This story came through on the newsfeeds. It’s totally mislabelled as it does not – in any way, shape, or form – show “Britain’s Worst Drivers”. That label is merely a demonstration of the crass ignorance of the Yahoo! hacks who wrote it.
It concerns a video montage created by an anonymous cyclist with a helmet camera, titled “York Drivers”. The cyclist in question seems to be one of those people for whom a little knowledge is clearly a dangerous thing, because in his attempts to discredit drivers he has inadvertently shown quite clearly how recklessly cyclists – including himself – behave on the roads.
I’ve linked to the video below – click the image and YouTube will open in a new window – and it will be interesting to see if it remains on view when he realises how vividly it highlights his own shortcomings.
[EDIT: The video is no longer available – there’s a surprise. However, the comedian who took it hasn’t managed to get it wiped from the news story in the link above.]
Let’s be clear about this – many of the drivers in the video could hardly be regarded as particularly adept behind the wheel. Even so, very few of them could be said to be demonstrating anything other than normal behaviour. The problem is that all of the cyclists involved are behaving exactly the same, if not worse!
The very first example in the montage shows a cyclist attempting to undertake a car at a left-turn junction. The car doesn’t indicate – but anyone, be they cyclist or motorist – should know that you do not overtake near a junction, and that undertaking is especially dangerous.
The second clip shows an oncoming van turning right – and he’s signalling. The dipstick with the headcam hasn’t considered the fact that he was riding at speed whilst hidden from the oncoming driver’s sight behind another van. The van driver couldn’t possibly have seen him, and he – the cyclist – should have been much more careful.
Numerous other clips are focused on cars parked on double yellow lines, but none of this slows down our cameraman very much, and he does not stop for a second. He’d much rather squeeze through tiny gaps when the safest thing to do would be not to. Bearing in mind he has a camera on his head, there doesn’t appear to be much (i.e. any) shoulder-checking before passing any of these obstacles. He also sounds like one of those riders who has a little too much testosterone in his veins, and you can hear him muttering and grunting at everything.
In another clip, he rides on to a roundabout without any consideration for his own safety, and then grunts again when a car turns in front of him without signalling. Perhaps he hasn’t heard of the Highway Code (what am I saying, he’s a cyclist – the Highway Code doesn’t apply to him), and the part where it says you should never rely on peoples signals (and, by implication, lack thereof).
Just after that, he appears to ride off a cycle path and on to a pedestrian-only pavement, and has an issue with a car that has U-turned back into a road, preventing him from shooting straight across the junction (and over double yellow lines, because there is no cycle junction there).
Later in the video, he homes in on people using mobile phones behind the wheel. In doing this, his camera shows other cyclists riding at speed in heavy traffic out of the designated cycle lane. In one example, a female is riding much faster than the traffic, which is virtually at a standstill in a queue. This is suicidal if a car tries to cut across and doesn’t see you – which is more likely if the cyclist is flying up on the inside, hidden behind other cars. It’s even more questionable when you’ve got a camera on your head, are craning your neck specifically to get footage of the drivers breaking the Law as you whizz by, and have already identified that said drivers might not be paying attention because they’re farting about with their phones.
Near the end, the cameraman is screaming at drivers who are actually nowhere near as close to him as he seems to think they are. One clip suggests that there is a cycle path off the road, which he isn’t using, and he wonders why he is almost flattened by a lorry. He even appears to have moved over into the mouth of the junction to give a lorry space before it goes past.
As I said, the standard of driving depicted in the video is no worse than you’d find anywhere in the country. That doesn’t mean that is is particularly good or right, but it is part of the norm – and anyone on a bike who had any sense would try to avoid it rather than go pelting in as if they had special privileges, and then wondering why they almost got killed. In many of the clips, the anonymous cyclist in question is at least as much in the wrong as the drivers he has filmed. In most of the others he (or other cyclists) can certainly be seen to be less than lily white.
Maybe I should put up my own video of the routine behaviour I experience with cyclists. If I wanted to put them in a poor light, I wouldn’t have to edit much out.
I originally embedded the video in this article using YouTube’s embed code. The anonymous cyclist has been in contact with me threatening litigation, even though I pointed out that embedding the video was within YouYube’s terms of service. Said anonymous cyclist has also been demanding my name so he can “report me to ORDIT” because of my “dangerous attitude”.
I had to draw his attention to the use of various words and phrases in the above text which clearly identify that the motorists in many of the clips were in the wrong (at least in part). However, he seems to take exception to the fact that I also pointed out that virtually all the cyclists were also at fault, and that such behaviour – from both cyclists AND motorists – is relatively normal and is something that has to be dealt with when it happens. After all, martyrs cannot pursue matters using more sensible means.
I have spoken to my legal advisers and it has been pointed out that although the article as it stood was not in breach of any copyright, if the owner of the YouTube page removed the embed code feature without warning, then it might become so. I reasoned that in order for someone to try and save face over this article they might resort to such actions in order to create an issue where there was none before. The anonymous cyclist has been openly sharing his video with anyone who holds the same views as him, but he appears to be prepared to adopt different methods for those who hold a different opinion. For that reason, I have now provided a direct link to the YouTube page where the video resides. If you click the image, above, it will take you there – or
click this link to get the same page [EDIT: The video is no longer available – there’s a surprise. However, the comedian who took it hasn’t managed to get it wiped from the news story in the link at the start of this article]. Alternatively, go to YouTube and search for “York Drivers”. This is DEFINITELY not litigatious in any way – either now, or in future.
It’s funny that the Vigilante Cyclist has removed the video from YouTube. I bet he wishes he’d kept his mouth shut before submitting it to the media, because he can’t get it wiped from their archives quite so easily.