Thursday, 28 March 2013

Police Ignore Dangerous Overtaking

Edit: Update to this story HERE

This was the day before yesterday, on Milton Road. Specifically at a junction where Police have been told to prioritise antisocial cycling. As you'll observe from that link, coming in the other direction there are other distinct dangers!

Anyway, wrap your eyes and ears around this.

I'm not an every-day bike camera user. Don't take it out most days in fact - its too much hassle, the point of cycling is to have an easier, faff-free life. But when take it out I'm sure to capture something peculiar - the old lady who cycled through four successive red lights the other day being a fair example (footage not good enough to youtube).

Here I was in the correct lane to go straight on - the left hand lane takes you up Gilbert Road. There isn't an off-road cycle path to be on here - if I want to go straight on, I have to be in the right hand lane as otherwise left turning cars will quite likely crush me. You'll also note I was heading to the left-half of the lane I was going in to, rather than on to the shared-use path that suddenly appears to the left. I hope that the presence of parked cars all over it and the give-way at side roads you can see towards the end of the footage make it clear why that is.

I couldn't really be anywhere else - did I deserve a viciously close overtake by someone leaning on his horn to intimidate me? I'd have said not.

I could take this to Plod. I tweeted it at them, I've even picked out the chap who does road safety stuff for Cambs Police online. He's not particularly sympathetic as far as I can tell from his responses. I've taken more of these things to plod in the past - last time I was made to sit for an hour in the station and no one came to take any report, I think the lady at the desk didn't give a crap. Insisted over and over that if there's no contact there's no incident which is of course flat out untrue. The time before a couple of PCs came round to view this one and said it wasn't that bad. On another occasion appointments to come and see footage were missed by local plod who said they would rather come and see it than me bring it to the station. So I no longer report things like this, or this. The police aren't interested, but as they know they can't turn around and flat out say 'go away' to someone reporting the law being broken they ignore you or just do nothing about it. They bury these incidents by taking no action, hiding behind bland platitudes and insisting that they care about the safety of cyclists. By failing to act on dangerous driving they essentially decriminalise an act that can so easily kill.

Bluntly, we're all busy people and we only have a limited amount of free time. I can't keep wasting hours of my life taking evidence to a police force who show through their actions that they are effectively opposed to cycling in Cambridge. They of course tell you otherwise, like most other police authorities and councils who have a pro-cycling policy enacted through persecution, victim blame and failure to allocate the slightest safe road-space for cycling. But don't kid yourself - they're not on our side.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps we need a Kickstarter campaign to club together so we can bribe the police into taking action? That seems to be the only option left!