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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 17:13 
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Actually he said it in response to your attempt to put words in my mouth (again), seems pretty clear.

I wonder if there's any chance of getting this thread back on track, for people to stop trying to pick quarrels and to objectively explore what coupd be done to solve the problem. It might also be nice if certain posters tried to adjust their attitude away from "them and us", with a victim complex thrown in, and realise that we are all road users, and that the goal is for us all to play nicely, to complete our journeys as safely and expediently as possible!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 18:10 
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Robin gets it!

I was actually going to respond to Malcolm's statement seperately (I didn't entirely agree with it), but I've never had time to consider it properly. In that meantime I grabbed the low-hanging fruit.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 18:15 
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RobinXe wrote:
Actually he said it in response to your attempt to put words in my mouth (again), seems pretty clear.

I'm not sure what antecedents the pronouns there refer to (i.e. who said what in response to whose attempt ...), but it probably doesn't matter.

RobinXe wrote:
I wonder if there's any chance of getting this thread back on track, for people to stop trying to pick quarrels and to objectively explore what coupd be done to solve the problem. It might also be nice if certain posters tried to adjust their attitude away from "them and us", with a victim complex thrown in,

The thing is that the whole premise of this topic contains an implicit "us and them" attitude, based, as I already said, on the 'belief that there is a single homogeneous group of people whom you call "cyclists", who ... need to be "dealt with" as a group'. This is intended as a meaningful contribution to the debate because it points out that there is an underlying problem with the very question that is being posed: "how can we hold cyclists accountable for all the infractions that they perpetrate".

In fact, the problem is not about cyclists, it is about anti-social behaviour. The group that is of concern is the group: "people who commit acts displaying anti-social behaviour". It happens that some of those people are on bicycles, just as some of them are on foot, some of them are on motorcycles and some of them are in cars.

RobinXe wrote:
and realise that we are all road users, and that the goal is for us all to play nicely, to complete our journeys as safely and expediently as possible!

I agree absolutely with this and, as I have said before in a different topic, I do find that negotiation, assisted by the guidance contained in the highway code, works most of the time. It is just when people refuse to be part of this mutually respectful society that it goes wrong, which is why we (i.e. all "good" road users) should be concerning ourselves with how we might deal with "bad" road users.

There seem to me to be several kinds of failure to participate in this road sharing.

1. There are the people who just are not aware of the highway code, either because they haven't read it, or because it is so long since they read it that they've forgotten it (or it has changed anyway). The problem with this is that the parties to the negotiation are starting from different assumptions, so they will get into conflict. This is where education is needed.

2. There are people who just lack the basic skills to manage and control their particular mode of transport, or to maintain the situational awareness that is required for them to participate in negotiation and avoid conflict. This is where practical training is needed. It is also important for all road users to recognize that this group of people exists, and to take that into account when making decisions; taking more care than would otherwise be needed.

3. There are the people who very well know the "rules" (as set out in the HC) but feel that, in a particular circumstance, the relevant rule need not be applied. Examples of this include speeding "when there is no danger" and going through red lights "when there is nobody coming along the other road". The problem here is that these people who think they know better might actually be wrong, which is why I don't condone any road vehicles going through red lights, even when it appears to be safe. This is where, again, some education is required, possibly by showing examples of where other people have got it wrong in their arrogance.

4. There are the people who know the rules, are perfectly competent in the control of their vehicles and are well-aware of what is going on around them, but have a very selfish attitude and are not prepared to "share" in a civilised manner, resulting in unresolved conflict and unpredictable actions. These are the ones that are very difficult to deal with; they are "anti-social" individuals because they are not prepared to act as part of a civilised society.

I realize these are idealizations and there will be permutations of them, but I think it is still useful to think in these terms.

I really don't know how we can address group 4 by any means that is better than what we have now, apart from spending money on more police perhaps. The problem is that, whatever systematic measures you put in place will not significantly affect them because they tend to operate outside the system.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 18:39 
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While I agree that it is regrettable that cyclists get grouped in good or bad, indeed I mentioned this in the very first post, one obstacle to entirely avoiding identifying all cyclists as a group is that we are the only machines on the road in any significant number who are not subject to any registration or mandatory training requirements.

I am sure we all agree that the behaviour exhibited by motorised road-users could best be improved by replacing cameras, that are so expensive (to the taxpayer) they are being scrapped and can only detect a very thin slice of the delinquency spectrum, with traffic police officers, whose very purpose is to promote playing nicely on the roads, and have the latitude and experience to best do so. This would certainly go some way towards policing errant cyclists as well, but in both the situations I cited earlier, and I am certain in countless others across the capital and busy cities nationwide, the conditions did not exist to safely give chase, and with no means of subsequently tracking down the vehicle's owner, those who would anti-socially and wantonly transgress have far less incentive to stop when challenged. The individual in the second example no doubt clearly heard me shouting "oi!" as he zipped past my toes, but merely pedalled on his way with the slightest of shrugs. Had it been a motorcycle under the same circumstances I could have taken his registration and crossed back over to Fulham Police Station and reported him.

I have little doubt, from his actions and response, that the aforementioned blaggard falls squarely in your category 4, and it is these who are most likely to be curbed by the ability to trace them after the fact. This leads me on to wonder what punishments are even available to apply to cyclists; could an ASBO be issued forbidding someone who had displayed egregiously poor roadcraft from taking to two wheels for a period do we think?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 19:13 
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RobinXe wrote:
.... is that we are the only machines on the road in any significant number who are not subject to any registration or mandatory training requirements.


Just am aside but powered wheelchairs (aka mobility scooters) are another set of machines that fall into that category. Whether you regard their number to be significant I do not know, but the behaviour of some of the drivers certainly leaves a lot to be desired.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8436558.stm

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 20:40 
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RobinXe wrote:
I have little doubt, from his actions and response, that the aforementioned blaggard falls squarely in your category 4, and it is these who are most likely to be curbed by the ability to trace them after the fact.

And would be highly likely to be unregistered and/or showing a false registration number.

RobinXe wrote:
This leads me on to wonder what punishments are even available to apply to cyclists; could an ASBO be issued forbidding someone who had displayed egregiously poor roadcraft from taking to two wheels for a period do we think?

Road Traffic Act 1991:
Code:
7 Cycling offences.E+W+S

For section 28 of the M1Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be substituted—
“28 Dangerous cycling.

(1)A person who rides a cycle on a road dangerously is guilty of an offence.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) above a person is to be regarded as riding dangerously if (and only if)—

     (a)the way he rides falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful cyclist, and

     (b)it would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist that riding in that way would be dangerous.

(3)In subsection (2) above “dangerous” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of that subsection what would be obvious to a competent and careful cyclist in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.”

Dangerous cycling carries a maximum £2500 fine. (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTr ... /DG_069870)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 21:18 
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Yeah, that's a fairly full-on offence there, with a high burden of proof presumably, even harder to objectively pin down competent and careful without any training or testing framework too I'd suppose. It's also not going to keep menaces off bikes.

I'm not quite sure why you think these people would be unlikely to register correctly though?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 21:50 
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RobinXe wrote:
Yeah, that's a fairly full-on offence there, with a high burden of proof presumably,

Yes, it would work much better if we rely on civil law with presumed liability, then cyclists of all kinds would be well-advised to take out 3rd party insurance.

RobinXe wrote:
even harder to objectively pin down competent and careful without any training or testing framework too I'd suppose. It's also not going to keep menaces off bikes.

There is a well established National Training Standard called Bikeability, with hundreds (thousands?) of qualified instructors and a testing framework. (I was sure I had told you that already. :D )

RobinXe wrote:
I'm not quite sure why you think these people would be unlikely to register correctly though?

Just conjecture, I admit. I still think it's likely to be the case, though. If they flout the laws on the road, why would they obey this one?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 22:00 
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MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
Yeah, that's a fairly full-on offence there, with a high burden of proof presumably,

Yes, it would work much better if we rely on civil law with presumed liability, then cyclists of all kinds would be well-advised to take out 3rd party insurance.


Really? How would those wronged catch up with the anonymous road-users? Why should it be up to the victims to pursue lawbreakers?

MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
even harder to objectively pin down competent and careful without any training or testing framework too I'd suppose. It's also not going to keep menaces off bikes.

There is a well established National Training Standard called Bikeability, with hundreds (thousands?) of qualified instructors and a testing framework. (I was sure I had told you that already. :D )


My apologies, I thought it was implicit that I meant a mandatory minimum, not an optional scheme that only the conscientious are likely to participate in anyway.

MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
I'm not quite sure why you think these people would be unlikely to register correctly though?

Just conjecture, I admit. I still think it's likely to be the case, though. If they flout the laws on the road, why would they obey this one?


Presumably they flout the laws because they have next to no chance of being caught, as they blend into the crowd. If they are in the conspicuous minority then they are likely to be less bold.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 22:20 
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RobinXe wrote:
MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
even harder to objectively pin down competent and careful without any training or testing framework too I'd suppose. It's also not going to keep menaces off bikes.

There is a well established National Training Standard called Bikeability, with hundreds (thousands?) of qualified instructors and a testing framework. (I was sure I had told you that already. :D )

My apologies, I thought it was implicit that I meant a mandatory minimum, not an optional scheme that only the conscientious are likely to participate in anyway.

No, your point was quite clearly about the need for a standard against which to define "competent and careful". Whether it is optional or mandatory is irrelevant for that purpose.

The other stuff is all about registration, and I think I have already said all I want or need to on that, so I don't want to go all round that circle again. My view on that remains that the costs seriously outweigh the benefits, and my well-researched arguments on that have not been successfulyy challenged. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

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Last edited by MrGrumpyCyclist on Thu Mar 03, 2011 22:31, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 22:31 
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MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
Whether it is optional or mandatory is irrelevant for that purpose.


Only your inference, not my implication.

MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
The other stuff is all about registration, and I think I have already said all I want or need to on that, so I don't want to go all round that circle again. My view on that remains that the costs seriously outweigh the benefits, and my well-researched arguments on that have not been successfulyy challenged. I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.


It doesn't have to be about registration, there may well be other means by which those wronged by errant cyclists can receive the same recourse as those wronged by the controllers of other road-going machines, and group 4 cyclists can be made to bear in mind the likelihood of being brought to justice for their antisocial behaviour. Does your view on cost vs benefit remain your only "well-researched" objection to the scheme? If there was a way to make it cost neutral would you support the increased responsibility to be borne by cyclists, bringing us more in line with the rest of the traffic, as previously mentioned elsewhere?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 22:45 
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RobinXe wrote:
MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
Whether it is optional or mandatory is irrelevant for that purpose.

Only your inference, not my implication.

On the contrary. Your words: "even harder to objectively pin down competent and careful without any training or testing framework"

RobinXe wrote:
It doesn't have to be about registration, there may well be other means by which those wronged by errant cyclists can receive the same recourse as those wronged by the controllers of other road-going machines, and group 4 cyclists can be made to bear in mind the likelihood of being brought to justice for their antisocial behaviour. Does your view on cost vs benefit remain your only "well-researched" objection to the scheme? If there was a way to make it cost neutral would you support the increased responsibility to be borne by cyclists, bringing us more in line with the rest of the traffic, as previously mentioned elsewhere?

Well, my objection doesn't need to be well-researched, only my argument. However, I have no objection in principle to registration of cyclists. Costs vs benefits is indeed my only objection, though it must be remembered that this includes ALL costs. I would object to having to put a 10" inch square registration plate on my bicycle, for example, because the cost would be to make my bike unusable and dangerous.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 22:50 
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So perhaps we could fund a scheme through financial penalties for offenders. A tax on new bike sales would be another option. I'm sure there are many ways in which we could avoid cost to the taxpayer, can anyone think of any others?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 23:17 
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RobinXe wrote:
So perhaps we could fund a scheme through financial penalties for offenders. A tax on new bike sales would be another option. I'm sure there are many ways in which we could avoid cost to the taxpayer, can anyone think of any others?

As I already said, it is completely inappropriate to make responsible cyclists pay the cost of dealing with a bunch of anti-social pricks just because those pricks happen to be using bicycles. You really can't get past the blindness caused by your prejudices, can you? There is no point in going round in circles any more.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 23:50 
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MrGrumpyCyclist wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
So perhaps we could fund a scheme through financial penalties for offenders. A tax on new bike sales would be another option. I'm sure there are many ways in which we could avoid cost to the taxpayer, can anyone think of any others?

As I already said, it is completely inappropriate to make responsible cyclists pay the cost of dealing with a bunch of anti-social pricks just because those pricks happen to be using bicycles. You really can't get past the blindness caused by your prejudices, can you? There is no point in going round in circles any more.


How exactly is fining offenders making responsible cyclists pay exactly? Do you even read my posts thoroughly before posting your defensive knee-jerk responses? It seems to me that you're very quick to run off from a debate when faced with any challenge to your paradigm.

How would charging us as cyclists for the cost of our registration scheme be any more inappropriate than charging motorists for theirs? I think the prejudice here is clear, and it's not flowing from my direction.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 01:45 
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RobinXe wrote:
A tax on new bike sales would be another option. I'm sure there are many ways in which we could avoid cost to the taxpayer, can anyone think of any others?


A tax on new bike sales to offset the costs brought about by inconsiderate cyclists is akin to a tax on shoes to offset the costs caused by burglars and other miscreants who travel between crimes on foot.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 01:50 
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RobinXe wrote:
How exactly is fining offenders making responsible cyclists pay exactly?

Fining offender is , excuse the pun, fine. The law is already in place to allow that. Making all cyclists pay a registration fee because a minority of cyclists behave badly is what we object bto.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 09:10 
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Couldn't the same be said about cars and drivers?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 09:29 
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Johnnytheboy wrote:
Couldn't the same be said about cars and drivers?


Indeed it could, and effectively has been, awaiting constructive comments on the parallel.

I understand that people are resistant to the suggestion of a change in the status quo, it's only natural. However, a small charge from all of us to register as cyclists should not be thought of as good cyclists having to pay to discourage bad cyclists more as a surety against any of us committing bad cycling, which any of us can at any moment, and would also facilitate the administration of official training/testing for all.

The fact of the matter is that we do enjoy a position "higher up the food chain" than some less well-equipped road users, mainly pedestrians, and as such we are, and should be, subject to additional rules already. Some of those aren't working out at the moment. Why should we not contribute, to a lesser degree than motorised methods of transport, but greater than pedestrians, over whom our chosen method of transport has many obvious advantages.

We haven't even touched on the advantages registration could bring in terms of bike theft and recovery, a problem which is absolutely rife, and also close to my own heart, having been a victim myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 09:33 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
A tax on new bike sales to offset the costs brought about by inconsiderate cyclists is akin to a tax on shoes to offset the costs caused by burglars and other miscreants who travel between crimes on foot.


Possibly a poor parallel, considering that (adult) shoes are already taxed as luxury items, despite their fairly obvious necessity, but I do see where you are coming from. Please see my points above to try to understand why this is not necessarily the case.

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