Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weapon

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Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weapon

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:32 am

Thought to create a thread on incidents parents/carers of schoolkids who ride to and from school.

Today was the first day when we felt threatened. We were riding to school today, taking a backstreet that was parallel to the main road to the local school.

I had the folder with me with the mirror so could see this car creeping up towards us. Funnily enough she was probably like me, taking kid to school but only noticed her on the driver's seat with her sunnies on and not any potential offspring at the back.

Car is a silver grey station wagon newish model Holden, rego AH/AJ T7 HZ. Should have memorised the car rego once we got to school but don't remember the accurate plate now after having a long convo with Jr's new teacher.

She was creeping and creeping along, street is around 500m in length, full of parked cars with several give way intersections. I glanced at her several times because Jr was riding on my left but not too left to be near the car dooring zone. She nudges her car around just 1M behind Jr's wheels and that peeved me off. We ain't going to go any faster just because she was close to our wheels and she could have taken the other road (but funnily enough that gets busy with traffic full of cars dropping their offspring off) but she decided to take our normal route.

Should I have stopped in the middle of riding and told her off she was threatening the life of my son? A helmet cam would have been useful at this stage as I could have pointed to it and indicated I was recording.

Ok, we get to a give way intersection, she finally gets the hint and turns left and revs off as if she is going to go any faster in a 40km/h neighbourhood in the middle of the school run. I was watching for her car once we got to the ped crossing to the school but didn't see any grey/silver SWs.

All I can say is beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-atch.

Anyway, haven't seen her car before in this back street. Next time, I'm using the incident template. Cars are supposed to be at least 3 seconds behind each other. Leave the car out of it, she and I are on equal terms. But with the car, she thinks she can use it as a weapon and threaten other people's lives.

I hope I don't post too much in this thread. /rant over
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by BNA » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:24 am

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:24 am

Just emailed the local council. Traffic Committee meets once a month (thank goodness I didn't have to contact the RTA!). Have asked for additional road signs to create greater awareness. Will post if I get a response.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby wombatK » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:38 am

Unfortunately, school zones attract these kinds of impatient fools - and schools face a never
ending battle in addressing it. Maybe it's worth talking to the principal and the P&C, as they
will usually get involved in safety issues of this nature. Intimidatory driving has no place
anywhere on the road, least of all near a school.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:46 am

Thanks K. I will see what council has to say first because the route isn't outside the school but a street back from it. Principal is quite active because the residents complain about peak parking that in fact one resident has an orange traffic cone outside his place! He normally monitors afternoon drop-offs. The P&C prez is a cyclist but if numpty driver isn't a member, that won't make a diff hence took the council route.

Too many freaking cars at school causing the congestion.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:48 am

commurider, get a couple of those $10 MD80 cameras on the front and back of your bike, then name and shame. if your school has a facebook page, even better :)
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:14 pm

'Grats on being so restrained Commie. I don't take lightly to threatening behaviour against meself but have a go at me kids and I'll channel the Viking ancestors.

I bet this mum wouldn't let her kids ride to school because it's too dangerous. All the while not seeing the irony of it all.

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:01 pm

jules21 wrote:commurider, get a couple of those $10 MD80 cameras on the front and back of your bike, then name and shame. if your school has a facebook page, even better :)


I have my camera set up and ready for name and shame. And once I get the vid clips, easier to show them to the principal et al (and of course on here). Hopefully not too often.

Still shaking my head.... it is the school run, jr was in freaking school uniform with school bag. Should I get a cam for him as well or is that overkill???

MB, I did think about stopping in the middle of the road and throwing my bike on her windscreen and see how she liked being delayed a bit more...but that would probably traumatise jr more than anything....Still the possibility is there but that would defeat the purpose of this thread which is not to use vehicles/means of transport as weapons.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby find_bruce » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:10 pm

She was happy to share the road, just that in her definition "share" means "you can use it once I am finished with it".

Never a particularly wise move to threaten the safety of a child whose mother is around - otherwise meek & mild suburbanites turn into supermum, deadlier than a cobra, as unstoppable as an avalanche, able to rip flesh off with a single look.

Am glad that you and jr are ok.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:20 pm

Got creative and expensive today. Ready for tomorrow's school ride in.

Bought a helmet-mounted GoPro, did a sign, laminated it and stapled it to a fluoro bag.

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby wombatK » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:26 pm

CommuRider wrote:Got creative and expensive today. Ready for tomorrow's school ride in.

Bought a helmet-mounted GoPro, did a sign, laminated it and stapled it to a fluoro bag.


Great idea. Might just put a few of the impatient jerks on notice, and at worst, it could
help convict a lawyer like McGee who knows every other trick in the book to escape
prosecution.
Mulger Bill wrote:I bet this mum wouldn't let her kids ride to school because it's too dangerous. All the while not seeing the irony of it all.

Her and 99% of the rest most likely think it's too unsafe to let their kids even walk to school - without ever stopping
to realise it's primarily the cars carting kids into the school precinct that make it unsafe.

Cheers
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Xplora » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:50 pm

Good on you CR. I'm surprised you didn't have a go since you felt threatened - it's a real scumbag who threatens people who are vulnerable.

Naming and shaming would destroy them - social destruction is a powerful motivation for anyone. A sign saying "A?T7?? tried to kill my son, I have video proof" and sitting next to the gate for a couple weeks would certainly shake things up, because her friends would DEFINITELY know the plate. Find the kid, find the teacher, go to the principal and make it happen.

Poking your head into cars and saying "watch out for a woman driving A?T7??, she's attempted to hurt my son, be careful... the police have been notified, OK?" a week in a row... kid would be pulled from the school, no more numpty to deal with. Yay. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby hotfoot » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:59 pm

Helmet cam and warning vest..good on you..glad you and kidlet were OK
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:39 pm

wombatK wrote:
Mulger Bill wrote:I bet this mum wouldn't let her kids ride to school because it's too dangerous. All the while not seeing the irony of it all.

Her and 99% of the rest most likely think it's too unsafe to let their kids even walk to school - without ever stopping
to realise it's primarily the cars carting kids into the school precinct that make it unsafe.

Cheers


Therein lies the irony of course but try making them understand it. :(

Nice move with the camera and sign Commie :D

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby lethoso » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:20 pm

Seriously, screw school zones. Higher density of impatient, incompetant idiots than any other stretches of road.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:34 am

Thanks for all your support peeps. No incident to speak of this morning. Have a list of all your suggestions now!

First time with the GoPro H2...BUT...I pressed the camera mode instead of the vid for this morning's run. So I wanted to upload the relatively quiet streets of my 'burb but I only have 4 photo shots. Lollypop ladies noticed the cam and a couple of drivers noticed the sign as well. I think the sign is having a better effect, and they can look at my helmet for verification.

One car housed a classmate of jr who rolled down his window and said hello as I allowed them to pass us by. The car was a Black BMW 4WD and I thought she was going to stray too close (again) then she read my sign and held back. They live closer to the school than us - it's crazy. The school run is really 550-600M max for us yet the parents still feel the need to drive them to school and join the traffic congestion esp on a beaut morn like today.

I've just calculated how much this exercise is costing me so far, and it is around $0.78c/M which isn't a bad perspective from this pov (what price safety?). The more I use the camera, the lower the eventual running cost.

No sign of SW driver who tried to run us over. Am practicing my car rego reciting skills following tips from the Video thread. Now I just need to ensure the video's running!
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby jules21 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:43 am

obviously it's different when you're escorting kids, but my theory is that it's better not to alert drivers to the presence of a camera. i caught one smart ar5e giving me a hard time in the MM thread (the red van) and put him up on YouTube. i'm pretty certain the lesson he learnt from that was far more valuable than if he'd seen a sign on my back and held off.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:56 am

jules21 wrote:obviously it's different when you're escorting kids, but my theory is that it's better not to alert drivers to the presence of a camera. i caught one smart ar5e giving me a hard time in the MM thread (the red van) and put him up on YouTube. i'm pretty certain the lesson he learnt from that was far more valuable than if he'd seen a sign on my back and held off.


I wish I didn't have to use the sign or the camera. We didn't need to use it until I felt it necessary this week. My dorky sign is giving them pause for thought which is achieving what it is meant to do. It's like reading those car bumper stickers. If they can read my sign...they're too close.

In the school run, I'd rather not engage with other road users and just respect each other's rights and presence to use the road as my utmost concern is the safety of our arrival to school. I don't mind if it's just me on my commute as it's water off the duck's back. Of course, it's always nice to have an element of surprise and have MM see themselves on YouTube or receive a phone call from the cops that their moronic behaviour has been captured. :-)
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Good call Commie. When the kids are concerned, 'druther get given room than have video of an incident.

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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Oxford » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:15 pm

change the sign to read, "If you can read this, the police will be able to find you! Smile you're on camera.". :mrgreen:
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:11 pm

Just did the afternoon run. This time I used the head mount with the camera facing the rear. So far, so good. I like the fact that the rear captures the entire street (albeit a narrow one) so I'm getting my $'s worth for the 170 degree capture. For now, I think I'll stick to the rear as @GraemeL points out, most incidents occur with the bike being reared and it will be able to capture the proximity of the car to the bikes.

If I get an incident, I will send council videos of a) a safe, incident-free commute b) a not-so-safe commute.

The GoPro produces clear enough video that it should be sufficient evidence in any case. Thinking about getting another one so I can have the front on the helmet, and the rear on the head mount. Going to be a heavy head!
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby KonaCommuter » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:08 pm

Interesting to consider the merits of the sign as a deterrent vs the idea of it being a surprise.


As the OP is taking a child to school the value of deterrence far outweighs any “surprise” factor IMHO.

If aggressive drivers can see your sign warning them that you have them on camera they’d be inclined to practice caution around you but they *may* take out their frustrations on another vulnerable road user. Whereas if they get caught out by a non-sign wearing, camera toting cyclist they’ll think twice about every cyclist they meet up with forevermore. However the cyclist they do have a run in with has a bad time.

Hope that makes sense :oops:


I’d personally wear the sign whenever I was cycling with my child
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby Oxford » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:27 pm

KonaCommuter wrote:Interesting to consider the merits of the sign as a deterrent vs the idea of it being a surprise.


As the OP is taking a child to school the value of deterrence far outweighs any “surprise” factor IMHO.

If aggressive drivers can see your sign warning them that you have them on camera they’d be inclined to practice caution around you but they *may* take out their frustrations on another vulnerable road user. Whereas if they get caught out by a non-sign wearing, camera toting cyclist they’ll think twice about every cyclist they meet up with forevermore. However the cyclist they do have a run in with has a bad time.

Hope that makes sense :oops:


I’d personally wear the sign whenever I was cycling with my child

I had a similar sign that I randomly used to judge reactions. Often I would get bogans go out of their way to perform for the camera and yell some sort of abuse. Overall though I found it effective as a deterrent. You could even hear the differences in engine notes as cars got closer and then realised what they were coming up against.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby KonaCommuter » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:18 pm

CommuRider wrote:Got creative and expensive today. Ready for tomorrow's school ride in.

Bought a helmet-mounted GoPro, did a sign, laminated it and stapled it to a fluoro bag.

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Wow - I’m a little slow but I just realised we have the same helmet. Although I’ll be looking at buying a new one at the LBS tomorrow.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby rokwiz » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:02 pm

Hi CommuRider,
It amazes me that any car driver would do this intentional, especially to a mother and child, these types have got to be named and shame as you say, good on you !
Yeh the helmet cams a great idea to record this kind of stupidity, trip journey cameras are set up in semi trailer to identify motorists doing this sort of thing also. They're a good deterent.

Personally I think everyone who holds a licence needs to be retested at least once every 5 years, seems like alot of drivers I've spoken with are NOT aware cyclist have rights on the road.
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Re: Ride To-and-Fro School Incidents: Your car is not a weap

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:14 pm

Thanks Geoff. Yes, general ignorance does not excuse threatening behaviour.

No incident for us this morning and it was nice to ride with Jr and see this spider web glistening with dew drops. A lot of parents miss out on spending quality time with their kids and remain oblivious to little things like this.
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