Close pass again. Sigh.

April 27, 2017 at 11:51 | Posted in bicycles | 2 Comments
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You may remember a while ago I took some footage of a car passing very close to the cops. The reaction was surprisingly positive, you may recall. Well, it happened again the other day. So I thought I would take it in as well, and also take the opportunity to find out what had happened to my other complaint.

To help with this latest one, I also took some footage of my bike placed exactly one metre away from a parked car, for comparison. And from that comparison, it’s pretty clear the car passed me with only about 50cm clearance – enough to cause a shiver of worry. It’s really unpleasant to have a car that close. I saw a really good picture on social media that summed it up the other day:

So, what was the reaction of the cops this time? Well, rather less good. The officer at first didn’t even want to look at the video. then, after looking at it, he justified the behaviour of the driver, as ‘he probably didn’t want to go over the double white lines’. The fact that he had just gone straight on in a turn right only lane apparently was of no interest either.

Then it got worse. He told me it wasn’t too bad, and that the car couldn’t have been close to me as ‘I didn’t flinch’. He rejected out of hand my picture taken at the one metre distance, and told me that there was no way to tell if it was accurate, and he didn’t think the car was too close. He declined my invitation to go and do the sample one metre distance footage again outside the police station with him watching.

He then told me he would be taking absolutely no action.

I insisted on making a statement anyway, but it was clearly pointless. Here was a cop (Constable Joly, from Chatswood Police Station, for the record) who was justifying the dangerous driving of a law-breaking motorist, and also blaming me (the victim) for not reacting properly.

Oh, and the other complaint? Also dead, with no follow-up done or intended.

Meanwhile, the blitzes on bicycle bells continue. Fines rain down on hapless cyclists for trivial offences. And cyclists continue to die.

 

You can judge the footage yourself here.

Car forces bike off the road in Holden ad

August 14, 2013 at 20:32 | Posted in bicycles | 6 Comments
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If you don’t ride a bike, you’ll think I have my knickers in a twist about this. If you regularly ride a bike in Australia, this will make your blood boil. It’s the latest ad from Holden for some new car of theirs  (click here to watch).

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Now, there’s been some commentary about this on their YouTube channel, and here is their response:

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Well I’m sorry Holden, but your comments just don’t wash. This ad clearly depicts careless and dangerous driving, even if its not immediately apparent to a casual, non-cycling viewer. Let’s take a look at it frame by frame.
At 18s, we see the driver is not paying attention to the road – he is more interested in looking at his companion than at the road ahead of him:

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At 20s in, we see the cyclist from behind. The implication is that this is the drivers POV. The car must be extremely close to the back wheel of the bike to get this shot. Perhaps the driver should have been looking at the road two seconds earlier:

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At 21 seconds we see the car make a significant swerve to go around the (crashed) cyclist – check how the body is rolling on the suspension. In order to require such a sharp manoeuvre, the car must have been driving directly at the cyclist in the moments prior. (Had the driver been driving safely and with care, he would have pulled out to give the cyclist room well before he got so close, and would not have needed to make such a sudden swerve.) At he is close too; we can see the car is indeed no more than 2 or 3 metres behind the cyclist:

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Perhaps someone from Holden’s marketing department would like to ride a bike down the street whilst I drive my car behind then two metres off their back wheel – let me tell you, it’s pretty terrifying. It’s also illegal under Australian Road Rule 127.

The driver does not then stop to render assistance to the cyclist, or check he is OK – instead he just drives off.

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Whilst most Australian drivers are thankfully much more observant and much more considerate than the driver in this ad, it is a sad fact that there is a tiny minority out there who think cyclists are ‘fair game’, and will deliberately drive at them, drive close to them and in some cases even force them off the road. These incidents are of course rare, but anyone who has cycled in Australia for any length of time will probably have experienced this type of thing at some point. For Holden to be glorifying and legitimising this kind of hoon behaviour is utterly unacceptable – and simply shrugging it off as ‘tongue in cheek’ is not good enough.

Sure, make an ad that pokes bland cars in the eye. But don’t try to claim it’s funny when someone exhibiting careless driving puts a vulnerable road user in danger.

You can make a complaint about the ad here, if you feel moved to do so.

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