very light traffic, I wait for a car to pass, observe a car about 100m back so move into the right lane before doing another shoulder check before moving into the filter lane, as I do so the driver of the car that was 100m behind is right there, he'd covered the distance in less than the circa 3 seconds it'd taken me to move across one lane. He slammed on thinking I was going to move right in front of him and skidded, even his ABS couldn't stop his wheels locking up he was going that fast and that point was  c.25m to the actual turn.

i wouldn't have moved into the right filter lane straight from the far left without an additional shoulder check anyway but it was the fact he was absolutely pegging it well over 50% in excess of the 40mph limit* that he put me in danger. *100m at 74mph takes 3 seconds, even 80m is 60mph

IF there had of being a collision and I had been killed it would have been placed right on me for not checking the lane was clear despite the fact someone else was breaking the law. Cyclists that are left hooked by motorists particularly in HGVs who don't check that the lane is clear are found basically to be at fault for their own deaths (by defintion of the killer getting off), a pedestrian doesn't check that the lane is clear but walks/runs out and collects a cyclist is absolved of blame all too often, the massive disparity is there in spades, the application of the rules/laws is so bent it's criminal.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
5 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Sunday I'm waiting for a big enough gap to get to the right filter lane on my local roads toward the retail park, stupidly it's a 40mph single carriageway leading up to it, widens into a dual for no logical reason (and back to single through the lights) so it it causes all sorts of issues. It's Sunday afty so very light traffic, I wait for a car to pass, observe a car about 100m back so move into the right lane before doing another shoulder check before moving into the filter lane, as I do so the driver of the car that was 100m behind is right there, he'd covered the distance in less than the circa 3 seconds it'd taken me to move across one lane. He slammed on thinking I was going to move right in front of him and skidded, even his ABS couldn't stop his wheels locking up he was going that fast and that point was  c.25m to the actual turn.

i wouldn't have moved into the right filter lane straight from the far left without an additional shoulder check anyway but it was the fact he was absolutely pegging it well over 50% in excess of the 40mph limit* that he put me in danger. *100m at 74mph takes 3 seconds, even 80m is 60mph

IF there had of being a collision and I had been killed it would have been placed right on me for not checking the lane was clear despite the fact someone else was breaking the law. Cyclists that are left hooked by motorists particularly in HGVs who don't check that the lane is clear are found basically to be at fault for their own deaths (by defintion of the killer getting off), a pedestrian doesn't check that the lane is clear but walks/runs out and collects a cyclist is absolved of blame all too often, the massive disparity is there in spades, the application of the rules/laws is so bent it's criminal.

That's why I think we should have some kind of presumed liability laws to balance things up a bit.

Avatar
CygnusX1 | 5 years ago
3 likes

Used to have a Tufty Club badge pinned to my coat (a blue one not unlike Tufty's own, but mine also had mittens on a length of string down the arms so they couldn't get lost at play-school). Also had a cereal bowl and a hanky IIRC.

Ah, those were the days - when all coppers were badgers and actually did foot patrols.    

Avatar
CygnusX1 | 5 years ago
6 likes

Alan S Murphy's Law - the likelyhood that a discussion on road.cc will result in squirrels increases exponentially with the number of posts

Avatar
alansmurphy replied to CygnusX1 | 5 years ago
3 likes
CygnusX1 wrote:

Alan S Murphy's Law

 

Infamy, they've all got it infamy!

 

Interestingly, the Murphy's once had huntingdons disease in the family and one of the signs of madness was seeing squirrells - it's all making sense now!

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to alansmurphy | 5 years ago
3 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
CygnusX1 wrote:

Alan S Murphy's Law

Infamy, they've all got it infamy!

 

Interestingly, the Murphy's once had huntingdons disease in the family and one of the signs of madness was seeing squirrells - it's all making sense now!

Oh shit!

 

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:
CygnusX1 wrote:

Alan S Murphy's Law

Infamy, they've all got it infamy!

 

Interestingly, the Murphy's once had huntingdons disease in the family and one of the signs of madness was seeing squirrells - it's all making sense now!

Oh shit!

 

You know, I can't see the squirrel in that picture... Is it in one of the trees?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 5 years ago
5 likes
brooksby wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:
CygnusX1 wrote:

Alan S Murphy's Law

Infamy, they've all got it infamy!

 

Interestingly, the Murphy's once had huntingdons disease in the family and one of the signs of madness was seeing squirrells - it's all making sense now!

Oh shit!

 

You know, I can't see the squirrel in that picture... Is it in one of the trees?

 

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 5 years ago
4 likes

Don't want to end up like Willy Weasel

https://youtu.be/-JgaId8o9Jo

 

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... | 5 years ago
5 likes

I have mixed feelings.

 

Yes it illustrates the absurdity of the stupid 'stop the killer cyclists' moral panic, that assumes it's always the cyclist's fault (while never taking the same view on the vastly higher bodycount due to motorists).

 

But it was just a kid and I don't blame her for not thinking of the possibility of filtering cyclists in places she couldn't see between vehicles.  It's not common enough a thing for people to necessarily think about it.

 

Peds often have to try and scurry across at whatever time and place they can find, becuase road- and town- planners treat them with almost as much contempt as they do cyclists.

 

I'm not sure how much to blame either party.  Would rather wonder why the child felt they had to cross there and whether that is down to a failure to provide enough pedestrian routes.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 5 years ago
7 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

I have mixed feelings.

 

Yes it illustrates the absurdity of the stupid 'stop the killer cyclists' moral panic, that assumes it's always the cyclist's fault (while never taking the same view on the vastly higher bodycount due to motorists).

 

But it was just a kid and I don't blame her for not thinking of the possibility of filtering cyclists in places she couldn't see between vehicles.  It's not common enough a thing for people to necessarily think about it.

 

Peds often have to try and scurry across at whatever time and place they can find, becuase road- and town- planners treat them with almost as much contempt as they do cyclists.

 

I'm not sure how much to blame either party.  Would rather wonder why the child felt they had to cross there and whether that is down to a failure to provide enough pedestrian routes.

The child didn't have to cross there at all - she could have crossed between two cars and avoided the whole high-sided lorry issue.

What we should have is a national campaign teaching kids (and anyone using a phone) how to cross the road safely. It could be made appealing and interesting to kids by featuring some kind of woodland creature, maybe. Possibly even have some kind of club membership to go with it.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4690166.stm

 

Avatar
CygnusX1 replied to hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
4 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

Peds often have to try and scurry across at whatever time and place they can find, becuase road- and town- planners treat them with almost as much contempt as they do cyclists.

I'm not sure how much to blame either party.  Would rather wonder why the child felt they had to cross there and whether that is down to a failure to provide enough pedestrian routes.

The child didn't have to cross there at all - she could have crossed between two cars and avoided the whole high-sided lorry issue.

 

She didn't have to cross there at all - there is a pedestrian crossing just yards to the south of where she crossed

https://goo.gl/maps/1VeFTCirbct

and another at the junction with the Mancunian Way a few more yards north :

https://goo.gl/maps/3esdDFvMhny

Edit: to fix links and to add, the reason she didn't use them is probably similar as to why the cyclist isn't using the segregated bike lane  that runs alongside the  southbound carriageway - i.e (in)convenience / speed / directness. 

Avatar
jlebrech | 5 years ago
0 likes

that idiot nearly got the kim brigg award.

 

they never learn.

 

* then again slow down if your vision is obstructed.

Avatar
brooksby replied to jlebrech | 5 years ago
3 likes
jlebrech wrote:

that idiot nearly got the kim brigg award.

 

they never learn.

 

* then again slow down if your vision is obstructed.

*Who* never learn?  Cyclists filtering on a main road, or schoolchildren running across a main road without stopping or looking?  (Or motorists sitting in a traffic jam complaining about all the traffic?).

Avatar
CXR94Di2 | 5 years ago
1 like

I would of filtered, but for me at a much slower speed, less than 10mph

Avatar
burtthebike | 5 years ago
6 likes

Having been knocked off three times by pedestrians, all three their fault, I can heartily support the notion that it isn't always the cyclists' fault.  Two were schoolchildren who just ran across the road to see their mates, and the third was an ambulaceman outside a hospital on a pedestrian crossing, with the lights green for me.  I was going uphill so only doing 10mph, and he looked straight at me and then walked into my front wheel.  All were in broad daylight.

I'm so grateful that the government is doing this investigation into cyclist/pedestrian collisions, because if it is impartial, it will find that the main problem is the pedestrians, and that cyclists are more often the victim so they will bring in a law about dangerous walking.  Of course they will.  Definitely.  Absolutely certainly.  Unless the whole thing is a stitch up.  And those nice politicians, so respected for their honesty and impartiality, wouldn't do that would they?

Avatar
davel replied to burtthebike | 5 years ago
7 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Having been knocked off three times by pedestrians, all three their fault, I can heartily support the notion that it isn't always the cyclists' fault.  Two were schoolchildren who just ran across the road to see their mates, and the third was an ambulaceman outside a hospital on a pedestrian crossing, with the lights green for me.  I was going uphill so only doing 10mph, and he looked straight at me and then walked into my front wheel.  All were in broad daylight.

I'm so grateful that the government is doing this investigation into cyclist/pedestrian collisions, because if it is impartial, it will find that the main problem is the pedestrians, and that cyclists are more often the victim so they will bring in a law about dangerous walking.  Of course they will.  Definitely.  Absolutely certainly.  Unless the whole thing is a stitch up.  And those nice politicians, so respected for their honesty and impartiality, wouldn't do that would they?

Stop being so cynical. 

It's not as if the DfT kicked off the investigation by commissioning a report from Laura Thomas, a lawyer who used to be on the Freight Transport Association's board. You remember the FTA, the well-known champions of all things cycling, which counts such transport luminaries as EX-MP [that still makes me happy] Rob Flello among their members, paid to blog evidence-free drivel like blame cycle lanes for congestion. 

And that report attempted to rebut the criticisms of the need for a separate consultation by referring to cyclist-ped collisions, but then tried to hide the good stuff that undermined their rebuttal (like peds being responsible for most of those collisions) in the noise at the back.

Oh it is exactly like that? 

Yeah, cynic away... 

Avatar
vonhelmet | 5 years ago
3 likes

He didn’t slow down just because he was passing the van and anticipated a hazard. He slowed down going past the white van because he had already seen her and had good reason to believe she was going to walk out in front of him. Watch again between 3s and 4s - as he clears the blue van you can see her on the pavement running towards the road. He anticipates her running on into the road - stupid on her part - so he slows down. I didn’t notice her the first time because I was looking ahead, but he saw her on the pavement. Well done.

However... if he’d not seen her at that point, like if she was coming at it from a different angle, then I’ll bet he wouldn’t have slowed down (given he didn’t slow down passing the blue van a second before) and so would have hit her.

So high marks for observation and anticipation, low marks for going that speed while filtering in the first place.

As an aside, my driving instructor used to play tricks on me along these lines. I’d be driving towards a roundabout like 50 yards ahead and he’d say “At the roundabout, wait for the yellow car to pass and then take the second exit”, and I’d be wondering how he knew there would be a yellow car on the roundabout when I got there. He told me he looked down the side roads to the other roads that met the roundabout we were coming to, and could make a reasonable guess at what cars would be there when we arrived.

Avatar
ChrisB200SX | 5 years ago
7 likes

Speed wasn't an issue here, cyclist had plenty of good clear sight of where he was going.

The reason for slowing when filtering is so that YOU don't get hurt by idiots not seeing you, not so that you don't hurt people that randomly run out in front of you without looking properly. Jeez, if we all travelled at such a low speed in case someone did something random we'd all be faster walking rather than driving, etc.

Do drivers slow to walking pace when passing a row of parked cars?

You can extend the logic to trains, max of 1mph, just in case someone jumps/falls off the platform directly in front of the train, it happens nearly every day!

Avatar
700c | 5 years ago
3 likes

Definitely unwise to be filtering at that speed, esp between high sided vehicles on a bike which has no engine to alert idiot pedestrians to their presence. Not to mention the risk o from idiot passengers with dooring.

As it was, he just got away with it. Was the ped in the wrong? Of course, doesn't mean he wouldn't come a cropper if one of the above scenarios happens.

Avatar
Miller | 5 years ago
5 likes

I was going down a shallow hill a few weeks ago, doing maybe 40kph. Jogger on the left pavement. As I was about to pass him he swerved into the road to cross from left to right. He did not look behind before moving into the road. I missed him by a couple of metres. I was shaken, I'm not sure he even noticed that anything happened. 

Presumably he did that ped thing of I can't hear anything so nothing is coming and I don't need to look. Did I mention he was wearing headphones?

Avatar
usedtobefaster replied to Miller | 5 years ago
1 like
Miller wrote:

I was going down a shallow hill a few weeks ago, doing maybe 40kph. Jogger on the left pavement. As I was about to pass him he swerved into the road to cross from left to right. He did not look behind before moving into the road. I missed him by a couple of metres. I was shaken, I'm not sure he even noticed that anything happened. 

Presumably he did that ped thing of I can't hear anything so nothing is coming and I don't need to look. Did I mention he was wearing headphones?

 

Had the same happen to me but I was going about 20 mph and the guy only stepped out in to the road and ran parallel to the pavement to pass a couple of people blocking his way, but he made absolutely no attempt to look behind him to see if it was a safe move to make.

Of course I was the one in the wrong when I told him he need to look behind him.  Some people are just waiting to be RTA statistics

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 5 years ago
6 likes

Looks like good riding skills to me - he was obviously looking for a possible hazard after the lorry.

I hope the pedestrian learns to not cross by high sided vehicles in future as she could just as easily have crossed between the cars just a few feet further along and had a much better view of traffic.

Avatar
Reedo | 5 years ago
4 likes

Really no bike or ped infrastructure. Thousands of busy people left to muddle thru the dangers daily.

Avatar
Reedo | 5 years ago
3 likes

To me that looked lucky rather than cyclist taking care not to go faster than the sight distance. 

Avatar
Fluffed | 5 years ago
0 likes

Having reason to drive through Manchester the last few weeks, I'd say this was pretty normal behaviour for peds there.

Avatar
EK Spinner | 5 years ago
9 likes

She didn't even glance to her right as she got to the fornt of the van,.

 

BUT that seems a bit quick for filtering through traffic, especially when passing a high van which completly blocks visibility for both parties.

Pages

Latest Comments