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Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 5:16pm
Horizon
Spot on!

IMO&E cyclists in the UK are non people,they're looked upon as nothing deserving of no attention or courtesy by a significant minority of drivers,that would be bad enough in itself,but we also are in the position that the police and courts are of the same opinion.
That is a terrible situation for cyclists in a modern so called civilised society.
It's sad and it's disgusting,but it's the truth,one only has to look at the sentences handed down by courts in the unlikely event of a conviction should a case ever get that far.
Also the flimsiest of excuses for causing the death of another human being vehiclicide(new word but I think it'll catch on ),in one such case a driver claiming a cyclist hopped of the curb in front of his vehicle when there was no footpath on that stretch of road.
Other's recently reported that the sun was in the driver's eyes,cases where their driving was clearly below any kind of standard as to be completely unbelievable when such people are found not guilty.

As I drive and ride around a cursory observation confirms lots of illegal vehicles and illegal driving,certainly upward of 10% and possibly as much as 20%,illegal lights,number plates,speeding,illegal parking,etc,etc.Plus the number one culprit,mobile phone use whilst driving,an act so dangerous as to rank up there with D&D.
It seems to me law enforcement in this country with regard motorists(if not in total) is so lenient as to be all but blind,so is it any wonder drivers think they can quite literally get away with murder?

I'm also of the opinion that policing is now so politicised as to be all but inept and has totally lost it's effectiveness.


What a wonderful country we live in indeed!

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

23 March 2015 - 4:53pm
I'm sure that pickpocketing was a problem in London long before Romanians came across. IIRC there was even a Dickens story of a nice British gang of them so it must have been happening back then before the EU and Romanians coming over.

Funny thing is near me there are two towns. They both have big issue sellers. One has English sounding sellers the other (a town with a better standard of living according to various sources) has sellers with a distinct eastern european sounding accent. I only say this because which nationality is the brightest there? The one in the more well to do town or the poorer town?

Among the lowlives of different communities, nations and racial groupings there appears to me to be more inventiveness or creativity among the foreigners than Britishers. If there is an increase in a certain group carrying out a certain type of crime such as pickpocketing i doubt it is down to an influx. I personally think that they are better at it so they gain the upper hand and take over. They are not swarming over London picking pockets but they are replacing the indigenous theives through being better at it and those locals are moving on to other criminal activities. just a theory of mine.

BTW there is some evidence to suggest nationalities are more involved in certain crimes. I understand that a higher proportion of industrially grown cannabis/marijuana is grown by Vietnamese gangs. Something to do with poor farmers getting smuggled in to grow them getting better yields and cornering the market as growers. how true I can not say. That does not stop locals getting done for such industrial growing. I remember a gang getting done not too many miles away from where I used to live and they were British and local too.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

23 March 2015 - 4:41pm
^ It really depends where you live. I don't live in a place of high criminality, so I'm less worried by someone approaching me in the street, irrespective of their accent. They are more likely to point out I've dropped something on the floor, than want to pinch something off me. If I lived in a vibrant city, then I would be more guarded. If I knew a certain type of crime was being committed exclusively or almost exclusively by people from a certain group in a certain area, then I would do your "hounds of hell" bit. I also wouldn't feel the slightest bit bigoted or bad because of it.

I didn't suggest this particular crime had been imported, you are twisting my words in an effort to dance round the issue. The issue being that criminals from certain groups commit certain crimes to a certain extent, some groups commit X crime many magnitudes more than criminals from a different racial or national group. The statistics the police hold back this up. It is only prudent and intelligent to be aware of such things and act accordingly. If it makes you feel uncomfortable to do so, it is your problem, not mine.

To conclude, yes, the nationality of the criminal is of interest and is relevant, because it may well be part of a pattern of crime. If, for instance, you know an Eastern European criminal pair have been approaching people in a certain area to steal their Garmins, then when you are approached in the same area, by an Eastern European, in a similar scenario, you are going to give him the benefit of the doubt? I don't believe that for an instant. You would be out of there like a shot. You talk one way and act another.

SUV/Lorry/BMW/Insert/delete as appropriate Driving Too Close

23 March 2015 - 4:30pm
Seeing as there seems to be a few posts floating around about a certain type or model of vehicle driving too close on their passing manouevres i thought I would ask the question whether there could actually be some truth in these assertions??

First off I'd like to get my pedantic tendancy out of the way. It is the driver who is driving too close and the vehicle is passing too close. A pedantic distinction but to me makes more sense.

Secondly, do certain vehicles bring out of a driver negative driving or is it the fact that the drivers with the negative driving tend to like certain vehicles?

To illustrate this with one of the vehicle types often complained about, SUVs. Popular with families for perceived driver safety and improved sight lines (perceived i think without true validity AFAIK). So if these SUVs are driven less considerately than say a mondeo or honda accord is it because the people who like to buy these vehicles tend to be less inconsiderate to other road users or is it the case that there is something in the car that brings out inconsiderate driving when seen by those at the receiving end? Perhaps there is a design flaw where you can not easily judge the edges of the vehicle so that you are actually closer than it looks to the driver. Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that the SUV driver feels more right to be there. Perhaps it is just a perception from those being overtaken that the SUV is closer than it really is. I can see how a bigger bulk of a car ccould pass by a cyclist with more draft being felt which perhaps makes it feel closer. Is there something in that?

Basically I am curious as to whether there is truth in some of these cyclist folk stories about certain vehicle types or models being worse than others. A classic for everyone is BMW drivers having a bad reputation as being arrogant. Stems from company car owners I guess but not sure it is true these days. Anecdotally i think Audi drivers are now worse as a group but who knows.

Anyway, is there any value in these posts about Audi/BMW/SUV/White Van drove too close threads?? Does it solve anything? Does it raise awareness among the drivers of those groups? Is it just a way to vent your spleen over someone who did you wrong on your commute into work this morning? Just wanted to ask the questions and see what people thought.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

23 March 2015 - 4:20pm
One does have to ask - if one pulls up at the lights and is approached by a young man who mumbles something in a British accent do you jump off go to the back of the bike and stare at it, leaving your garmin unguarded at the other end? Whereas if the young man happens to have a foreign accent do you immediately ride off as though the hounds of hell were after you? Or would you be on your guard whoever it was.....suggesting that in this instance the original nationality of the young man wasn't actually of relevance.

And if it is a crime that has been imported to the UK, where did the young man come from originally......is there a roaring trade in garmin rustling in Runamia, Pakistan, Somalia, etc?

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

23 March 2015 - 4:20pm
Card skimming at ATMs. Will you address the argument?

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

23 March 2015 - 3:57pm
Freddie wrote: You do realise that certain types of crime were largely unknown to this country, until the criminal element of another country, whose stock-in-trade it was, came over here and capitalised on an untapped market.

I didn't know that, just which certain crimes would that be?

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 3:36pm
pwa wrote:What might have led Mr. Mason to veer out is unknown (if it did happen) but it could be something as simple as a cat running out into the road. We don't know that he veered out at all, but we don't know that he didn't. We don't know that he didn't move out in the usual "safe" manner, but we don't know that he did.

And sadly, not knowing must mean that there is no conviction. I know some think differently, but I would not want to have guilt presumed until innocence is proved.

As you rightly point out, the right freely to kill another human being in the UK is reserved for motorists. AFAIK there is no other person in the UK that has the right to punish someone by death should they err. Motorists really believe this (and the courts and police back them up). Only the Highway Code (that pesky little book) stands in their way and squeaks that motorists should slow down when passing vulnerable road users.

When I pass a cyclist when I'm driving I allow for cats and potholes, even just plain stupidity. And I allow for the swerve. 99% of motorists don’t, as they know that they are entitled freely to kill. I know this all the time from my cycling and the risks that drivers take with my life.

My opinion of motorists falls further after each cycle ride. That they then have the effrontery to stand up in court and say “The cyclist made a mistake and I was therefore within my right to kill them - that will be a lesson they will not have to learn again!”

What a wonderful country we live in.

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 3:18pm
pwa wrote:My reading of the police report is that there is no firm evidence to rule out the possibility that Mr. Mason veered to the right suddenly, requiring the driver to take rapid evasive action.

Its known as a SWISS (pronounced swizz) - Single Witness Suicide Swerve. Its the claimed cause of all cyclist deaths where the driver is the only living witness.

Re: lorry passing too close

23 March 2015 - 2:49pm
Well... I rang 101 and reported it nearly two weeks ago, they rang me the day after to tell me they'd be ringing me in the next few days (yes, really!)... and that's it. No phone call. Trail now gone cold.

Decades ago a drunk driver ploughed right through me, wrecked half the bike. Cos I have very dense bones the motor was dented rather than my leg breaking but I still couldn't walk for a few days, the woman driving didn't even slow down, just drove home and didn't answer the door to police till late the next day, everything pointed to her having been drunk especially as she insisted I'd been walking with the bike rather than riding it but I had a few witnesses to confirm I'd been riding and had lights, plus a sample of paint off the car was taken from my leg by a forensic detective, paint which had got there through my trousers thereby showing the force of impact, so she had definitely hit me as well as the bike... hospital records corroborated the lot... plus even if it had all been my fault she still drove away from an accident... I identified her when she was mentioned on a police radio and went and asked her to settle for the bike and I'd leave it at that but the cops told me they would prosecute her, and meanwhile they advised her not to settle out of court...

Punchline: nothing ever happened. As far as I know she got away with it scott-free. My girlfriend at the time was so pissed off about it that I think it might be part of the reason she took up a new career and she's now an injury lawyer!

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 2:38pm
I don't know enough about the case nor the law to comment on this particular tragedy.

But (talking in a general context), it does seem that significant action should be taken against the driver. Either the driver did or did not see the cyclist. If they did not see the cyclist (e.g. sun in their eyes, busy on the phone, too many legally light other bikes, etc.) then they should not have been moving. To continue driving when you cannot see if/what you are going to hit/crush must make you guilty of one or more motoring offences. If the driver did see the cyclist and the cyclist was riding legally (i.e. not RLJ'ing, etc.) then hitting them must make the driver guilty of one or more motoring offences.

It seems to me that in such instances it is more a question of what books get thrown at then rather than if the case is pursued at all.

Ian

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 2:37pm
Or even that the decision of whether to prosecute should be taken by CPS.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 2:36pm
The Mechanic wrote:I find it strange that cyclists are so biased towards certain makes and types of car..

Everyone is, not just cyclists. You'll find that people saying Audi and BMW drivers are bad is pretty universal.

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 2:30pm
pwa wrote:My reading of the police report is that there is no firm evidence to rule out the possibility that Mr. Mason veered to the right suddenly, requiring the driver to take rapid evasive action. In this scenario his inconspicuous clothing would not have helped the driver to spot his manoeuvre quickly enough. What might have led Mr. Mason to veer out is unknown (if it did happen) but it could be something as simple as a cat running out into the road. We don't know that he veered out at all, but we don't know that he didn't. We don't know that he didn't move out in the usual "safe" manner, but we don't know that he did.

And sadly, not knowing must mean that there is no conviction. I know some think differently, but I would not want to have guilt presumed until innocence is proved.

Yebbut, no one's arguing for a conviction just that the de facto evidence that a driver failed to see a cyclist and drove into them causing their death merits the issue being tested in a court.

Re: Grab Theft - handle bar kit

23 March 2015 - 2:19pm
PH wrote: In the unlikely event the theft took place, the nationality of the supposed perpetrator is of no more relevance than the weather on the day. What utter drivel. You do realise that certain types of crime were largely unknown to this country, until the criminal element of another country, whose stock-in-trade it was, came over here and capitalised on an untapped market. Sometime ago I was watching a program on television about how pickpocketing had gone up massively on the London underground and that the reason behind this was an influx of the Romanian Roma Gypsy criminal element. This came out of the mouths of policemen themselves, who were stopping these people on a daily basis. I was as shocked to hear them say it as you may be, though I was shocked because of their honesty (you would probably call it racial insensitivity?) and that they weren't afraid for their jobs revealing such information. "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Of course, the correlation these policemen made is completely irrelevant, it could have been some upper class sloane ranger posing as a Roma Gypsy, having a bit of a jolly pickpocketing on the Underground....but back in the real world...

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 2:18pm
The Mechanic wrote:I find it strange that cyclists are so biased towards certain makes and types of car. I suspect they may be a certain amount of exclusivity creeping in. Where I live, there are any amount of BMWs, Audis, Mercs etc and well as 4x4s of all types. I imaging that in some areas of the country they are less common. This may lead to people noticing them more. I notice that there is a distinct lack of evidence on this thread to back up peoples perceptions.
Last three close passes on the bike were two SUV's and a VW Tiguan or Touran(?) two out of the three were very close with a speed differential of 30mph+
An attempt to bully me along or out of his way on Saturday by an idiot driving a 'Barbarian' crewcab pick up 4x4 but I was driving my Ford Cmax at the time.
However, I would like to point out that I am a cyclist, have 5 bikes and also drive a 4x4, and it is a BMW! What does that make me? A murdering mania one minute and a complaining cyclist the next? I don't think so. I like to think that I am a courteous road user no matter which mode of transport I am using.
No one's blaming all SUV drivers but claims that a higher proportion of such vehicle IME cause me grief by bullying in one form or another.
I suspect some drivers of such vehicles are a touch sensitive about the issue,on a thread in the Tea Shop three forum members tried to belittle me with their attempts at humour some time ago,when I brought up the same issue.
The vast majority of SUV/4x4 drivers give me no trouble at all,but the minority of badly drive SUV/4x4's is higher than most other car classes,despite their numbers being less.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 1:48pm
It's generalisation. It's easy to think because some cyclists ride through red lights and on pavements and are generally a menace therefore ALL cyclists are a menace. similarly for car makes and driving styles.

When I first explained to my girlfriend of the time (some years ago) that all BMW drivers are psychopathic maniacs who are doing their best to wipe out cyclists, she hadn't thought about it and quite rightly said I was barmy.

My now wife, having monitored the situation for some time, now has the view that there is a higher percentage of aggressive / careless driving behaviour amongst said vehicles than the general car pool.

I also ask myself, insurance costs are based on risk, so why is it that the bottom of the range BMW 116 has a Group 17 insurance rating? (!)

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 1:48pm
My reading of the police report is that there is no firm evidence to rule out the possibility that Mr. Mason veered to the right suddenly, requiring the driver to take rapid evasive action. In this scenario his inconspicuous clothing would not have helped the driver to spot his manoeuvre quickly enough. What might have led Mr. Mason to veer out is unknown (if it did happen) but it could be something as simple as a cat running out into the road. We don't know that he veered out at all, but we don't know that he didn't. We don't know that he didn't move out in the usual "safe" manner, but we don't know that he did.

And sadly, not knowing must mean that there is no conviction. I know some think differently, but I would not want to have guilt presumed until innocence is proved.

Re: It me or do SUVs alway drive to close

23 March 2015 - 1:43pm
Of course, my cycling experience is local. But my experience of driving is a national rather than a local one, as I do a fair bit of long distance driving. And as a driver, I do find that large SUVs and 4 x 4s, audis, and BMWs are over-represented in the 'what the hell is that one doing' stakes compared to their proportion on the roads.
Just my 2ps worth of course.
Farm-style muddy 4x4s where I cycle are common, and in general are fine. Squeaky clean SUVs loaded with schoolchildren are another matter. In general they do seem to be badly driven, and inconsiderately driven.

But there are of course exceptions. A lady driving a large and clean 4 x 4 a while back was so careful and considerate that I'd give her 10/10. But I think it's significant that I actually noticed how good her driving was....

Re: Cyclist defence fund Michael Mason

23 March 2015 - 9:07am
The rationale presented by the police in their rejection of the complaint is inconsistent and doesn't withstand any forensic scrutiny.

They claim that the driver couldn't be expected to see (i.e. observe and judge speed, position) the cyclist amongst the other lights in the street but also claim that the evidence of other witnesses as to the cyclists road position is reliable. You can't have it both ways.

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