This morning's commute and other commuting stories

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  • Here's an FOI request about 20mph enforcement action in Lambeth--no 'specific enforcement operation' in 2016/17 (seems to refer to September-September).

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e­nforcement_of_20mph_speed_limit

  • It surprises me that 20mph enforcement wouldn’t be self-funding - each officer would only have to issue 1 or 2 £100 tickets a day to cover their salary.

  • Lambeth/London doesn't have any 20mph fixed position cameras, those stats are likely just from cameras. They also don't take into account the number of people caught speeding by cameras that they fail to process.

  • It surprises me that 20mph enforcement wouldn’t be self-funding - each officer would only have to issue 1 or 2 £100 tickets a day to cover their salary.

    It takes an entire team as more often than not if you sent out a lone police officer with a speed camera they would get attacked by drivers or anything they did try to ticket would be questioned.

    I think they should just use way more average speed cameras. Put them along the ratrun routes so if a driver pings one going into a residental area then pings another coming out the other side without enough time between they get a ticket.

  • As you might expect, that logic goes down like a bucket of cold sick with the general driving public. The problem with enforcement is always that it's usually accepted and supported if offending is seen as the exception to the rule rather than the norm. If, as in the case of 20mph, ignoring 20mph limits or zones is very widespread, and probably practised by a considerable majority of drivers, you immediately get the mechanism kicking in that most people see what they themselves do as 'normal', driving faster than 20mph in urban areas is 'normal', laws should be in accordance with what 'most' people (from a certain perspective, natch, e.g. all your friends) consider 'normal', therefore why are there these laws that criminalise or make liable for a penalty what is 'normal'? Why, it's obviously just a stealth tax, a way of extracting more money from hardworking taxpayers. And how do we prove that's the case? Obviously, because the authorities have an actual interest in people continuing to offend, because if they stop offending they won't collect so much money from fines. That's why they constantly invent new restrictions on people's lives, and if people grudgingly comply, the authorities will invent something else to fine people for.

    Using slightly less defective logic, it is obviously not a good idea for an authority to base enforcement on the expectation of fines. They should always remain the rare exception. By the same token, rules and regulations should be close to people's actual behaviour, and if enforcement can help with bringing these two closer together, that's why it should be undertaken, ideally gradually reducing fines until they no longer occur very much. However, that's when all the above kicks in--different policing priorities--enforcement that is supported by the public, e.g. prosecution of murder, the difficulty of enforcing 20mph (what Clockwise said--setting up a traffic stop actually requires quite a few officers), etc.

    Again, I think the priorities are wrong--but I really don't know much about policing, so my opinion isn't particularly well-informed. I just think that 'denying criminals the use of the road network' is a good idea, although I imagine some would find ways around that fairly quickly.

    I think 20mph is a good policy in principle, but it suffers very much from being flouted. In side streets, the most important thing would be to modally filter all rat-runs and 'loops' along which speeding may occur, effectively (where that's possible) making travel distances so short that speeding doesn't work, which you can generally do without vertical deflection measures. Enforcement could then be more focused on 20mph main streets, where it's easier, can be more concentrated, and has more benefit. Apart from filtering, the third policy that needs to be implemented at this level is controlled car parking. At a higher level, as ever there is reducing the need to travel, reducing the propensity to travel, etc.

  • Descending a short hill at 6:30am this morning, a driver coming up the road decided it would be lolz to come onto my side of the road to play chicken and give me just enough room. Combined speeds would have been about 50mph :/
    In hindsight I could have probably turned and caught them at the lights but probably best not.

    Not sure why I'm posting, just venting as it isn't really something I'd tell the other half..

  • there was a woman riding a mango coloured Mango bicycle with drop bars, visually- it looked quite good

    for some or other reason, I thought the whole look would be just that much more complete if she wore mango coloured clothes. this steadily progressed to wondering if maybe she needed to go all out & actually dress up as a mango & I couldn't shake the idea all the way to work

    I'm starting to feel my life isn't following the trajectory I'd envisioned as a teenager & this is symptomatic.

    I guess it could be worse: “There's no use in denying it: this has been a bad week. I've started drinking my own urine. I'm flossing my teeth constantly and my mouth tastes like blood. ”

  • u ok hun?

  • https://www.theguardian.com/politics/201­9/jun/17/painted-bike-lanes-waste-money-­cycling-commissioners

    This seems to suggest enforcement can pay for itself.

    In Belfast, there is barely any road police. They put up some speed checking wires in some locations (which is going to confirm that, yes, there indeed everybody is doing 40 not 30).

    I see the occasional person being stopped (not paying VED/not insured I suspect based on my stereotypes of local drivers) but people being snatched off the road for driving like ejits or speeding in town is very rare.

  • This seems to suggest enforcement can pay for itself.

    Nope. Never a good way of thinking about it.

  • I'd rather see road safety as a right, in that sense I have to agree making it pay for itself is not a good way of thinking about it. (and it will cause complaints from "us poor motorists" yeah as if you don't have a speedometer and pair of eyes and a driving license, but ok...")

    I do wonder if it can pay for itself it is possible to actually get more of it because the argument against everything lately seems to be "but it cost money and we have none..."

  • Bloke on Albion St, near Hyde Pk on a butcher's bike with his daughter perched, cross-legged on the front platform driving a remote control car in front of them, while they pootled along.

    (Why do all the slightly odd things happen on Albion St? I had the drunken-couldn't-keep-himself-upright "Hello, my name is Jonathan" the other week)

  • Why must the slightly odd things all be on Albion St?

    Fixed.

  • Fixed.

    No, definitely freewheel.

    (sorrynotsorry)

  • I have no knowledge of remote control cars, so I'm out.

  • Clocked my first e-scooter incident today.

    Waiting at the northbound lights at Blackfriars Rd / Stamford Street on CS6. As the (bike) lights go green, a scooterman bombs it down the outside of the bikes and into the junction, but doesn't seem to clock, or misjudges, the flatbed heading into Stamford St that's reached queued traffic and probably won't clear the junction.

    Truck had been visible for ages so I presumed he'd go round it, but when I did a quick shoulder check there was a a big old bang from ahead. Dude must have been doing close to 20mph and I guess he smashed right into the rear corner of the truck. Stuff all over the junction and that horrible eerie quiet that you get after an incident. He seemed initially alright so hope he's all good now; luckily two coppers were first on the scene. Wonder how they'll approach the whole license + insurance thing in light of an incident.

    A lot of stacked traffic at that junction on the regs- the box just gets ignored. But more chilled riding on the superhighways by everyone would be boss.

  • Met launched a mini-crackdown on them recently. It's classed as driving a motor vehicle with no insurance and it carries a £300 fine and 6 pts on your driving licence.
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/m­et-s-safety-team-target-dangerous-electr­ic-scooter-riders-on-the-roads-and-pavem­ents-a4118041.html

    I don't mind them using the cycle lanes but at full whack they go a bit too fast and the riders never shoulder check when they move or indicate IME

  • ^ Interesting, I didn't know that. What's the deal with the electric skateboards/long boards? They seem even less manoeuvrable, and have the stopping distance of an oil tanker.

  • ^Not an expert but from what I gather they are also illegal.
    But it's unlikely police can be bothered to do anything unless you ride like a dick or crash into something or someone...

  • Wonder how they'll approach the whole license + insurance thing in light of an incident.

    It spells trouble for the scooterist. As nankatsu says, it's an automatic offence (and yes, scooters/Segways/any contraptions like them are only legal on private land), and from your description the scooter rider is 100% at fault.

  • I'm sure everybody has, too, but I've seen the first food delivery couriers (Uber/Deliveroo) on electric scooters. That should be one of the first ports of call for police enforcement. If anything happens, it's a terrible situation for the couriers and I imagine the company would get off scot-free with the usual litany of excuses ('they're not our employees'/'we give them training'/'we point out that they can't use scooters'/'they only use our app' or whatever) when it's quite clear that companies must be proactive about that sort of thing.

  • Same, I'm fine with electric scooters as long as 1) their max speed is something roughly along the lines of 20mph and 2) they behave like safe cyclists do, e.g. doing shoulder checks and the like.

  • One of those all-out scooters? I saw a similar-ish incident the other day. The thing looked new so I assume a new rider.
    He pelted it past everyone and misjudged the velocity going over a speed hump, flew over it and smashed head first into a car that was edging out and had no chance of seeing him fly out that fast at dusk.
    Just picked up and wobbled off, leaving the driver with a broken window and dented door.

  • UK law is not fine with electric scooters. Anything with a motor (except for certain vehicles used by people with mobility difficulties: https://www.gov.uk/mobility-scooters-and­-powered-wheelchairs-rules) requires a licence to be used in the public realm. I'm sure some people can ride these scooters when they buy them, but you're still putting someone in charge of quite a fast vehicle without any test.

    The incidents described by TedMaul and Chak sound very serious, and added to that is the problem with an unregistered vehicle in the hit-and-run that Chak witnessed. I'm sure you know the main reason why drivers think pedal cycles ought to have number plates--drivers fear being hit by someone piloting an unregistered vehicle which may be very difficult to trace, if at all. This scooter rider committing a hit-and-run offence is very close to that scenario. That's not even to mention how, not entirely unlike certain bike riders, the people in these two cases are clearly a danger to themselves as well as to others. (Always with the caveat that drivers kill and maim far more, etc.)

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This morning's commute and other commuting stories

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