Road Safety Strategies

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby Downhill » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:07 pm

I thought I'd throw in something out of left field. This concerns using cycle lanes that cross major roads (not controlled intersections), especially during twilight.

When I pull up to give way, I turn the handlebars so that my flashing headlight is visible to oncoming traffic. That means turned to the right before crossing to the center island, then turned to the left before crossing to the other side. It's just another way of advertising that I'm there.

This raises a couple of points. Firstly, lights need to go on at or before twilight. Secondly, one could argue that it's illegal to shine headlights towards the oncoming traffic, though it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to be dazzled by a bike light. Thirdly, cyclists are largely invisible at twilight when side on to the traffic and stationary.

Does anyone else have alternative methods of being visible from the side under low light conditions, e.g. helmet lights etc.?
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by BNA » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:48 pm

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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby martinjs » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:48 pm

When I pull up to give way, I turn the handlebars so that my flashing headlight is visible to oncoming traffic. That means turned to the right before crossing to the center island, then turned to the left before crossing to the other side. It's just another way of advertising that I'm there.


Bloody good idea, :D obvious when you think about it but I never did. :oops:

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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby jet-ski » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:31 pm

I had one of those Monkeylectric lights in my spokes last winter. Certainly gained a lot of attention. The drawback is the 3xAA batteries in the unit siginificantly add to the weight of the WH500s on my CRX. Interestingly I don't notice the weight when I put it on a 20" BMX wheel.

Was thinking about making some Down Low Glo type lights aimed at the street for underneath my xtracycle. Was going to use LEDs but never quite got around to it.

Now that the days are longer though I'm very rarely out and about in the dark.
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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby il padrone » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:41 pm

Downhill wrote:Thirdly, cyclists are largely invisible at twilight when side on to the traffic and stationary.

Does anyone else have alternative methods of being visible from the side under low light conditions, e.g. helmet lights etc.?

Assuming it's twilight dim enough for drivers to put their lights on, good reflective material will be more effective than a little LED light. The value of spoke reflectors?? :P

I have had comments from work colleagues about my 'lights on the bags' when they have passed me in the morning (not dark enough for me to need lights). I've had to think about it, then tell them that was their headlights, reflected back at them from the Ortlieb reflective patches :D
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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby zero » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:54 pm

I can't remember the last time I was stopped sideways to a traffic flow. I use my arm in the stop signal if it looks like there is going to be a tailback through an intersection so I can stop at the stop line without getting rear ended, and if I'm in a right turn lane or bay, then I'll keep my tail-light and hivis backpack pointed at the traffic behind me.

I also don't cross stop lines and wander into the intersection to right turn until the exit is clearing, and particularly not as vehicles approach, because you can force them to emergency brake, as may occur when car drivers do that to me. There is no way of distinguishing such a driver or rider from a fail-to-give-way until too late if you always presume they are just wandering.

If I'm in motion, and a car is in motion on a cross course, my wheel unbalancer won't come into play unless its already too late for a car to brake, or I'm already clear of the cars path. My headlight and a tendency to not overcommit are the only workable safety strategies for this scenario.
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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby jet-ski » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:49 am

Another tip - if you are filtering, but then decide that you don't want to filter through the gap between a wide vehicle and the vehicle next to it, pull into the traffic lane, instead of sitting in the blind spot of the large vehicle and preventing other cyclists from filtering past you who wish to do so. :P
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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby Downhill » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:03 am

I've lost track of the number of times I've started crossing a road, an intersection, a T junction or a driveway and thought, "Damn, I didn't check for ....".
So here's another tip for the pile:

Get into the discipline of doing a four-way check when approaching an intersection.
- Look to the rear. Watch out for vehicles that could turn in front of you.
- Look to the right. Remember to give way where required by law.
- Look to the front. Watch out for vehicles that could turn in front of you.
- Look to the left. Even if you legally have the right of way, be prepared to yield and to take evasive action. It could save you life.

I've deliberately left the descriptions open. This is to cater for various riding environments, e.g., on road, exiting a segregated bike path, on a contra flow path, T junctions, etc.
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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby Oxford » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:58 pm

Read through this thread and there's some interesting POVs. Rather than comment on any I thought I'd post up a list of sites that I've used in the past as references with some great information. These have formed the basis of a seminar presentation I do for work places on safe cycling practices for employees. The only expectation of the employer when conducting these sessions is a donation to the Amy Gillet foundation.

This is a great summary of the psyche of the motorist and why they generally hate cyclists:
http://www.bicyclinglife.com/EffectiveAdvocacy/Marginalization.htm

These are the best ten tips you'll ever learn IMO, some even good for motorbike riders as well:
http://www.bikesarefun.org/safety.html

Where would we be without wiki of course, effective and vehicular cycling, love it or hate it, its worth a read:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_Cycling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_cycling

A great legal argument from a court case (it is American but the principles still stand):
http://douglasmorgan.typepad.com/two_wheeling/2010/01/a-twowheeling-court-victory-in-cbus.html

Happy Reading.
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Re: Road Safety Strategies

Postby il padrone » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:03 pm



I like this traffic sign. We need these on our streets

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