• SA05 OZC - MGIF, "Road Tax" and "cycle lane" conversation 20130707

    21,057 views 5 years ago
    As seen here:

    [Updated 12/07/2013 - Met Roadsafe response at bottom of this description]

    Approx 1.30pm, Sunday 7th July 2013 A23 between Brixton and Streatham.
    As it takes place on a Sunday, the bus lane is open to other motor traffic.

    I should point out that this entire conversation was with the passenger, not the driver who stayed silent throughout. Or at least I didn't hear her say anything.
    I would like to thank the passenger for at least not swearing at or threatening me, as can be seen in many such videos online between other cyclists and car drivers/passengers.

    Conversation 1:
    Me: "Hi, sorry-" [rudely cut off, while I was trying to be polite and say hello]
    Passenger: "You don't cycle in the middle of the road."
    Me: "Why not?"
    Passenger: "You cycle on the side not in the middle of the road."
    Me: "Do you want to try it? Do you want to try cycling on the road and see how it feels?"
    Passenger: "But on the side, not in the middle."
    Me: "If its not safe, I'll cycle in the middle."

    Exchange 2:
    Me: "Hello again."
    Passenger: "A question, if it's not safe to cycle on the side, is it safer to cycle in the middle where the cars and everything is?"
    Me: "Yeah, if I have to. It's not against - it's not the law that I have to cycle in the left of the lane." [indicating the cycle lane, which at the first encounter was not present]
    Passenger: "But the car have priority over you because we pay road tax." [Me thinking "Cha-ching! Bingo!". "we"? Missing the point that only the owner/driver of the car pays so called "road tax", Could this mean that the passenger is themselves not entitled to such "priority"?]
    Me: "No, no."
    Passenger: "Yes."
    Me: "No, forget road tax."
    Passenger: "Yes we do."
    Me: "Check the website ipayroadtax.com, there is no such thing as road tax."
    Passenger: "What do you mean there's no such thing as road tax?"
    Me: "Check the website ipayroadtax.com, check it out."
    Passenger: [indicating VED disc on windshield] "This is road tax."
    Me: "That's not road tax."
    Passenger: "What is it?"
    Me: "It's a Vehicle Excise Duty disc. It's only based on how much your emissions are on the car."
    Passenger: [stunned silence while learning something]
    Me: "If you have less emissions on your car it's cheaper or it's free."
    Passenger: "Is it really?"
    Me: "Yes."
    Passenger: "Is that what you say?"
    Me: "Yes."
    Passenger: "So your one is free cos it's a bicycle?"
    Me: "Yeah." [OK, not strictly true as bikes don't have official VED discs, but the point still applies that it would be free as bikes have zero emissions] "You've got environmental cars which are cheaper because the emissions are lower."
    Passenger: "So why don't you buy a car then?" [somehow thinking that people can only own cars OR bikes, not both, and that I would benefit from driving all the time]
    Me: "I've got a car at home, I don't need to use it now cos I'm on my bike."
    Passenger: "So if someone cycled in front of you, what would you do?"
    Me: "If there is not enough space for me to overtake [safely, being the point] I wait behind."
    Passenger: "Is it?"
    Me: "You only need to wait behind for a few seconds-" [I wanted to say "until it gets safe for you to overtake, which I would not try to stop" but got cut off]
    Passenger: "But you was in the middle of the road."
    Me: "Because it wasn't safe." [the beginning of the video shows a pothole/bad road surface which I would have had to swerve around]
    Passenger: "It was safe, there was nobody else right here in front of you. And it was not about-" [missing the point that the driver still has the responsibility of overtaking safely or waiting patiently until it is safe to do so]
    Me: "Check the website." [my apologies for rudely cutting her off at this point]

    Exchange 3:
    Me: "Hullo again." {OK, this catching them up because they keep getting stuck in traffic is getting tedious and requires a separate conversation] "3 things, 1) check your licence plate on youtube in 2 days, I have this all on video. 2) check the website ipayroadtax.com and [3] check the highway code."
    Passenger: "Good for you, put it on youtube". [thanks, I will!]
    Me: "Check the highway code. There is no law that says I have to be on the left."
    Passenger: "Put it on youtube... [inaudible]... get run over."

    Met Roadsafe response:
    "Very well done.
    Nice calm conversation and, I think well put to the passenger and hopefully driver. Clearly she is miss informed and so I have reiterated your information and I have sent an extract of the Highway Code. So I can confirm that as a result of the incident you reported on the 7th of July 2013 where the gold Astra SA05OZC passed close to you, a letter of warning has been issued to the party concerned." Show less
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