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“Inconvenient truths to help ease motorist v cyclist aggravation – Alastair D”

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  1. chdot
    Admin

  2. toomanybikes
    Member

    So as someone who obeys the law, his solution is for me to do what? Campaign for cyclists to be better behaved so that *if his theory is correct* driving then gradually improves as a result?

    If I'm having to try and change the behaviour of others in the first place, why wouldn't I directly target those who are the problem?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  3. rbrtwtmn
    Member

    I used to believe this. The more I studied how things really change, the less I believed it. Around 5 years ago I completely and totally changed my mind.

    The more I looked at this issue from a whole-society perspective the less I believed it.

    Look at any process of social devaluation - any situation where one group in any society has more power than another group. There's always the same story... if [group 2] start to follow the rules that we [group 1] have put in place, for the good of us all, then we'll all be able to find a way forward, and you [group 2] will have proved yourselves worthy of our respect.

    But it simply doesn't work like that - because inevitably the rules that [group 1] have put in place aren't really possible to follow if you're in [group 2]. But they look entirely reasonable from the perspective of [group 1]. The result is that [group 1] have a perfectly tuned anti-change weapon. Look at [group 2] they say... they can't even follow these perfectly sensible rules we've put in place for the good of all. They really aren't ready for the responsibilities, power, respect, change that they are asking for yet. In the future, when they learn, then we'll make the changes they deserve. Until then, we'll keep trying to enforce these perfectly reasonable rules as our first step toward making the world a better place.

    It's a trap. Change happens through completely different processes, never ever because [group 2] learn to obey the rules that [group 1] create. That this is a way forward is a persuasive, pernicious, powerful, myth.

    I'm not saying that anyone should break rules. All I'm saying is that it makes no difference to the overall fight.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  4. neddie
    Member

    Indeed. Traffic lights & pavements are put there for the *sole convenience* of motorists.

    Without motors, neither would be needed. There would be no pavement cycling, nor red-light jumping.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  5. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    The Scotsman is in a financial death spiral. It's a bunch of kids scouring Twitter in a suburban office block. Look at the ads on that article - seriously low rent pseudo-scams.

    There's no way any of the few remaining journalists can afford to upset anyone powerful, which in turn means that there's little point in reading it other than to learn what powerful people want you to believe.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  6. dougal
    Member

    Following on from @rbrtwtmn's fantastic summary:

    Members of [group2] that (attempt to) follow the rules of [group1] are still considered deliberate trouble-makers.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  7. wishicouldgofaster
    Member

    So basically it's because of a few bad cyclists that cause drivers to speed, be on their mobile and generally act like arrogant idiots on the road.

    Only one word is require to sum up this so called reporting and it starts with B and ends with T.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  8. Morningsider
    Member

    "The inconvenient truth is that cyclists need drivers to change their ways more than vice versa."

    Many cyclists are drivers who have changed their ways - that change being to use a mode of transport that produces no air or noise pollution, takes up far less road space and improves health.

    The impact of cyclists being beyond reproach on road safety is negligible, with a similar impact on driver behaviour.

    This could be read as excusing collective punishment. All cyclists are placed at danger by the actions of a rogue few, if only they would stop then we would all be safe. No - I am responsible for my own behaviour on the road and no-one else. Perhaps Alastair wants to have a word with Liam Neeson to see how well such arguments go down these days.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  9. unhurt
    Member

    @rbrtwtmn 100% YES.

    It's a trap. Change happens through completely different processes, never ever because [group 2] learn to obey the rules that [group 1] create. That this is a way forward is a persuasive, pernicious, powerful, myth.

    Anyway, this makes me triply furious because it reminds me of the whole narrative around how women can magically avoid being sexually assaulted by men by behaving absolutely perfectly at all times. I've heard versions of this so many times, usually couched in exactly this language of "it's sad that the world is like this, but surely you want to PROTECT YOURSELF?"

    Posted 2 months ago #
  10. Snowy
    Member

    I didn't realise the Scotsman was still in existence.

    @rbrtwtmn Spot on.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  11. bax
    Member

    At this time of the year, i make my own rules of the road.

    Conversely - on a fast summer carbon bike, i stay entirely within the letter of the law.

    There is an internal logic to it which group 1 would never understand, and many in Group 2 would probably say i let the side down.

    Its just the way it is, and i've long since ceased caring what anyone thinks about it.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  12. mgj
    Member

    OK, I'll bite. Which rules in the Highway Code are there that cyclists cannot follow? Not 'will not', not 'might cause them to be slightly later at work' etc, and all the stuff that drivists have as excuses.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

    Will be interesting to see what responses this gets -

    https://twitter.com/alastairdalton/status/1093860642988179456

    Posted 2 months ago #
  14. rbrtwtmn
    Member

    mgj - In a perfect world, without a power imbalance, the Highway Code would sometimes (maybe even often) work. But this is not a perfect world. There is a power imbalance. A HUGE power imbalance - power of life and death literally - and we all know 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'. You can say the same thing about any other devaluation situation. In a perfect world we'd not need any kind of affirmative action, and everyone would make progress in life based on hard work or intelligence or something or other (pick your philosophy). In a perfect world the rules which [group 1] have set for themselves could be followed by [group 2] but in reality following these rules puts [group 2] at a major disadvantage, at risk, or in extreme situations kills them.

    Anyway I didn't say that people should break the rules. I don't break most of the rules - just the ones which make no sense - for example I sometimes turn off a Toucan crossing and join the road (of off the road at a Toucan crossing). What does the Highway Code say about that - nothing. That's outside the rules - when you do that you're not following the rules. Toucan crossings, whether we like it or not, are intended (legally) specifically for crossing, and ONLY for crossing. Or, on the Toucan in the North of Edinburgh, which ends on a footway (where you can't cycle) I don't stop and get off my bike - I use the Toucan, then carry on very briefly on the footway, before joining the road, That's clearly against the law - but the law there makes no sense at all. I can't be on the bike one minute, then instantly not on it another. There is no correct procedure here, other than getting off the bike before crossing a Toucan crossing (which says you're allowed to cross it on the bike).

    What I actually said is that following the rules or not following the rules makes no difference to whether or not we make progress - that the 'follow the rules and you'll be respected and you'll make progress' argument is a trap. Which is not the same thing.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  15. paulmilne
    Member

    I guess it's a testament to Alistair Dalton that the majority of people so far who care what he thinks seem to be people on bikes -- maybe he doesn't get that many followers on twitter who aren't?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  16. rbrtwtmn
    Member

    https://twitter.com/DrCarolineBrown/status/1093854810833674240

    (I promise I didn't copy!)

    Posted 2 months ago #
  17. dougal
    Member

    Which rules in the Highway Code are there that cyclists cannot follow?

    If you want to not get killed, riding in the road is one.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. the canuck
    Member

    "But it simply doesn't work like that - because inevitably the rules that [group 1] have put in place aren't really possible to follow if you're in [group 2]."

    bang on.

    when i read/hear morotorists talking about cyclists, their definition of how cyclists should behave goes far beyond the highway code. cyclists should wear lots of extra hi viz, they should give way to motor vehicles, they shouldn't ride primary or two abreast, they shouldn't filter, they shouldn't expect to move into the main lane when the cycle lane is blocked, they should always be in a cycle lane when one is nearby...

    the comparison to sexual assault is apt.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  19. gembo
    Member

    Oh my lord. That opinion piece veers from one view to another with no real coherence. There are no truths, convenient nor inconvenient in it. I did see a Deliveroo cyclist (brand dalton has forgotten) track standing for three minutes at traffic lights last night. Very impressive. He also had This machine kills fascists sticker on cross bar. Tonight I was watching a white jaguar at the bottom of st Marys street not turning right. This was odd as he had green light and there was no traffic coming the other way.. Strangely he then did crawl to the right turn as traffic did start coming down the Pleasance. When I caught up with him it turned out it was ok, he was fine, just on his mobile phone. That is OK isn't it?

    There are good drivers in Edinburgh, of course there are. We just tend to spot the ones who crash through roundabouts and drive straight at us despite us having right of way or the ones who floor it to get through red lights regardless of pedestrians. These drivers are probably perfectly nice people out of their cars. It is just hat inside them they are a liability.

    As a Guardian reading, lentil eating sandal wearing Corbinista I have always considered th Scotsman to be drivel. This article merely reconfirms my prejudices with bells on.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  20. stiltskin
    Member

    This article merely reconfirms my prejudices with bells on
    At least you will be able to give pedestrians an appropriate warning when cycling up behind them.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  21. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I had to take evasive action to avoid being hit head-on by a white van last night. It turned left onto the right hand side of the road due to another white van parked at the corner.

    I was going at 10mph, wearing a Night Vision Evo jacket and blasting 350 lumens out of my handlebars.

    If the responsibility for the incident lies with other cyclists who are they and how do I get in touch with them?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. ARobComp
    Member

    @IWRATS did you at least apologise for nearly causing a mess on his nice white van? IF not then you're part of the problem I'm afraid.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  23. Frenchy
    Member

    If the responsibility for the incident lies with other cyclists who are they and how do I get in touch with them?

    Perhaps try the Right Honourable Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  24. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Beelzebub?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. unhurt
    Member

    Is it worth me asking Alastair Dalton to come ride with me in the Edinburgh rush hour to see how things look when you don't have a roll-cage between you and the other motor vehicles on the road? Does anyone know if he cycles at all?

    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. Frenchy
    Member

    He certainly has cycled around Edinburgh - there were photos of him trying out the various applicant bikeshare schemes.

    I found myself getting incredibly angry reading his latest tweets on this article.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. paulmilne
    Member

    From the article:

    "As predominantly a cyclist rather than a driver, I tend towards that point of view - but for a different reason."

    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. unhurt
    Member

    I somehow skimmed that before as being like the people who drive badly then inform you they're also cyclists when called on it. So disappointing. (This also feels a bit like the vehicular cycling argument all over again?)

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. jonty
    Member

    I'm pretty sure Alistair Dalton is a regular cycle commuter, which makes this all the more perplexing.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  30. paulmilne
    Member

    Not all that perplexing. It is a well-accepted fact that all people who ride bikes have in common is that they ride bikes. Not political opinions or even opinions about other people riding bikes. One guy I used to work with rode his bike in to work, same as me, but thought I was being almost criminally irresponsible, or at least terminally stupid, for not wearing a helmet. He was astonished to say the least as I think he thought I was otherwise moderately intelligent.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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