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Driving behaviour towards cyclists

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  • 03-06-2010 11:41pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 160 ✭✭


    Ive noticed a trend in the last year or 2 that an increasing number of motorists when overtaking or passing by cyclists do so with barely leaving much room between cyclist and car leaving very little margin for error. Are driving instructors and driving tests overlooking other road users such as cyclists lately? I have been cycling for more then 20 years in the early years there were a lot of cyclists on the road and manners from motorists where good. In the 90s and early 00s there were feck all cyclists on the road and now in the last 3 or 4 yrs there has been an upsurge in cycling. maybe anyone learning to drive during the celtic tiger yrs were not used to seeing cyclists on the road and now do not understand correct driving attitude towards us?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭DirkVoodoo


    Michelin wrote: »
    Ive noticed a trend in the last year or 2 that an increasing number of motorists when overtaking or passing by cyclists do so with barely leaving much room between cyclist and car leaving very little margin for error. Are driving instructors and driving tests overlooking other road users such as cyclists lately? I have been cycling for more then 20 years in the early years there were a lot of cyclists on the road and manners from motorists where good. In the 90s and early 00s there were feck all cyclists on the road and now in the last 3 or 4 yrs there has been an upsurge in cycling. maybe anyone learning to drive during the celtic tiger yrs were not used to seeing cyclists on the road and now do not understand correct driving attitude towards us?

    Nearly got side swiped by a taxi earlier coming back from a race with a club mate. He witnessed it and agreed that "it was close" was an understatement.

    Caught up with the guy and quite politely (surprising for me) the two of us let him know what he did. He said I was in his way, f-this and f-that you f-ing little prick, ya bollix, etc. Then he threatened to call the Gardai to which we said please do. After this didn't work, he started shouting that he had a lump hammer in the back and he was going to bash our heads in. He was on the verge of getting out before he just floored it and drove off.

    Absolutely mental!


  • Registered Users Posts: 36,167 ✭✭✭✭ED E


    Please tell me you reported the f@cker to the gards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭DirkVoodoo


    Please tell me you reported the f@cker to the gards.

    Not only that, I reported it to a quite good looking female Garda.

    She has my number now. Fingers crossed!

    "The only crime is she isn't doing it with me".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21 CathleenN


    Michelin wrote: »
    Are driving instructors and driving tests overlooking other road users such as cyclists lately?

    Concerning driving instructors, I observed a beatiful picture yesterday. There is a mandatory cycle track in King Street North in Smithfield; despite being mandatory it is often crammed with loading/unloading vehicles, whose drivers apparently don't know the difference between mandatory and non-mandatory cycle tracks. Anyhow, the vehicle I saw yesterday night was not even loading or unloading. It was simply standing right there in the mandatory cycle track and - guess what - it was a driving school car with the instructor and the pupil sitting in it. So, yes, i do think some driving instructors tend to overlook the rules of the road that concern cyclists.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,076 ✭✭✭buffalo


    Michelin wrote: »
    Ive noticed a trend in the last year or 2 that an increasing number of motorists when overtaking or passing by cyclists do so with barely leaving much room between cyclist and car leaving very little margin for error. Are driving instructors and driving tests overlooking other road users such as cyclists lately? I have been cycling for more then 20 years in the early years there were a lot of cyclists on the road and manners from motorists where good. In the 90s and early 00s there were feck all cyclists on the road and now in the last 3 or 4 yrs there has been an upsurge in cycling. maybe anyone learning to drive during the celtic tiger yrs were not used to seeing cyclists on the road and now do not understand correct driving attitude towards us?

    Well, to add one anecdote, I know my driving instructor was very vigilant about overtaking cyclists, checking mirrors coming up to junctions, being wary about ninja cyclists.

    I'm not sure if that was before or after I mentioned I cycled a lot though, he might've been just trying to get on my good side. :p


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  • Registered Users Posts: 364 ✭✭ScottStorm


    I think it has very little to do with driving instructors, most of them teach you which lane to take on a roundabout as well as using your indicator etc.

    The problem is that once people have that little piece of paper they start to make judgement calls themselves. They are confident in their ability whether justified or not, if they do not cylce themselves have little knowledge that even driving close to a cyclist is dangerous (inexperienced cyclists can easily lose control when spooked).


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,245 ✭✭✭07Lapierre


    Michelin wrote: »
    Ive noticed a trend in the last year or 2 that an increasing number of motorists when overtaking or passing by cyclists do so with barely leaving much room between cyclist and car leaving very little margin for error. Are driving instructors and driving tests overlooking other road users such as cyclists lately? I have been cycling for more then 20 years in the early years there were a lot of cyclists on the road and manners from motorists where good. In the 90s and early 00s there were feck all cyclists on the road and now in the last 3 or 4 yrs there has been an upsurge in cycling. maybe anyone learning to drive during the celtic tiger yrs were not used to seeing cyclists on the road and now do not understand correct driving attitude towards us?

    It may also have something to do with the fact that the width of our roads has not changed, whereas the width of the cars we drive have increased. There are a lot more SUV type cars on the road now. I mean have you noticed the number of Nissan Quasqai's on the road?. Also, during the "celtic Tiger" era, more luxury cars were sold. There are more and more BMW 5 service, Merc. 200 and 300's etc etc. All driving along very narrow country roads.

    So when you combine wider cars with drivers who are not "cyclist friendly", the result is more "close calls".

    Just a theory anyway. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 42 lukasbasic


    Michelin wrote: »
    Ive noticed a trend in the last year or 2 that an increasing number of motorists when overtaking or passing by cyclists do so with barely leaving much room between cyclist and car leaving very little margin for error. Are driving instructors and driving tests overlooking other road users such as cyclists lately? I have been cycling for more then 20 years in the early years there were a lot of cyclists on the road and manners from motorists where good. In the 90s and early 00s there were feck all cyclists on the road and now in the last 3 or 4 yrs there has been an upsurge in cycling. maybe anyone learning to drive during the celtic tiger yrs were not used to seeing cyclists on the road and now do not understand correct driving attitude towards us?

    I think it depends strongly on the track you drive
    unfortunetaly there are a lot of narrow roads here where it is difficult to fit both car and cyclist.
    Compared to other countries irish drivers are very polite and take care
    (this doesn't mean that they are technically skilled, which is not the case)
    the biggest problem in my opinion are drivers pulling to the left in a traffic jam altough the street is wide enough. I think you will have to live with that here...


  • Registered Users Posts: 200 ✭✭Piercemeear


    "Every cyclist deserves his weave," my dad always says.

    Meaning that if you aren't leaving enough space for an unexpected weave, you're not leaving enough space.

    This was when I was learning to drive. When we cycle together his pronouncements are a lot more... colourful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,073 ✭✭✭✭Lumen


    07Lapierre wrote: »
    It may also have something to do with the fact that the width of our roads has not changed, whereas the width of the cars we drive have increased. There are a lot more SUV type cars on the road now. I mean have you noticed the number of Nissan Quasqai's on the road?

    All cars are wider than they used to be due to modern crash regs, and FWIW the Quashqai is 101mm narrower than a Ford Mondeo.

    In any case width isn't a problem, ineptitude and impatience are. One problem is that safe overtaking is not taught to learner drivers, as it often involves breaking the rather arbitrary speed limits.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 113 ✭✭gu10


    DirkVoodoo wrote: »
    Not only that, I reported it to a quite good looking female Garda.

    She has my number now. Fingers crossed!

    "The only crime is she isn't doing it with me".


    "Niccccccccccccccccccce"


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,317 ✭✭✭✭Raam


    After the missus' latest spill, we took a taxi back from the hospital. He could see she was a cyclist, the lycra and helmet gave it away, and he knew she had been taken out by a car driver. Well, I have never seen a driver as cautious around cyclists as that taxi driver was all the way home!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,096 ✭✭✭anoble66


    agree with this, most if not all of these problems are caused by driver incompetance. It doesnt help that the driving pass standard in this country is a complete joke which over the years has allowed complete fools to drive on our roads.


    Lumen wrote: »
    All cars are wider than they used to be due to modern crash regs, and FWIW the Quashqai is 101mm narrower than a Ford Mondeo.

    In any case width isn't a problem, ineptitude and impatience are. One problem is that safe overtaking is not taught to learner drivers, as it often involves breaking the rather arbitrary speed limits.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭cdaly_


    Raam wrote: »
    After the missus' latest spill

    Ooh! When was that? She ok?


  • Registered Users Posts: 708 ✭✭✭syncosised


    Most drivers give me an awful lot of clearance on my way to work. It's a particularly wide road though, so they have plenty of space to do it. My driving instructor once told me, "Cyclists have the same rights as a slow-moving car", which I thought was an excellent piece of advice. Since then I've been more confident cycling on the road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,245 ✭✭✭07Lapierre


    syncosised wrote: »
    Most drivers give me an awful lot of clearance on my way to work. It's a particularly wide road though, so they have plenty of space to do it. My driving instructor once told me, "Cyclists have the same rights as a slow-moving car", which I thought was an excellent piece of advice. Since then I've been more confident cycling on the road.

    The problem is..most drivers hate slow moving cars, especially when your stuck behind one on a narrow, windy country road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭BumbleB


    It goes for everything really ,pedestrians are invisible to motorists. I mean I drive a car but I always give right of way to pedestrians and that should always be the way. And then when Im walking and I have my foot just on the road ready to cross my road, some prick comes along in his car indicates left sees me and just turns left and nearly knocks me over ,now thats wrong .If it it was me as a motorist I would indicate left ready to turn and beckon to the pedestrian to cross over then I would turn into the estate.It really is bs and I know how cyclists feel .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 923 ✭✭✭VERYinterested


    This happens me a lot lately, I can hear a car behind me on a side road, you can hear the impatience of the engine revving, then when they get a chance to overtake, fair enough, off they go and overtake, only to pull in to a driveway just in front of you!! :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭DirkVoodoo


    07Lapierre wrote: »
    The problem is..most drivers hate slow moving cars, especially when your stuck behind one on a narrow, windy country road.

    The only time I hate slow moving cars is when they are on the outside lane of the motorway, i.e. they have somewhere to go and drive slowly. I don't tend to get too worked up if someone doesn't want to do 100 km/hr down some country back road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭Frank Spencer


    I got my renewal for my motor tax this morning and in it there was this insert from the Department of Transport about how motorists should behave around cyclists.



    img003yk.jpgimg001rky.jpg


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  • Posts: 1,427 [Deleted User]


    DirkVoodoo wrote: »
    The only time I hate slow moving cars is when they are on the outside lane of the motorway, i.e. they have somewhere to go and drive slowly. I don't tend to get too worked up if someone doesn't want to do 100 km/hr down some country back road.

    Yes, but many do. Sometimes it seems that some drivers have no respect for cyclists but whenever I drive I am reminded that some drivers have no respect for anyone be they in a car, on foot, on a bike or on a motorbike. Take for example the time I was driving on a section of dual carriageway that was down to one lane due to roadworks, with a temporary 60km/hr limit. Clown behind me in a Saab drives inches behind my bumper, when the right hand lane opens up again he floors it, goes past me then instantly cuts across the front of my car to get to the next off ramp where he has to jam on the brakes to avoid running into the back of the que of traffic on it. Hurry up and wait mentality at its idiotic finest.

    I found it strangely reassuring, it's easy to become paranoid on the bike and feel that everyone is out to get you because you're on a bike but that may not always be the case.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,920 ✭✭✭Vélo


    Raam wrote: »
    After the missus' latest spill, we took a taxi back from the hospital. He could see she was a cyclist, the lycra and helmet gave it away, and he knew she had been taken out by a car driver. Well, I have never seen a driver as cautious around cyclists as that taxi driver was all the way home!


    You should have given her a backer!

    My Dad told me a story of a fella he knew years ago who put his wife on a bike a cycled her to the maternity hospital, while she was in labour.:eek:

    It's not a story I'd normally believe, only it was him that told me and then I met the man.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭DirkVoodoo


    Yes, but many do. Sometimes it seems that some drivers have no respect for cyclists but whenever I drive I am reminded that some drivers have no respect for anyone be they in a car, on foot, on a bike or on a motorbike. Take for example the time I was driving on a section of dual carriageway that was down to one lane due to roadworks, with a temporary 60km/hr limit. Clown behind me in a Saab drives inches behind my bumper, when the right hand lane opens up again he floors it, goes past me then instantly cuts across the front of my car to get to the next off ramp where he has to jam on the brakes to avoid running into the back of the que of traffic on it. Hurry up and wait mentality at its idiotic finest.

    I found it strangely reassuring, it's easy to become paranoid on the bike and feel that everyone is out to get you because you're on a bike but that may not always be the case.

    Oh yeah tell me about it, I dropped my dad out to the airport a few weeks back. Coming home on the M50 it was monsoon season, most people didn't turn their lights on visibility was severely hampered. I was in the outside lane, keeping up with traffic but keeping a sensible gap. In short, I wasn't holding anyone up. Still, guy behind me, stuck to my bumper decides to undertake and move in front of me. Why? Needless to say he kept doing this and after I turned off about 15km later he was only a few cars ahead of me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 446 ✭✭Ant


    Sometimes it seems that some drivers have no respect for cyclists but whenever I drive I am reminded that some drivers have no respect for anyone be they in a car, on foot, on a bike or on a motorbike.

    That's very true. I reckon the other problem is that these drivers will carry out a quick risk analysis (most likely subconsciously) and conclude that the negative repercussions for them (damage to their person) if they're involved in a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist is much less than with a car and this means that they're more likely to engage in dangerous behaviour around the more vulnerable road users.


  • Registered Users Posts: 789 ✭✭✭damoz


    DirkVoodoo wrote: »
    Oh yeah tell me about it, I dropped my dad out to the airport a few weeks back. Coming home on the M50 it was monsoon season, most people didn't turn their lights on visibility was severely hampered. I was in the outside lane, keeping up with traffic but keeping a sensible gap. In short, I wasn't holding anyone up. Still, guy behind me, stuck to my bumper decides to undertake and move in front of me. Why? Needless to say he kept doing this and after I turned off about 15km later he was only a few cars ahead of me.

    Dont mean to stir, but two wrongs dont make a right. There is no outside lane, just an overtaking lane and the only time to be in it is.... when your overtaking someone on your left. So you were both wrong really. (nothing personal!)

    I think there is a severe lack of knowledge of the rules of the road by all users in this country, and until that is addressed the free for all that exists will continue. The licence structure and testing are a joke.


  • Posts: 1,427 [Deleted User]


    damoz wrote: »
    Dont mean to stir, but two wrongs dont make a right. There is no outside lane, just an overtaking lane and the only time to be in it is.... when your overtaking someone on your left. So you were both wrong really. (nothing personal!)

    I think there is a severe lack of knowledge of the rules of the road by all users in this country, and until that is addressed the free for all that exists will continue. The licence structure and testing are a joke.

    From his description, I assume Dirk was in the proccess of overtaking car/cars. See this all the time, a car using the overtaking lane to overtake within the speed limit and some cnut (why does it always seem to be a bmw?) driving 6 inches behind them at 100kph, Where do they expect them to go? Into the side of the vehicle they are overtaking?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,767 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    syncosised wrote: »
    "Cyclists have the same rights as a slow-moving car", which I thought was an excellent piece of advice. Since then I've been more confident cycling on the road.

    It's essentially the principle of Cyclecraft. Or any other flavour of Vehicular Cycling.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9 2500bc


    I think its mainly "over confident" drivers. the reason i say this is because nearly every time ive had a "close call" its been taxis, or buses or other vehicle that would be on the road a lot and have obviously gotten less patience over time.

    I reckon they work it like wen u see someone cycling up by someone thats walking. the cyclist might not exactly give some one room to swerve but there gone by them in seconds and know what direction they are going and what direction the person walking is going. The same way with a car. They presume you are going to stay in a perfect straight line and dont give any space. with the same thing of "il be gone by them in a sec, they will be ok, there not going anywhere"
    The difference being.

    more speed/steel/damage


  • Registered Users Posts: 789 ✭✭✭damoz


    From his description, I assume Dirk was in the proccess of overtaking car/cars. See this all the time, a car using the overtaking lane to overtake within the speed limit and some cnut (why does it always seem to be a bmw?) driving 6 inches behind them at 100kph, Where do they expect them to go? Into the side of the vehicle they are overtaking?

    Well i think its impossible to be undertook if your overtaking unless he undertook 2 cars on the hard shoulder. It may well be one of those you had to be there situations, but bottom line is if your not overtaking you have no need to be in that lane. I look after myself on the road and dont try to regulate anyone elses driving - as i have no idea if they are breaking the speed limit out of carelessness or an emergency.

    Edit - apologies for drifiting off topic from the OP. Its just one thing that annoys me. Im over it now, enjoy the long weekend all ! :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,440 ✭✭✭cdaly_


    Totally possible. Left lane full of cars reasonably spaced. Me in right lane, just overtook one, next one is far enough that I could pull in for half a second but I'd have to pull out straight away to overtake so I stay out. Impatient driver cuts in behind me, probably cutting off the car I just overtook and then cuts out in front of me leaving insufficient room for any errors...


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