Caught on film: the law-breaking York drivers dicing with danger

A driver on his phone while turning a corner
6 May 2014 @ 11.36 am
| Transport

His previous video, showing York cyclists breaking the law, caused a storm when it was first revealed on YorkMix. Now the Careful Cyclist is back with a film showing the risks taken by motorists…

This video is the latest in a series of video compilations that ask all road users to stop and think about their behaviour on the road and the possible risks they are exposing themselves and others to.

The first video York Cyclists showed riders who were prepared to take risks that included jumping red traffic lights, cycling on the pavement, cycling down one way streets the wrong way and using mobile phones whilst cycling.

The latest video York Drivers, filmed over a three month period, shows some of the bad behaviour of drivers in York: parking illegally, blocking cycle lanes, speeding, jumping red traffic lights, failing to indicate, passing cyclists too fast and too close and driving whilst on the phone or eating.

My aim is to ask road users to think, “Is the additional risk I am taking worth it?”

Careful Cyclist is nearly squashed by a coach
In this still from the film, Careful Cyclist is nearly squashed by a coach
A driver on his phone while turning a corner
A driver on his phone while turning a corner
A motorist speeds through a red light
A motorist speeds through a red light

‘I was scared’

Parking in a cycle lane seems minor but can have serious consequences.

Look at the section of video where the National Express coach overtakes – I am squeezed between an illegally parked car and a speeding coach that is far too close.

At that point I was scared, the camera has a wide angle lens and doesn’t really convey just how small that gap was.

My second aim is to shame those road users who think it is okay to put others at risk.

Drivers who chose to drive with a cup, food or phone in their hand are a danger to all other road users and should rightly be embarrassed by their selfishness.

Drivers who pass too closely are in breach of Rule 163 of the Highway Code.

A texting motorist overtakes some cyclists
A lunching motorist overtakes some cyclists
Nowhere to go: the cycle lane is blocked by a parked van
Nowhere to go: the cycle lane is blocked by a parked van
A car pulls across in the path of the Careful Cyclist
A car pulls across in the path of the Careful Cyclist

The SMIDGAF circle

Please give space to vulnerable road users, slow down, be observant and be careful.

On a number of occasions I have nearly been knocked off my bike by inattentive drivers.

Share the road and expect the unexpected.

Remember, that cyclist or pedestrian is someone’s son, daughter, father or mother. Would you put your own family at risk like that?

Would you speed past with inches to spare? Are the few seconds you might be saving on your journey worth that extra risk?

Cyclists have an expression, SMIDSY: “Sorry mate I didn’t see you”, often used by drivers to defend poor driving.

There is also the phrase SMIDGAF which certainly applies to some of the drivers featured in this video.