Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Roadsafe for Liverpool?

This morning I had a rather close encounter. I was riding along my normal route to work, dead straight 30mph 4-laned road, lights on as it was still a bit murky, when I was passed by a Transit van at a distance of about 1ft.

Now, I'm a pretty experienced cyclist, I cycle in cities every day, I'm pretty fearless and I'll stand my ground against most things, I can't even remember the last time I was actually scared on a bike, not even when I was hit by a car recently, but this guy was so close at about 30-35mph that I flinched. It was really not on.

Down in the big smoke those metropolitan types have a scheme called Roadsafe which is used by some cyclists to highlight to the police instances of poor or dangerous driving. I know we don't have one on Merseyside, but I thought I would try reporting the incident anyway to see what happened.

I sent an email at about 0745, had a call from a constable at about 1030 and another about 1115. He regretted that a prosecution was unlikely as it would be my word against the driver's, this was my expectation, he also brought up headcams and that a couple of his colleagues use them (get in touch if you read this!) I have my own reservations about them though. I do 'enjoy' watching the videos that get posted on Youtube but I have two issues with buying one for myself
  1. I begrudge having to spend that sort of money to try and catch bad drivers myself.
  2. I believe, for me at least, it might present a type of moral hazard where there would be an element of looking for trouble to justify the purchase.
The constable spoke to his colleagues in traffic about any Roadsafe type scheme, they don't have one but got the impression there some consideration that it might be a good idea. In any case the constable said he had a name and address of a registered keeper and he would attempt to contact them, result! That is really all I wanted and never expected to go from email to that result in just a couple of hours, so thanks Merseyside Police.

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