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Jeremy Vine calls for drivers to be banned from overtaking cyclists in cities

"I want cars to pull over if they see me behind them because they know I'm faster"...

Jeremy Vine has made the case for drivers being told not to overtake cyclists in major cities, adding that he would like to see motorists pull over if they see him behind them "because they know I'm faster".

In comments made to the Sunday Times, the BBC and Channel 5 broadcaster and presenter outlined his views on urban cycling, covering overtaking, dangerous driving, infrastructure, the frustration of motorists, recording close passes and more, starting by saying he used to be "anti-cyclist" before he started commuting by bicycle, but is now a "totally paid-up member of the cycling fraternity because I just found it wonderful".

The part of the interview that will make the headlines is Vine saying he believes "we shouldn't allow any overtaking of bicycles in big cities". 

> Courier who called Jeremy Vine a "p****" suspended by employer

"That's one step. And I'm starting to think I want cars to pull over if they see me behind them because they know I'm faster," he added. "You look at it from their point of view: they bought this vehicle that they saw advertised speeding around a mountain at 120 miles an hour, and they can only move at seven. And they can't accept the fact that cyclists are faster."

Vine, an outspoken proponent for safe cycling infrastructure, also said that proper segregation is crucial, telling the newspaper that "painting a lane just doesn't work".

"Drivers ignore it. They sit in it, they park in it, they veer into it. We need to have segregated lanes, and there just aren't enough of them. There are 15,000km of roads in London and 175km have a segregated cycle lane, so we're nowhere near having as many segregated lanes as we need," he continued, pointing out that he believes many more people would cycle if they were not forced into frightening situations with dangerous drivers.

"At the moment, they think: 'No way am I putting my life in the hands of some van driver who's been up until two in the morning taking drugs' or whatever. They just don't like the odds. At some point they'll realise the odds have shifted in their favour and they'll start cycling.

> Jeremy Vine tells cyclists to "cycle in anything you like" — wants media portrayal of cyclists to move away from Lycra and race bikes

"My wife has told me I'm not allowed to drive any more because I drive too slowly. This is a very unusual situation in a marriage. And the reason I drive so slowly is that I'm suddenly so aware of the danger of two tonnes of metal that will go at 60mph if I just touch my right foot.

"The thing that makes the roads dangerous isn't even the cars, it's the driver's mind. And drivers, a lot of them, are still in the 1970s. They still believe they literally own the road. So we get this stuff about 'We were here first' or 'We pay tax and you don't'. And until we change that mindset, we haven't got a chance."

The Vine on 5 host also spoke about camera cyclists recording footage of bad drivers, topical given this week's comments from Nick 'Mr Loophole' Freeman — the lawyer who specialises in defending celebrities in court for their traffic-related cases, often by using legal technicalities.

Black cab close pass, Kensington (Twitter, Jeremy Vine)

Freeman spoke about CyclingMikey, real name Mike van Erp's reporting of motorists using their phone behind the wheel, accusing the cyclist of making an "industry" of submitting footage and sharing it on social media.

"Using a mobile phone in a car is dangerous and it is right that it's prohibited. But I don't think we want to live in a snitch society. I'm not saying the public don't have a role to play but, really, isn't that the role of the police?" Freeman asked.

> "Stoking cyclist hate will get him more publicity": CyclingMikey hits back at Mr Loophole's latest attack on "snitch society" camera cyclists

Speaking on the matter, Vine said he had reported "between 40 or 50" videos to the Metropolitan Police website himself and called CyclingMikey a "brave guy".

"He sent me [a video] and said, 'What do you think of this? I'll put it on my YouTube, but you put it on your Twitter.' And I think the last time I looked it was at 18 million views, so it's the most viewed thing I've ever put out. And it's not even mine. It's infuriating."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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34 comments

Avatar
Vo2Maxi | 7 months ago
1 like

Now he displays his true attitude: I'm on a bike, get off my road. The man is an imbecile. Other cyclists will experience bile and hate because of this fool.

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FrankH | 7 months ago
1 like

Quote:

...he would like to see motorists pull over if they see him behind them "because they know I'm faster".

Sounds good. Except outside the city, drivers would then expect cyclists to pull over because they know the car is faster. Share the road, Jeremy, share the road.

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Paul The Wolf replied to FrankH | 7 months ago
0 likes

Exactly.  It's what happens when someone just looks at a situation from their point of view (far, far too common the last 10 years or so).  I drive a car, ride a motorcycle and have been known to ride a horse.  All as well as being an avid cyclist.  We all have to share the roads with those allowed to use them.

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eburtthebike | 7 months ago
8 likes

"The thing that makes the roads dangerous isn't even the cars, it's the driver's mind. And drivers, a lot of them, are still in the 1970s. They still believe they literally own the road. So we get this stuff about 'We were here first' or 'We pay tax and you don't'. And until we change that mindset, we haven't got a chance."

This, a thousand times this.  The recent changes to the HC went some way to getting drivers to acknowledge that other people have rights on the road too, but it needs constant reiteration.

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tootsie323 replied to eburtthebike | 7 months ago
1 like

1970s. The days of casual racism, sexism, homophobia etc. We've moved on from that. But if you're on the road on a bicycle...

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Cugel replied to eburtthebike | 7 months ago
1 like

eburtthebike wrote:

"The thing that makes the roads dangerous isn't even the cars, it's the driver's mind. ..... And until we change that mindset, we haven't got a chance."

This, a thousand times this.  The recent changes to the HC went some way to getting drivers to acknowledge that other people have rights on the road too, but it needs constant reiteration.

Whilst its obviously true that the driver's mindset is a large contributory factor to road hogging, Toading and all the other driver sins, there's something about the car that makes them inherently dangerous of themselves. They're too heavy, too fast/powerful and designed as a sort of road-jousting machine for we self-centred and often infantilised modern folk.

Car design as a vroomy jousting merkin tool is celebrated, demonstrated and encouraged by car adverts and, most of all, by films full of "heroes" who drive like loons yet harm no one, despite all the crashes in their wakes.

Step one in reining-in carloons would be to change their minds about what a car is and is for, by severely limiting car size, weight, power and speed. Step two would be to change their minds about what a good driver is by villifying media demos (in adverts, films and everywhere else) of aggresive, dangerous and stupid driving.

James Bond has a license to kill and he murders hundreds of innocents in his way, with his baddy-chasing/escaping Aston Martin. Boo. See that car chase scattering hundreds of very agile folk on the city streets? They ain't scattered, they're maimed, dismembered and dead bloody heaps of victims strewn along the streets. Horrorshow!

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David9694 | 7 months ago
1 like

JV seems to be on his holibobs at the moment - the article seems to be straight up:

Jeremy Vine praises Devon drivers in hilarious video

He asked why London drivers can't be as considerate

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/jeremy-vine-praises-devon-driv...

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Hirsute | 7 months ago
10 likes

I think he might be a bit of a provocateur here.

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Car Delenda Est replied to Hirsute | 7 months ago
1 like

Yeah either idea is reasonable on its own but both together does come across as unreasonable.

That said Mr Vine is a private citizen, not a representative of all cyclists in the UK, and is entitled to the right to appear entitled.

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Hirsute replied to Car Delenda Est | 7 months ago
3 likes

It's now made my local rag. Cue cycling bingo.

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brooksby replied to Hirsute | 7 months ago
7 likes

Surely someone just needs to point out that he's being humorous- that works whenever some journo calls for cyclists to be beheaded doesn't it?

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AidanR | 7 months ago
0 likes

I'm not sure how workable the proposal no overtaking of cyclists would be. Would it only be on roads with 20mph limits? 30mph limits? What about roads with separate cycle or bus lanes?

And although it would make sense for those of us who whizz around at around 20mph, what about those who aren't capable of such speeds and cycle closer to walking pace?

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RoubaixCube | 7 months ago
5 likes

The thing with calling for a banning. Even if it was to be implemented. It wouldnt be enforced as the police are too busy doing other 'non-important' things with their time (and tax payers cash...) to be dealing with something else that is thrown on the pile of things they 'should-be-doing' (but arent).

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Rendel Harris replied to RoubaixCube | 7 months ago
7 likes

RoubaixCube wrote:

The thing with calling for a banning. Even if it was to be implemented. It wouldnt be enforced as the police are too busy doing other 'non-important' things with their time (and tax payers cash...) to be dealing with something else that is thrown on the pile of things they 'should-be-doing' (but arent).

Absolutely the police wouldn't do anything about it in terms of on the ground action, however it would be a law that could very easily be enforced using dash cam/cycle cam footage, no arguments about speed or passing distance, quite simply you've made an overtake where it's not allowed, that will be £100 and three points, thank you.

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RoubaixCube replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
10 likes

If watching CyclingMikey's videos have taught me anything. Is that even if you have someone dead to rights on video breaking the law/highway code etc. Its still a roll of the dice if any action will be taken against the perpetrator.

There has also been many videos that have been uploaded to twitter and CC'ing/tagging in the right police department, comissioner and whoever else have you thats in charge when there has been no action taken and they have always tried to down play or deflect from the drivers actions back to the cyclist who maybe swearing/being verbally abusive in the video or any silly excuse they can use to push blame away from the driver.

The performance of the police is not consistent.

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wtjs replied to RoubaixCube | 7 months ago
2 likes

The performance of the police is not consistent

It may not be consistent between forces but Lancashire Constabulary, for instance, is entirely consistent in never doing anything about offences against cyclists

https://upride.cc/incident/mj55hro_berlingo_mobiledruguse/

This is a close pass by a drugged-up driver of Berlingo MJ55 HRO(nitrous is my guess) berserking round a small town shouting and blaring the horn and holding up a mobile displaying a woman's bare breasts while driving. Naturally, no response from the police

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HoarseMann replied to wtjs | 7 months ago
3 likes

wtjs wrote:

Naturally, no response from the police

Unfortunately, you have incorrectly categorised this as a close pass:

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eburtthebike replied to RoubaixCube | 7 months ago
6 likes

RoubaixCube wrote:

The thing with calling for a banning. Even if it was to be implemented. It wouldnt be enforced as the police are too busy doing other 'non-important' things with their time (and tax payers cash...) to be dealing with something else that is thrown on the pile of things they 'should-be-doing' (but arent).

The tories must be reading road.cc!  They've just announced that all crimes with a reasonable chance of being solved, including bike theft, shoplifting etc, will be investigated. 

They've also announced that we have record numbers of police, although the older, experienced ones are resigning at a record rate too, and the crime rate is falling.  Even with all those extra police, I can't see them finding time to follow up every stolen bike or shoplifted can of lager.  The recorded crime rate may have fallen, but that's because people just don't bother reporting minor crimes as there is no expectation of any action being taken.

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chrisonabike replied to eburtthebike | 7 months ago
1 like

eburtthebike wrote:

The tories must be reading road.cc!  They've just announced that all crimes with a reasonable chance of being solved, including bike theft, shoplifting etc, will be investigated.

Well if it's all crimes with a reasonable change of being solved that won't need the police to change their approach to road crime:

"Here's the video of the driver (on DVD, Super-8 etc. showing ten minutes before and after), there's the number plate, here are a couple of witnesses..."

"Sorry mate, we did manage to find the car owner and they say they don't know anything about it."

Currently that counts as an investigation in Scotland (if it gets that far).  Much better in most of the UK?

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wtjs replied to chrisonabike | 7 months ago
1 like

Sorry mate, we did manage to find the car owner and they say they don't know anything about it."
Currently that counts as an investigation in Scotland (if it gets that far). Much better in most of the UK?

Lancashire is way ahead of that game! They just refuse to respond at all to reports from cyclists. So you could send in a report with immaculate video of someone overtaking illegally, and it would be ignored like everything else

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Safety | 7 months ago
4 likes

While doing 20 in a 20 limit recently I was dangerously undertaken by a van driver shouting "get off the F'ing road". I wonder if loophole Freeman would have got him off on a technicality if Mr Vines suggestion were law.

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Midgex replied to Safety | 7 months ago
1 like

Well, first, you need to get him on.

After that, Mr Loophole might well be persuaded to act for him! For his usual non-trivial fees.

 

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eburtthebike replied to Midgex | 7 months ago
4 likes

Midgex wrote:

After that, Mr Loophole might well be persuaded to act for him! For his usual non-trivial fees.

Damn! Another illusion shattered.  I had always assumed, with his holier than thou attitude, he worked pro bono.

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Cugel | 7 months ago
12 likes

Mr Vine has his tongue in his cheek slightly, perhaps.

He does have a point in that traffic that all travels together at the same speed is running much more efficiently; and overall slower speeds seems to actually reduce jams and, paradoxically, shorten journey times.

The bugbear will be slow cyclists (or slow motorist, for that matter - do they exist?). 

Personally I've wondered for about 30 years (ever since spending significant time in that London for work) why anyone living there uses a car in the city. It's got very good public transport compared to everywhere else; and has old streets very unsuitable for lotsa cars and lorries. (But very suitable for cycling).

So why not just ban private cars altogether? Make narrow and one-way roads for buses, vans/lorries and taxis only, with truly segregated (and wide) cycling lanes paralleling. A sort of super ULEZ.   1 That's probably the only way that the roads will ever have the same length of cycling infrastructure as there are roads, since there's nowhere to put it otherwise.

And painted cycling gutters of 1 metre wide are, as any fule now no, useless as well as inviting murder or maiming by car.

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OldRidgeback | 7 months ago
5 likes

I can't help thinking that the reason he's suggesting this is because so many drivers drive poorly. But stopping the drivers from overtaking won't really address the issue of poor driving. It's dealing with the symptom rather than the issue itself. It may lower cycling casualties slightly but is unlikely to have any benefit for reducing casualties amongst pedestrians for example. Surely it'd be better to find a way to improve driving? My suggestion would be to make cycle training a compulsory portion of the driving test. I'd also make it compulsory for anyone renewing a driving licence. Research tells us clearly that cyclists (and motorcyclists) make better car drivers due to better levels of hazard perception and awareness. So why not capitalise on this to improve driving, rather than imposing driving restrictions with few benefits for driving quality?

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Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
11 likes

Despite the fact that some will whine that Vine is just encouraging drivers to hate cyclists (the "don't stand up to bullies and they might not hurt you" logic) he's got a fair point there, especially where 20 mph zones (i.e. nearly all of London and urban Wales now) are concerned. Most commuters cycle around 15 mph, taking about 14 seconds to cover 100 m; at 20 mph a car takes about 11 seconds to cover 100 m. To make a safe overtake (i.e. with 1.5m passing space) a driver on a two-lane road will have to pull out into the oncoming traffic lane. They should do this before they get within two seconds following distance of the cyclist, and they should not return until they are two seconds ahead. This means that at a conservative estimate a driver needs the oncoming traffic lane to be completely clear for at least 100 m in distance and 15 seconds in time in order to make an overtake that does not break the speed limit and that follows the Highway Code recommended passing distance. As these conditions won't pertain in 99 out of 100 instances, drivers surely wouldn't complain about being banned from overtaking in situations where it is impossible to do so legally in any case, that would simply be formalising the existing legal situation, no?

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BigDoodyBoy replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
5 likes

This is how I drive in 20 zones. There really is no way to safely pass cyclists cycling at 15+mph. I just sit behind you guys. But many of you get pissed off. You seem to want me to pass. But I'm quite happy sitting behind thanks, so chill and enjoy your day.

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IanMSpencer replied to BigDoodyBoy | 7 months ago
8 likes

There are a few factors, a good driver sits well back when not intending to overtake, signalling their poatience. Nice. 

The second problem is that when they do overtake, many drivers are sitting close (which is acceptable just before committing, but they accelerate as they pull out rather than pulling out then accelerating so although they eventually get to 1.5 metres, their initial pass is often too close to the rear wheel. (Yet if challenged they will consider their maximum width away, which is often in front of the bike they've passed).

The third factor is when drivers do not overtake when it is entirely obvious and safe to pass with great visibility, legal speed and plenty of room. That's when I get nervoius because it screams eiuther inattentive or incompetent driver. Is it safer - well usually no, because what then happens is a car approaches behind them, they wake up or get the guilt complex that they are hollding up another driver, so then they tend to make passes in poor places.  Then they also may just lose patience.

So generally, cyclists want to be passed, in my experience, because experience shows that the longer a driver is behind, the bigger the risk. I will certainly encourage a pass by using hatched areas or other places where I can move to one side while maintaining momentum.

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Rendel Harris replied to BigDoodyBoy | 7 months ago
0 likes

BigDoodyBoy wrote:

This is how I drive in 20 zones. There really is no way to safely pass cyclists cycling at 15+mph. I just sit behind you guys. But many of you get pissed off. You seem to want me to pass. But I'm quite happy sitting behind thanks, so chill and enjoy your day.

Not me, you'd get a big smile and thumbs up (assuming you're keeping to the two second rule, of course (9m at 20mph)).

 

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Left_is_for_Losers replied to Rendel Harris | 7 months ago
1 like

I thought from your videos you usually foul mouthed people going past

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