Thursday, April 25, 2013

“Discretionary Rules” of the Road

SundayMonday, 15th April 2013: (Updated with correct day!) In my last post I referred to this Post from the Cambridge Cyclist – “The OTHER rules of the road”. Well I had to pop out to PC World for some last minute computer stuff and despite the fact I was in a hurry to get there and back I still took a camera with me – although I only took one picture.

The bicycle racks are at the far end of the car park if you are interested. Anyway I popped in and out and was going to speed home (well as fast as my legs would go – which isn’t speeding) and I thought I rarely come this way – because I think that the cycling provision is poor and that the road is dangerous.

One of the things that annoys me is cars using the Bus Lane. The other is how small the cycle lane is – not fun when a bus tries to squeeze past. Although to be fair the last time I cycled along the road a bus just let me carry on in front without hassling me at all. That driver was thinking as well as driving.

So cars using the bus lane – hardly the crime of the century, well yes, but it does increase the danger for cyclists and I know that drivers also slow down the buses. I’ve been on a bus more than once along this stretch of Newmarket Road when some stupid car driver caused an obstruction. One good way of telling how annoyed the bus driver is is to look and see how close the bus is to the car when they end up queuing – not so much centimetres as millimetres.

You can see what happens the car driver is pootling along and thinks hey I want to turn left up ahead – so what does it matter if I pull into the bus lane a little early. The more advanced thinkers also consider how helpful they are being to the other drivers in the non-bus lane, by shortening it. Some probably even drive quicker to reduce the level of transgression. SO what is the harm in that – well consider the case of this schoolboy killed in a bus lane.

Of course in this case that car could be a taxi driver – there is quite along way to go before the bus lane ends to allows left turning cars though.

This is one area where I would change the sentencing policy – a ban on driving in the City and compulsory use of the Park and Ride perhaps, monitored by GPS. It might not even be an inconvenience – would hopefully it would teach errant drivers a lesson.

Newmarket Road Bus Lane (which allows taxis I think)

The trouble is laws aren’t meant to be broken, even for good reasons. Once you get used to breaking laws and getting away with it – well where next. The unthinkable can and does happen. Like this drunk Nurse who killed a cyclist, moved his bike out of the way… then drove on to her work. Or the disqualified driver who killed the Tandem riders in Bristol.

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