Close passes

fat and old
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Close passes

Postby fat and old » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:03 pm

Something I've been wondering....

How do you convince a motorist, or even a passenger, that a close pass is dangerous? It came to me yesty, filtering along Lonsdale St. I'm comfy, I look comfy....if fat :lol: . That's because I'm in control (inasmuch as I can see, anyway). But if a car does that to me, it can put the wind up me at times. So how to make motorists understand? By telling them I don't trust them? Is there a better way?

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trailgumby
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Re: Close passes

Postby trailgumby » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:31 pm

It's difficult.

Probably the most effective instance was when I opened the driver's car door and asked "Do you feel threatened? Because that's how I felt when you skimmed my elbow with your mirror!" before closing it again. Not one of my proudest moments but it did get the point across succinctly.

At other times I've said "Well maybe we should swap places and you can see how it feels when I do to you what you did to me." The invitation is never accepted. I wonder why.

If it was particularly egregious and I think I've got landmarks on the road to measure off, I'll simply go up, tap on the window and say "Hey mate, smile for the camera. Thanks champ :D " and then let them go. The police can deal with it later.
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Cops don't like the paperwork but I work the system so that dealing with what I give them properly is less aggravation than trying to ignore me.

More details on ow I achieve that here..

Philistine
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Re: Close passes

Postby Philistine » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:44 am

I used to think that close passing motorists were deliberately trying to intimidate me, but I have come around to the view that, in most cases, there is no ill will intended, and they are simply as dumb as dog droppings. Napoleon put it rather well "never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

I spend a high proportion of my riding time on the M5 shoulder, and I get a close pass every few seconds - bearing in mind that the legislated clearance on the higher speed road is 1.5 metres not 1 metre! Because of the ridiculous amount of debris on the shoulder (don't get me started on this) I am forced to ride closer to the carriageway than the edge, and motorists can only give me 1.5 metres by moving at least part way into the middle lane. None of them ever do, but, in mitigation, it is thankfully very rare that anybody moves closer to me either. They just hold their line as though I didn't exist - because from their perspective I don't. I am not plumb in front of them and that makes me invisible.

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redsonic
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Re: Close passes

Postby redsonic » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:07 am

This analogy is probably more for the back yard bbq type argument than the stopped at the lights situation. Heard it somewhere on this forum:

Imagine you are jogging along a train platform, on the tracks side of the yellow safety line (i.e., within a metre of the edge). The express train comes from behind you and roars past while you are still jogging. You know the train is not going to deviate, but how comfortable/safe would you feel? If the train driver saw you, would they worry about your safety? What would happen if you rolled an ankle or tripped?

This analogy is especially good for those who believe their driving standard is excellent and the safety margin does not apply to them.

Of course, for those that believe that cyclists are crazy risk takers to even be on the road in the first place, my example probably solidifies their view!

tez001
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Re: Close passes

Postby tez001 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:43 am

I think the minority do it on purpose. The majority just have either no concept of distance, or the risks of passing so closely.

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Ross
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Re: Close passes

Postby Ross » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:01 pm

It feels worse when the vehicle doing the cloae pass has bike racks - or worse still actual bikes on the racks. I notice that when this happens the bikes are generally MTBs, rarely road bikes

solmanic
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Re: Close passes

Postby solmanic » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:43 pm

I spent a few weeks in India earlier in the year. My perspective on what constitutes a close pass has been permanently altered. Haven't reported a single driver since then.

human909
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Re: Close passes

Postby human909 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:10 pm

tez001 wrote:I think the minority do it on purpose. The majority just have either no concept of distance, or the risks of passing so closely.

I agree though it does depends what you mean by on purpose.

It is ingrained in motorists from that cyclist's place is on the far left and the appropriate way to pass a cyclists is by staying within the traffic lane. What is not ingrained is the notion of changing lanes or slowing when passing cyclists. Thus the outcome is inevitably a close pass in a lane of that doesn't have enough room for a safe pass.

So from the typical motorists outlook there is no choice but to pass a cyclist closely. Most motorists are quite away of the risk, but they don't see other options and they believe that they are the risks the cyclist chose rather than the risks THEY THEMSELVES are imposing.

(A colleague today described seeing the death of a cyclist a few ago. He blamed the cyclist for being on the road. :roll: )

TheReality
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Re: Close passes

Postby TheReality » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:24 pm

I personally don't mind close passes, provided they are accompanied by a safe speed. I have waived a few people past that are holding up a lane not feeling comfortable passing (Kudos to them). To me sharing the road goes both ways and I want to hold up faster traffic as little as possible. If it is busy, and they cant change lanes, or single lane. I want them to squeeze past safely. Not hold up the entire road so i can cycle along my merry way.

Any dangerous/high speed/unnecessary close pass should really be reported (not that i ever have).
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Philistine
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Re: Close passes

Postby Philistine » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:09 pm

human909 wrote:

It is ingrained in motorists from that cyclist's place is on the far left and the appropriate way to pass a cyclists is by staying within the traffic lane. What is not ingrained is the notion of changing lanes or slowing when passing cyclists. Thus the outcome is inevitably a close pass in a lane of that doesn't have enough room for a safe pass.

So from the typical motorists outlook there is no choice but to pass a cyclist closely. Most motorists are quite away of the risk, but they don't see other options and they believe that they are the risks the cyclist chose rather than the risks THEY THEMSELVES are imposing.




Beautifully argued, Human. I almost wish I'd written it. :D

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biker jk
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Re: Close passes

Postby biker jk » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:17 pm

TheReality wrote:I personally don't mind close passes, provided they are accompanied by a safe speed. I have waived a few people past that are holding up a lane not feeling comfortable passing (Kudos to them). To me sharing the road goes both ways and I want to hold up faster traffic as little as possible. If it is busy, and they cant change lanes, or single lane. I want them to squeeze past safely. Not hold up the entire road so i can cycle along my merry way.

Any dangerous/high speed/unnecessary close pass should really be reported (not that i ever have).


At what speed is a close pass safe?

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AUbicycles
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Re: Close passes

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:57 pm

To the question by the OP, avoid creating opportunities for vehicles to ‘sneak’ past which can create a more dangerous situation. Passing opportunities can be very clearly signified by your position in the lane and also a hand signale (pass).

Otherwise, start with local advocacy and connect with the council so that problem areas are reviewed / improved. This is a slow process and requires cooperation and persistence but after a few years you can start to see changes. I should stress that this is infrastructure focussed so doesn’t otherwise necessarily improve driver behaviour or awareness.

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Tim
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Re: Close passes

Postby Tim » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:24 pm

TheReality wrote:I personally don't mind close passes, provided they are accompanied by a safe speed.


I do mind.

TheReality wrote:I want them to squeeze past safely.


I don't want them squeezing past, ever.

End up under their wheels at 10kph or 100kph, it still makes a mess, of me.

TheReality
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Re: Close passes

Postby TheReality » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:59 pm

biker jk wrote:

At what speed is a close pass safe?


One that is just over what I am riding at.
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biker jk
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Re: Close passes

Postby biker jk » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:14 pm

TheReality wrote:
biker jk wrote:

At what speed is a close pass safe?


One that is just over what I am riding at.


I doubt that any motorist would slow to that speed to pass a cyclist. It would still be too fast for a close shave with severe injury or death the likely outcome in case of a collision.

g-boaf
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Re: Close passes

Postby g-boaf » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:23 pm

TheReality wrote:I personally don't mind close passes,


I personally also mind very much. No speed is appropriate for a close past, not that a close pass is ever appropriate.

Cyclophiliac
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Re: Close passes

Postby Cyclophiliac » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:24 pm

g-boaf wrote:
TheReality wrote:I personally don't mind close passes,


I personally also mind very much. No speed is appropriate for a close past, not that a close pass is ever appropriate.

Agreed. I'm fed up with the entitled mentality too many motorists (and cyclists) have, where they insist they have "no option" but a close pass. The actual option of staying behind until it's safe to pass never occurs to these people (or they just pretend not to know it's an option).

fat and old
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Re: Close passes

Postby fat and old » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:50 am

AUbicycles wrote:To the question by the OP, avoid creating opportunities for vehicles to ‘sneak’ past which can create a more dangerous situation. Passing opportunities can be very clearly signified by your position in the lane and also a hand signale (pass).



Oh I do that when warranted. Now and then one will get me unawares, and on the other hand I'll get quite a few that I'm very aware of, and accept.

I think the minority do it on purpose. The majority just have either no concept of distance, or the risks of passing so closely.


I subscribe to this theory. I reckon motorists see us riding along, not worrying about the proximity of us to them, then when called on it are surprised that it's an issue. I really believe that to be the case in many instances. (some will) Call it victim blaming all you want, a fancy catch all phrase isn't going to change anything.

Reality is that I'm not going to stop passing or riding alongside motor vehicles regardless of the impression of self acceptance it gives. Cars are not going to suddenly all give me right of way....it's just not in the psyche of drivers to give priority to another road user unless they have flashing lights and/or sirens. Roads are for all, egalitarian process lives large there! This is why I think that passing distance legislation is not the answer. Give us infrastructure, as AU says. Separate us. Sure motorists will whine and sook about "priorities", but who cares if they can't get to us. At least until the next shared road......

Education. Slip slop slap. The watermelon campaign. #metoo. Life be in it.

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Mububban
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Re: Close passes

Postby Mububban » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:56 am

Philistine wrote:I used to think that close passing motorists were deliberately trying to intimidate me, but I have come around to the view that, in most cases, there is no ill will intended, and they are simply as dumb as dog droppings. Napoleon put it rather well "never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.


This accounts for lots of drivers I believe. Ever watched someone in a tiny city car do a 5 point turn in a shopping centre car park, leaving a good metre between vehicles every time they go forwards or backwards?

Lots of drivers simply don't know where the corners of their vehicle are, and in that case I'd prefer they were cautious rather than reckless. However much of the anger at "being held up behind a cyclist" can be attributed to one driver not knowing the dimensions of their own vehicle, and driving overly cautiously, thus holding up traffic behind them. It's not the cyclist's fault, but that's who gets blamed.

I'm lucky enough to ride on very wide dual lane roads when I'm on my commute and off the PSP. I can safely be passed by a full sized 4WD, within the same lane as me but hugging the centre lane markings, and still have that 4WD be well out of arms reach.
Then I'll notice that another vehicle behind the 4WD is NOT passing me, because they somehow don't think they'll safely fit. Even though they just saw a Land Cruiser or a delivery van go past me with a meter to spare.....
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

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warthog1
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Re: Close passes

Postby warthog1 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:28 pm

With respect to encouraging a change of behaviour, the threat of violence is the only confirmed successful approach ime.
Not uplifting or even satisfying but there it is unfortunately.
Cause and effect :(

Noviss
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Re: Close passes

Postby Noviss » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:29 pm

What is it with ACT bus drivers? I have had two close calls in the last week where an ACTION bus has moved into the cycle lane.

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