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"When will drivers treat cyclists as humans?": Cyclist riding with his kids gets cut off before a roundabout... and then gets close-passed by a van driver

"Unfortunately, it is not his only experience of this nature. He doesn't like it, but it doesn't stop him from going out on the road with us," the cyclist said about his son's reaction to poor driving...

A cyclist had taken his two kids for a spin on Sunday morning, hoping to train them key riding skills such as road positioning, but his efforts were blocked by a driver who decided to cut them off anyway, despite proper signalling and positioning. And then minutes later, as they were enjoying the ride back home, a van driver close-passed them at high speed, meaning the young riders went from "happy delight" to nervousness and anxiety.

A resident of Rugby, the cyclist told road.cc that he took his kids along for the ride yesterday as it makes for a good opportunity to "go through a couple of roundabouts en route from our house to the church and get them used to how they work and how to position".

"I take them both on the road whenever I can, because there's no better way to learn how to be safe - and if I leave it till they're e.g. 13 they'll be much less inclined to listen and learn," he said. "It is, however, why I ensure I always keep on the outside of them, so that they don't bear the brunt of this type of behaviour."

> Viral video of driver refusing to stop for five-year-old cyclist debated on Jeremy Vine's Channel 5 show

As they were making their way across Whitehall Road in Rugby, the cyclist said that the daughter — the elder of the two children — was more comfortable and had ridden up ahead, followed by the younger son and himself.

He was explaining to them how to look, signal and position for the right-hand lane coming up before the roundabout, which he said that they managed well. However then, a driver in a blue Ford Ka came from behind and cut them off.

The cyclist said: "To say I was astonished when the blue Ka pulled out to overtake is an understatement. I wondered if she was short-cutting a turn into the school - but quickly realised not.

"I was then worried she was going to cut in between us and split us up which would have been problematic as well - but in the event she just carried on all the way and cut in front of my daughter just as she was reaching the roundabout.

"Fortunately my fear that someone would take a fast left from the road ahead and meet her head-on did not come to be - although one did turn in very soon after."

> “The kid can cycle, but can the driver drive?”: Parents demand safer cycling infrastructure as video shows 5-year-old having to navigate traffic and blocked bike lane

And then as they were making their way back home through Coventry Road in Dunchurch, multiple drivers passed them safely, causing the deciduous leaves to blow and swirl, delighting the young boy. However, soon after, a van driver goes past them at a high speed and honking his horn, at a distance the cyclist believed was "dangerously close".

In the video, the boy's elder sister can be heard sarcastically commenting "Thank you!" at the driver, while the boy, who the father said was generally more nervous than his sister, says: "This is why I don't like going on roads."

The cyclist told road.cc: "Unfortunately as you can hear, it is not his only experience of this nature. He doesn't like it, but it doesn't stop him from going out on the road with us.

"I take them both on the road whenever I can, because there's no better way to learn how to be safe, and if I leave it till they're like 13, they'll be much less inclined to listen and learn. It is, however, why I ensure I always keep on the outside of them, so that they don't bear the brunt of this type of behaviour.

"But he is a pretty competent and sensible cyclist for his age. He bounces back quickly, and it hasn't put him off any more than his existing nervousness about bad drivers."

> “In the middle of the road!” Motorist berates children cycling “harmlessly home from school” on empty cul-de-sac

He said that he had already reported the van driver to the police, but didn't bother with the driver of the Ford Ka. He said: "It was more just jaw-dropping poor driving, and the potential for it to go badly wrong than any actual danger in the event - but that was pretty much luck on her part.

"If she was really that impatient to pass, she'd have been safer to dive into the left lane to do so. If I did report then it's 100% cert that local force would either NFA or at most send a warning letter, and it just isn't worth the effort."

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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36 comments

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lonpfrb | 3 months ago
4 likes

I always found an Air Horn to be effective against people who apparently didn't notice another human being. Audio being effective despite the "i'm not looking and even if I did, I won't see you" behaviour.

It's fun to pump up the Air Horn reservoir before setting off, and use it to communicate with the sensory inadequate.

The one my LBS provided sounds like a Truck horn so works on cars, vans and trucks with the exception of mobile disco ICE enthusiasts.

Avatar
spen | 3 months ago
4 likes

Whats really scry is that, when you look at the full image, by the postion of her hands she looks like she's already steering left after passing the first child!

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HoldingOn | 3 months ago
8 likes

Great that the youngster isn't put off.

I would have reported the Ford Ka as well. If the police choose to NFA, then it is on their conscience, not mine.

Avatar
Velo-drone replied to HoldingOn | 3 months ago
4 likes
HoldingOn wrote:

Great that the youngster isn't put off.

It's a 10 mile round trip that he does most weekends, he was fine again a few hundred yards later ..

Avatar
HoldingOn replied to Velo-drone | 3 months ago
3 likes

Superb! 10 mile round trip! Very impressive.

He does seem to be genuinely enjoying it - happily chatting away.

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bigwheeler88 | 3 months ago
10 likes

Murderous drivers will treat us like humans when they're in court getting a two year suspended sentence for running a child over and defending their actions as I didn't see him. Disgusting.

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