To think the motorcycle campaigns are a bit one sided.

(61 Posts)
flipchart Wed 30-Jul-14 10:50:55

I agree that motorist need to be made aware of motorcyclists on the road and about pulling out at junctions etc.

However, I think motorist are not the only reason there are motorcycle accidents. Bikers are sometimes to be blamed as well.

I live near a road that is popular for bikers because of its long straight stretch.
I can be driving it and often bikers pull out from a junction on me, trying to have a quick get away.

There have been quite a few times where I have thought that the biker has had a lucky escape but the motorist was not to blame. The biker either under estimated someone's time and distance and took a chance.

I m NOT anti bikes at all. I love them but I do think the radio and poster campaigns seem to be putting the blame on the motorist tbh.

CrohnicallyDepressed Wed 30-Jul-14 11:54:36

I thought that too, and was on the verge of writing a similar AIBU after witnessing 3 instances over the past few days.

Instance 1: queue of traffic at roadworks. The roadworks were on the same side of the road as the queue of traffic. 2 bikers came overtaking the queue at a normal driving speed (I'd guess at 25mph) and got to the front as the lights changed, so shot straight through as the car at the front started to pull around the roadworks. The car had to brake and wait for the bikes to pass before they could proceed. I don't think the bikers thought about the fact that the car in front would have to pull around the roadworks, and were overtaking the stationary traffic much too quickly.

Instance 2: queue of traffic at lights. Traffic has left a gap for a side road. Car comes inching out of side road and BANG, a motorbike overtaking the queue rides into the side of the car. The fact that the bike hit the car rather than the other way round suggests to me that the bike was going too fast- otherwise they would have stopped when they saw the nose of the car coming out.

Instance 3: in this one, I was the driver. Coming down a dual carriageway, traffic joining from left, so I pulled into the right hand lane. Once past the junction I checked my mirror (clear) and started to pull back to the left. Luckily for me, I heard the bike come zooming up past on the inside and swerved back into the right hand lane.

Yambabe Wed 30-Jul-14 12:01:39

Some bikers are knobs. Some car drivers are knobs. Some people turn into idiots the moment they get on the road with any kind of powered vehicle. I think that's undisputed.

What is also undisputed is that the majority of accidents that involve bikes in collisions with other vehicles are not the fault of the rider.

Personally I think that part of the car test (or possibly even the school curriculum) should involve a mandatory period of time on the road on a small powered two-wheeler (similar to the current cbt for bikes) so people who don't ride realise how vulnerable riders are get a better perspective and understanding. If I tell you that the powers-that-be won't consider this cos they dismiss it as "too dangerous" what does that tell you? sad

There are overhead signs on the motorway near me saying something like "Allow motorbikes to pass safely" - this means "Allow one set of road users to overtake on the inside even though it is against the Highway Code (and maybe the law?)".

In reality, I do try to leave space, specially if traffic is going slow. But if someone decides to overtake me on the inside when there isn't space, I don't think it is really my fault.

Yambabe Wed 30-Jul-14 12:09:14

If there is room for anyone to overtake you on the inside on the motorway you are in the wrong lane.......

Oh and although undertaking in itself is not an offence (although careless or dangerous driving could be applied by the police if they felt it was appropriate) making progress in your own clear lane regardless of what is going on to your right isn't.

But middle lane hoggers are a whole other AIBU! wink

ballinacup Wed 30-Jul-14 12:10:24

Yambabe I really don't think putting children onto scooters should be part of the curriculum. My uncle was killed on his bike two years ago (very experienced biker, not his fault at all) and as a result it will be a cold day in hell before either of my DSs get on a bike unless they are physically not living in my house any more.

Yambabe Wed 30-Jul-14 12:14:55

My uncle was knocked down by a bus in 2010 and suffered life-changing injuries that contributed to his death last year. I still get buses, and I still cross the road. shrugs

That's kind of my point. Riding bikes IS dangerous. It could be less dangerous if more people were educated (by experience) about how dangerous it is. OK maybe not in schools, but certainly before allowing people on the road in ANY kind of vehicle.

coraltoes Wed 30-Jul-14 12:15:42

i've seen teens do wheelies on their motorbikes in central london...would be good to see a bit of a campaign along the lines of "dont drive like a twat, in a car or on a motorbike"

fluffyraggies Wed 30-Jul-14 12:17:02

I live near the A361 stretches of which are famous for being a 'thrilling ride' for bikers. I've used it most days for 14 years.

It's a fast and dangerous road at the best of times. Twisty turny and hilly. Great views. ''Think Bike'' signs all over the place.

Motor cyclists riding in groups at the weekend. I often think something as they overtake me at 100mph on a bend, weaving in and out of the traffic, riding up your arse and then tearing past, but it aint ''bike'' - it's stronger than that.

jacks365 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:17:53

CrohnicallyDepressed

Instance 1. Bikers are taught to move through to the front of a queue so they behaved appropriately.

Instance 2. Despite a car leaving a space it was not clear for the car to pull out so car is at fault irrespective of speed.

Instance 3. The bike came from somewhere so it does suggest you didn't check carefully enough though impossible to judge without knowing the specific junction.

By 'on the inside' I mean in the gap between the traffic in the two lanes. No, I don't hog the middle lane (or rather the right hand lane as my usual motorway only has the two sad)

soverylucky Wed 30-Jul-14 12:20:36

I often see bad bike riding but I also see bad car driving. There needs to be better education on both sides. The government could make a lot of money by making people take a refresher test every ten years or so and I think it would make the roads safer too.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 30-Jul-14 12:25:40

My opinion is more extreme then that. I think motorbikes should be banned, except for use by the emergency services.

Here are the government statistics from think.direct.gov.uk/motorcycles.html:

"Injuries to motorcyclists are out of proportion to their presence on our roads. Motorcyclists are just 1% of total road traffic, but account for 19% of all road user deaths."

Travelling at high speeds, perched on top a bit of metal, alongside other metal objects which are much bigger then you is inherently dangerous.

Ban motorbikes. Problem solved.

CrohnicallyDepressed Wed 30-Jul-14 12:28:43

jacks in instances 1 and 2, yes bikes are free to move to the front of the queue. However, the Highway Code does state that they should take care and keep their speed low, which they didn't. Especially in instance 2- at the time the car began to pull out the bike was nowhere in sight. Had the car hit the bike then I would agree that the car was at fault. However, the car checked, edged out, and was in the process of checking that there was no traffic coming from the other side when the bike ran into them. Should they have seen the bike coming and reversed back in?

In instance 3, I am aware that the bike came from somewhere. I checked my left hand wing mirror and it was clear at the point I began my manoeuvre. I think the biker should a) not have overtaken on the left in the first place as it's dangerous and against the Highway Code (you can't check the blind spot on your left as effectively as you can on your right) and b) I had begun my manoeuvre so the biker should have been aware that I had already checked my mirrors and therefore was mainly looking at the road ahead.

BookABooSue Wed 30-Jul-14 12:35:11

jack I'm guessing your answers come from a biker's perspective but when you are learning how to drive a car, the only real advice given is to treat both cycles and motorbikes as you would a car. The problem is that a car wouldn't have been in any of those situations. A car wouldn't weave through traffic, drive to the front of a row of waiting vehicles or zoom up the inside of a row of vehicles. Both cyclists and bikers get into situations that are not accessible to cars and then expect to be treated the same as a car. That's why it's dangerous.

It's going to continue to be dangerous for cyclists and bikers unless everyone shares the same rules of the road, or until separate lanes are provided.

DocDaneeka Wed 30-Jul-14 12:41:31

The reason we have these campaigns is that someone does actually sit and gather the statistics as to what kind of collisions occur, then devise a campaign accordingly.

The main preventable causes of collisions in rural roads are involving bikes are single vehicle leaving the carriageway (often involving inappropriate speed or inexperience) the Bikesafe campaign is doing some good work tackling this.

The other common one especially in urban situations is SMIDSY (sorry mate didn't see you) a car pulling into the path of the bike. Hence why we have 'Think bike' and 'Someone's Son' to remins drivers to look out for other road users.

flipchart Wed 30-Jul-14 12:54:27

I am not against bikes, bikers or the campaigns.

I do think there a lot of either young blokes with big bikes that do show off or older blokes who have now got a bit of money in their pocket to spend now the kids have left home and have dreamed of going back to their biker days - fair enough - but bikes have got bigger and more powerful and traffic has got busier in the 30 years since they last went on a Triumph.

This is why I think campaigns should be directed at BOTH motorists and bikers.

Somehow the women I know and have known with big bikes don't seem to have the same hung ho attitude but are more quietly confident.

flipchart Wed 30-Jul-14 12:55:31

Oops meant gung ho attitude.

CarpeJugulum Wed 30-Jul-14 13:02:36

I was nearly crashed into by a motorcyclist two days ago.

Very busy dual carriageway, and I'd pulled out safely to overtake an HGV. The bike was behind me. Once the back of my car was past the HGV, I would normally pull in, but I spotted a tractor pulling out into the road. I therefore stayed in my lane (it maybe took me 10 seconds at most to reach the tractor so it was not a good idea to pull back in).

But the biker was impatient and overtook me actually in my lane giving me hand gestures. Luckily I had a small car, and the road was quite wide, but it made me shaky for a long time after.

calculatorsatdawn Wed 30-Jul-14 13:02:56

Surely the adverts on the radio are deliberately one sided because people in the car listen to the radio? Can you listen to the radio on a motorbike? <--- genuine question

flipchart Wed 30-Jul-14 13:06:06

I'm at home listening to Planet Rock.
The advert has been on every break.
The poster campaign where you have a biker either nude or dressed up daft with the slogan 'what does it take for you to notice me' is everywhere in my area.
Bikers, motorist, passengers,pedestrians, cyclists can see it.

Sirzy Wed 30-Jul-14 13:06:53

YANBU, I have no issue with the "think bike" campaign but a "bikers think" one would be pretty handy too.

I drive local country roads a lot and the amount of times I have been overtaken by motorbikes who no way can they see the road ahead is clear, or had to do emergency stops when they are coming towards me, is scary. Some seem to have no concept of the idea that others will be on the road at the same time as them

CrohnicallyDepressed Wed 30-Jul-14 13:21:04

calculators it's not just radio though, is it? I've seen adverts on TV (even though you can't watch TV while you drive) and also posters/billboards along the roads.

BookABoo good point about jacks answering from a biker's perspective, and perhaps that's a consequence of only having "think bike" campaigns and not "bikers think" too- jacks seems to think that a car driver's sole responsibility is to be looking out at all times for potential bikes (while car drivers do need to look out for them, you can't be doing nothing but that all the time!).

As lucky says, there needs to be better awareness on all sides. Perhaps as well as yambabe's suggestion of all car drivers trying a bike (which while not practical for everyone to actually ride a bike, some awareness could be achieved by filming footage and showing it in the style of the hazard awareness test), all bike riders should have experience of driving a car. Drivers' ed is an actual subject taught in the US, isn't it? Why not have something similar in the Uk, particularly now that teenagers have to remain in school/education/training until they are 18 (whereas before you could leave school at 16, before even getting your provisional licence).

carcharodoncarcharias Wed 30-Jul-14 13:33:16

I live in a part of the country popular with bikers during the summer months. It's very rare for a year to go by without at least one biker being killed on the road. For the past few years at least, these accidents have not involved any other vehicles.

dawndonnaagain Wed 30-Jul-14 13:37:36

I got out of the car yesterday and had a massive go at a biker! I used to be one. This particular idiot had decided that despite having just pulled up to a junction to turn right, I wasn't going to be quick enough, so he pulled up on my passenger side to turn right. In other words, he was going the same way as me and wanted to pull across the front of me to get ahead. I may have read him the riot act, but I shook him up a bit. He was only 19. I doubt he'll do it again.

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