• It was a mistake for him to overtake in that position. The driver was wrong to do it so you could say it was wilful. (so I agree with your point)
    Did the driver foresee the consequences of his actions? Unlikely.
    Was anyone hurt? No.
    Should he have done it? No.
    Does he deserve to lose his job?
    Does he deserve to lose his licence?
    These last two questions relate to sanctions and what is fair. I believe there was no malice in this case so it’s an unfortunate incident. (A mistake? An error? Pedantry corner)
    If you made a bad decision ( amended from mistake) in your workplace and one was hurt, is it reasonable for you to lose your job? And all the consequences of that.

  • It's an interesting point.

    Companies which employ train drivers or aircraft pilots have strict procedures for monitoring human errors. Repeated errors or gross errors lead to positive interventions which may include re-training, suspension from duty, disciplinary procedures and ultimately, termination of employment.

    Driving a train or flying a 'plane is a higher status and better paid job than driving a bus.

    Travelling by train or 'plane is safer both for the passengers and the general public than travelling by bus.

    It appears to me that there is a higher general acceptance of risk and poor behaviour by motor vehicle drivers, whether professional drivers or otherwise, than is the case for other mass transit systems.

  • I would hazard a guess that there are more dangers on the roads than when on a train or flying. No doubt, someone will argue I’m wrong.
    When driving you have a lot of potential dangers to you and you to others. It is not always possible to mitigate the dangers and add to that some form of time pressure - bus drivers, delivery drivers, people like me who are late and things get more difficult.
    I have some sympathy towards the bus driver, albeit he made a bad decision. I have some sympathy towards the cyclist too - he has no protection against the bus. I think it’s hard to make judgment of an appropriate penalty in this case. It is just luck that the cyclist was not injured.

  • Long comment is long...

    My favourite analogy to contribute to this conversation comes from spending a few days cycle touring along the north coast of Normandy a few years ago. Generally speaking on those coastal roads, when you're not passing through villages you're either climbing towards blind hills or pushing towards obscured corners, rarely with a good amount of passing opportunity. A similar story to many British lanes.

    Within about half an hour I'd cottoned on to the fact I knew the nationality of the driver behind me before they had even passed. French drivers would wait and wait and wait far behind me. Wait until there was heaps of space, absolute certainty that there was no oncoming traffic and pass entirely out using the other lane at a gentle speed. Belgian drivers would wait fairly far back. Mostly wait until it was absolutely safe to do so, or at least 90% sure it was safe to do so and then pass mostly out in the other lane. British drivers would leave at most a car length distance between us, wait as long as it takes to sing one round of I know a song that will get on your nerves and then pass at high speed, leaving at most a metre between us side by side more or less regardless of making an informed safety assessment.

    If the average French driver (admittedly self-concluded) can deal with passing cyclists sensibly and safely, why shouldn't we expect professional drivers on our roads to employ the same level of quality driving? If they can't do that, they shouldn't be driving. So yeah, an environment where professional drivers are at very high risk of losing their job for unsafe driving should totally be encouraged.

    The driver posted up thread didn't make a safe judgement by passing a cyclist on a corner he couldn't see around, with markings to indicate not to leave his lane and a cyclist ahead in a cycle lane that was clearly running out. If the cyclist had been going a bit quicker (which would be hard for the driver to judge), he would likely have ended up under the side of the bus. The driver would likely fail his driving test if he performed said manoeuvre during it. Therefore he hasn't met the base legal requirement of driving safely drive on British roads, non? He hasn't demonstrated he isn't legally capable of performing his job. He should have waited to pass until it was safe to do so. He took too much risk and requires sanction or removal of his licence.

    I used to teach DT. If a child were to get badly injured by a tool whilst under my supervision, it would have been highly likely I could have lost my job, maybe lost my qualification to teach. At least suspended, pending investigation. Any small injuries would have to go through a rigorous process of investigation and I would have to call parents directly to apologise and explain what had happened, why and how I intended to ensure it wouldn't happen again. I was mostly exhausted from too much work and high levels of stress whilst doing this job, but was still expected to perform safe classroom practice day in and day out. Most public sector employees who deal directly with the public are under a similar level of scrutiny, pressure and employment risk. Surely we should hold professional drivers to the same level of scrutiny? There is record of their involvement with the general public causing life changing injury and death.

    It is just luck that the cyclist was not injured.

    Luck shouldn't have to come into it in these situations. He shouldn't have passed. If he hadn't the risk would have been eliminated.

  • It’s a crime

    If he’d apologised you could argue it was an honest mistake. I know he’s probably feeling defensive, but it seems like he doesn’t care or thinks what he did was right. Because I have access to customer data at work, I have quarterly training so that I know what is legitimate use and that I can be fired and reported to the authorities for misuse. I would imagine the bus companies have similar, if only for insurance. I don’t think the driver has an excuse

    Edit- ah didn’t notice the extra page. To add though, I have sympathy for people doing their job, but if your job gives you a capacity for harm you should be aware of it and take responsibility.

  • I would hazard a guess that there are more dangers on the roads than when on a train or flying

    Yes, absolutely. But that is not by accident, it is due to a high level of safety being designed into air and train travel systems. The same cannot be said of road systems, although cars themselves have become hugely more safe, but mainly for the occupants.

    To me, it is a societal decision to accept road risk and the consequences, above other forms of transport risk.

  • Interesting points. I have read various opinions of French drivers - not all may be as considerate as the ones you encountered but that isn’t relevant.

    I agree the bus driver was not driving at a good standard. It’s the sanction I’m interested in.
    Locally, drivers here are very poor. Never mind taking cyclists into consideration, they don’t take anything into consideration. I had two emergency stops yesterday where drivers drive out in front of me. It is getting to the stage that it is normal. People will not wait at junctions any more. Roundabouts are a nightmare.

    Re. Your comment about ‘luck’ - I didn’t mean luck as in a random event, I meant that it was fortuitous that he wasn’t injured or worse. It was a term I would use in speech. I keep forgetting about the pedantic level of accuracy required in posts here. (Joke)

  • I’m not making excuses for the driver. His standard of driving is not what it should be. I have no idea about what training bus drivers get annually. Maybe someone else could comment.

    The driver took a chance, perhaps, without taking the consequences into consideration. The law provides for this in relation to the standard of his driving and the chance aspect. It does not take into consideration the possible impact of what could happen in the future. (hope that makes sense)

    He is in the wrong, what is an appropriate sanction?

  • Yeah, agreed on the French thing. They're less excellent on the South coast that's for sure. More to make the point that excellent driving is possible.

    My bottom line is, the driver has ignored road infrastructure directing how to use the road safely, putting a life at risk. The driver has not demonstrated safe driving which is the base minimum to perform their job. If the situation was chaotic and busy the margin for error would be higher and there would be some leeway to allow for some conflict. But in this situation that wasn't the case. The driver has quite simply broken the law and no level of time pressures, stress, SMIDSY should inflict on how severe the punishment received is. The law is a £100 fine and three points for close passing a cyclist. This is what the driver should receive.

  • I agree. But the difference with motor vehicles is the the unknown and unpredictable factor - the driver.
    My mother is 82 and still drives. She never sat a driving test - that was the norm 60 years ago. Her standard of driving is, at best, poor and, at worst, frightening. A risk assessment of driving when she is also driving would not give any reduction of risk. She is not alone in her poor driving. Mitigation of the risk is almost impossible whilst these people continue to drive. And I should add, this is not restricted to older drivers. All drivers should be subject to some form of additional testing as they grow older.

  • I’m not sure of the penalties in London. But that looks like a Careless Driving penalty. If the evidence is as prevented, it could be Reckless Driving which would attract more points and perhaps a ban

  • Yeah. I should have said highest punishment for a close pass minimum. I guess we agree whatever the punishment, it shouldn’t be light. The bus company should also be fined for not conducting proper training/overworking staff/unrealistic targets as appropriate as to which has factored into this situation.

  • I had an accident about a year after passing, not a massive one mind, and I did the driver improvement course on a Saturday. Half was spent going through fictional scenarios in a classroom and half was with an advanced instructor. It significantly changed the way a drive, that time with the instructor. I think that was due to it being aimed at how to be a really good driver and not how to pass a test. So I do think there is a place for that kind of thing

    @TGR in terms of sanction there should be something lasting, that puts his livelihood in danger if it is repeated. There might already be with the bus company, who knows. In legal terms whatever the law stipulates as it would be for someone driving a private vehicle.

  • So, are you saying driver improvement is not suitable in thIs case?

  • If you made a bad decision ( amended from mistake) in your workplace and one was hurt, is it reasonable for you to lose your job? And all the consequences of that.

    If you operate heavy machinery in the vicinity of the public and your incompetence leads to a near miss then why shouldn't losing your job be an option?

  • It should obviously be an option. But there are a variety of options. On this occasion no one was hurt. In a court, that makes a difference.

  • I assume you’d expect a professional footballer who plays for a living or play better and be better than an amateur.

    I expect similar of professional drivers.

    Given this person is on the road more than most of the population and drives a vehicle that poses greater risk than the average I’d hope they drive better than or at least to the minimum expected standard. Do you think legal punishments are for rehabilitation, punishment or a deterrent or some mixture of the above.

    Do you think ploughing through red lights is ok, as long as on those occasions no one is hurt, or that if someone engages in risky behaviour this should be sanctioned regardless of if someone was hurt or killed?

  • I suspect that the punishments are for a mixture of those reasons. Prosecution and Sentencing takes a few of those into account.

    Interesting the mention of professional drivers. Recently I have made comments regarding driving by taxi drivers - presumably professional drivers. Their driving was not good is the most gracious thing I could say about it.

  • I don't know any details of this specific situation, and haven't seen the video, but just wanted to clarify this:-

    there are solid white lines down the middle of the the road that aren't meant to be crossed

    They can be crossed though (per HWC rule 129):-


    Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.

    Of course, if it's a blind bend (as hinted at in other posts) then "providing the road is clear" cannot be guaranteed and they shouldn't have attempted to manoeuvre, also the average car driver will consider any cyclist they want to overtake as going slower than 10mph regardless of their real speed.

  • Well, that told me! Of course, since such markings are basically always used on bends, is it ever safe? On a straight road, how is having a double white line any different from having a dashed white line which you are also not supposed to cross unless it is safe?

  • Did the driver foresee the consequences of his actions?

    If he didn't force the consequences then he is in the wrong line of work.
    If he did then he is in the wrong line of work.

  • On a straight road, how is having a double white line any different from having a dashed white line which you are also not supposed to cross unless it is safe?

    Well, the obvious difference between HWC rules 128 and 129 is the limit on overtaking stationery or slow moving vehicles.

  • stationery
    Stationary. A simple way to remember is that stationery has an e, like pen...

  • And Bez.

  • In a court, that makes a difference.

    We're not talking about what happens in court, which is notoriously pro driver of course, but of personal opinion. And in my line of work if someone came as close to serious harm or death as this cyclist has then I would consider resignation, and my employer would consider firing.

    I don't get this "all well that ends well" attitude. It's surely the primary motive behind the current state of our roads. Lots of near misses means a few dead and serious injured. We shouldn't be writing policy that hopes and relies on the good luck of victims.

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Please report dangerous drivers to the police - Roadsafe. Report to plod, not just whinge here.

Posted by Avatar for dancing james @dancing james