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ASLs vs bus lanes : council cctv

keyser__sozekeyser__soze Posts: 2,066
edited February 2011 in Commuting chat
I've read the usual stories about how the police are too busy or uninterested to prosecute or fine drivers for stopping in the bike boxes. They're also too busy and uninterested in capturing motorists for driving in bus lanes, yet woe betide any driver who drives in a bus lane lest council-run CCTV catch you - indeed my ex was captured doing it on cctv last year and I got a £60 fine. Councils make a fortune out of these fines and drivers invariably respect the bus lanes. Imagine what the roads would be like if there were cameras at ASLs and the councils could fine drivers. The cameras would have to be configured to capture video of the lights as well as the ASL to prove that the driver entered the ASL while the lights were on red but that can't be too difficult.

A quick google suggests this has been mooted before - http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/arti ... ulprits.do . Any idea what came of it or why it's been dropped? Would make my commute much safer if ASLs were free of cars/lorries/buses.
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Posts

  • its not exactly as simple as you would think, I have ended up in the ASL boxes many a time sometimes its unavoidable. its either you stop there or you run a red light, not everything is black and white in terms of the ASL, it would be like putting a fine on crossing when the red man appears...
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  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    Skippy2309 wrote:
    its not exactly as simple as you would think, I have ended up in the ASL boxes many a time sometimes its unavoidable. its either you stop there or you run a red light, not everything is black and white in terms of the ASL, it would be like putting a fine on crossing when the red man appears...

    Okay, but how many times do you stop several metres past the white line at intersections without an ASL? Exceedingly rarely, right? Would you still use the red-light excuse if you did?

    ASLs aren't respected by some drivers because they know there's no consequence if they ignore them (BTW, I'm not putting you in that category!).
  • Horrible idea. I can't stand the trial by camera culture we now find ourselves in. My thoroughly law-abiding mother was recently on the receiving end of a bus lane penalty notice for getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle. She appealed it, but as there was no sign of an ambulance in the photograph it was rejected. My girlfriend was given a box junction fine for having the back wheels of her car still in the junction as the lights turned to red. She had waited to cross until there was space for her car on the other side, but as she crossed a taxi and another car that was illegally driving in the bus lane that ended at the lights, shot through on the left and forced there way into the gap she had waited for. A policeman might have given her a telling off, but would have seen sense that it wasn't really her fault. A camera couldn't give a sh*t.

    I get annoyed with motorists who block ASLs, but I have a feeling that most of them do it because they don't understand what they are and have not been educated properly. Clearer definition might be in order.
  • I'd agree with it if - as never happens - real life kept up with technology. The price of such equipment is dropping so much now that would it really cost too much to take a few minutes of video, using a wider angle but an HD camera and thus being able to still see the number plate? Whilst it would be nice to have more police about who could really see what was going on, that's not going to happen. Having one officer (might not even need a PC, just someone who knew what they were looking at) to flick through 'flagged incidents' of however many cameras would be much cheaper than a copper on every intersection. Overall this means a greater level of accuracy as to who has done wrong and who hasn't.

    However the above is very hypothetical. A more realistic action might be to get the police to treat ASL infringements more seriously, and perhaps change the highway code to remove the get-out clause where motorists can currently say they couldn't have stopped in time - as jamesco above said, is it really that hard to stop behind an ASL? The main problem with this is the backlash that there would be from the 'war on motorists' brigade and enhancing the us vs them mentality.
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  • Horrible idea. I can't stand the trial by camera culture we now find ourselves in. My thoroughly law-abiding mother was recently on the receiving end of a bus lane penalty notice for getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle. She appealed it, but as there was no sign of an ambulance in the photograph it was rejected. My girlfriend was given a box junction fine for having the back wheels of her car still in the junction as the lights turned to red. She had waited to cross until there was space for her car on the other side, but as she crossed a taxi and another car that was illegally driving in the bus lane that ended at the lights, shot through on the left and forced there way into the gap she had waited for. A policeman might have given her a telling off, but would have seen sense that it wasn't really her fault. A camera couldn't give a sh*t.

    I get annoyed with motorists who block ASLs, but I have a feeling that most of them do it because they don't understand what they are and have not been educated properly. Clearer definition might be in order.

    Well put. A single image can be tellingly accurate or grossly misleading. If you have a job that revolves around making money from single images, it's an easy choice.
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  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    indeed my ex was captured doing it on cctv last year and I got a £60 fine. Councils make a fortune out of these fines and drivers invariably respect the bus lanes.
    Bit of a contradiction there, old son. But then drivers are terribly law-abiding types, aren't they, especially the laydeez?
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    Skippy2309 wrote:
    its not exactly as simple as you would think, I have ended up in the ASL boxes many a time sometimes its unavoidable. its either you stop there or you run a red light, not everything is black and white in terms of the ASL, it would be like putting a fine on crossing when the red man appears...

    Funny, that, when i learned to drive I was told to approach traffic lights with the expectation they were going to change and to stop, if at all possible, on amber, as legally required. And the first stop line on the ASL is just that - a stop line. if you drive past it on red, you've jumped the lights.

    There's no excuse. If you overshoot the stop line you're either not paying attention, going too fast or trying to jump the lights.
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • I get annoyed with motorists who block ASLs, but I have a feeling that most of them do it because they don't understand what they are and have not been educated properly. Clearer definition might be in order.

    IME commercial drivers tend to block them the most. I think it's deliberate, they dislike cyclists and know there's no penalty for abusing their facilities.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I think most drivers and moped/motorbike riders are completely aware that they are not allowed in bike boxes or cycle lanes. Not that lack of awareness of the law is an excuse. A few weeks ago I got to a junction at the north end of Blackfriars Bridge and to my utter surprise found that all motor driven vehicles were neatly sat behind the 1st white line at the ASL... Then I realised why, there was a police motorcyclist at the head of the traffic.... The majority of bike boxes have cars, vans, taxis, lorries, mopeds etc in them and increasingly I am finding that moped and motorbike riders are using cycle lanes which I rarely saw when I 1st started riding to work.

    I'm not sure whether CCTV is the answer or whether the police should start taking cycle facilities seriously. Perhaps both as currently these facilities are largely disregarded.

    What gets me though is that the police are quite quick to have a word with cyclists who move ahead of the ASL, I've seen police cyclists and police at junctions quickly stop and pull over cyclists who move out of ASL (because they are blocked) and tell them off, however I have NEVER seen any police officer every have a word with a driver in an ASL. I was once told by a police officer that I woulod be safer in the green box than ahead of it, when the green box was completely blocked by traffic. I don't understand why the police assume that a patch of green tarmac is inherently safe! Green tamac/black tarmac, bike boxes need to be enforced to be safe. I wouldn't mind if the police turned a blind eye to drivers and cyclists at the same time, but why enforce the rule for cyclists but NOT drivers?
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  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637

    I wouldn't mind if the police turned a blind eye to drivers and cyclists at the same time, but why enforce the rule for cyclists but NOT drivers?

    Because most police are people who have worked hard to join the C2 lower middle classes and buy the only house they can afford, in the outer suburbs nowhere near public transport, which they can only reach by car.

    They therefore have joined the Daily Mail/Express demographic (which is where DE working class people end up when they "better themselves") in which motorists are Decent People and cyclists are Hooligans, Commies, Hippy Layabouts and Potential Terrorists looking for trouble just by riding a bike on the road.

    After being rear-ended by a driver a couple of years ago while minding my own business waiting for the lights to change and calling the police, I was told by said police I ought to consider not cycling.

    A few decades ago local police lived locally because housing came with the job or they could afford to buy somewhere locally or weren't too posh to live in a council flat. And they probably rode a bike to and for work.

    Then their locality became a censored (partly due to censored policing) and they fled to the middle of nowhere, spent half their working days hiding in cars and joined the Great Car-Owning Society.

    Now they're all Clarkson in uniform.
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,769
    Greg66 wrote:
    Horrible idea. I can't stand the trial by camera culture we now find ourselves in. My thoroughly law-abiding mother was recently on the receiving end of a bus lane penalty notice for getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle. She appealed it, but as there was no sign of an ambulance in the photograph it was rejected. My girlfriend was given a box junction fine for having the back wheels of her car still in the junction as the lights turned to red. She had waited to cross until there was space for her car on the other side, but as she crossed a taxi and another car that was illegally driving in the bus lane that ended at the lights, shot through on the left and forced there way into the gap she had waited for. A policeman might have given her a telling off, but would have seen sense that it wasn't really her fault. A camera couldn't give a sh*t.

    I get annoyed with motorists who block ASLs, but I have a feeling that most of them do it because they don't understand what they are and have not been educated properly. Clearer definition might be in order.

    Well put. A single image can be tellingly accurate or grossly misleading. If you have a job that revolves around making money from single images, it's an easy choice.

    +1 I raised a similar point in one of the threads about Mr Porter's getting cut up by that van. You get a very limited amount of information from video and less still from a single photo.

    I still think your view of motorists not knowing that they shouldn't stop in ASLs is way too charitable though.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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  • rjsterry wrote:
    I still think your view of motorists not knowing that they shouldn't stop in ASLs is way too charitable though.

    So do I. I do think they could be a little more clearly defined and I would support random crack downs by the police, the way they do with RLJing cyclists, but most people who drive into ASLs on my route do so because they are either stupid or selfish.
  • rjsterry wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    ...
    I still think your view of motorists not knowing that they shouldn't stop in ASLs is way too charitable though.
    Having read the thread, my impression was that Greg66 was agreeing more with JT's comment about a picture often giving a misleading impression (and so being an unsatisfactory way to prosecute such an offence), rather than agreeing with JT's comment about lack of education and understanding. I picked up little indication one way or another of Greg's view on this second point from his comments. Perhaps I missed a comment from Greg on another thread?

    FWIW I agree that video and still photos can easily give an incomplete, if not downright false, view of a situation. JT's scenario with his GF is plausible, and an example of how a rigid interpretation of a law with incomplete information could lead to a seemingly unreasonable outcome.

    However, surely as far as education and understanding is concerned, ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Yes, educate, but also enforce. My personal preference would be to have signs on traffic lights at ASLs reminding motor vehicles that they could face a fine and points if they enter the ASL while the light is red. Harder then to claim ignorance, and surely not a huge extra cost when installing an ASL?
  • Dudu wrote:
    indeed my ex was captured doing it on cctv last year and I got a £60 fine. Councils make a fortune out of these fines and drivers invariably respect the bus lanes.
    Bit of a contradiction there, old son. But then drivers are terribly law-abiding types, aren't they, especially the laydeez?

    My car so I was the one that ended up getting the fine and paying it. Ex was a new driver, and I've never seen her drive in a bus lane since. If she'd not got the fine she'd probably still drive in them.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • However, surely as far as education and understanding is concerned, ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Yes, educate, but also enforce. My personal preference would be to have signs on traffic lights at ASLs reminding motor vehicles that they could face a fine and points if they enter the ASL while the light is red. Harder then to claim ignorance, and surely not a huge extra cost when installing an ASL?

    Totally agree. I'm not opposed to educating through penalty. I bet if the police were to crack down with on-the-spot fines you would get a lot of drivers saying 'Oh, I didn't know!' I just hate the indescriminate nature of cameras set up to capture people breaking the rules irrespective of why they did so.
  • zaneszanes Posts: 563
    rjsterry wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    Horrible idea. I can't stand the trial by camera culture we now find ourselves in. My thoroughly law-abiding mother was recently on the receiving end of a bus lane penalty notice for getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle. She appealed it, but as there was no sign of an ambulance in the photograph it was rejected. My girlfriend was given a box junction fine for having the back wheels of her car still in the junction as the lights turned to red. She had waited to cross until there was space for her car on the other side, but as she crossed a taxi and another car that was illegally driving in the bus lane that ended at the lights, shot through on the left and forced there way into the gap she had waited for. A policeman might have given her a telling off, but would have seen sense that it wasn't really her fault. A camera couldn't give a sh*t.

    I get annoyed with motorists who block ASLs, but I have a feeling that most of them do it because they don't understand what they are and have not been educated properly. Clearer definition might be in order.

    Well put. A single image can be tellingly accurate or grossly misleading. If you have a job that revolves around making money from single images, it's an easy choice.

    +1 <SNIP>

    +2
  • Dudu wrote:

    I wouldn't mind if the police turned a blind eye to drivers and cyclists at the same time, but why enforce the rule for cyclists but NOT drivers?

    Because most police are people who have worked hard to join the C2 lower middle classes and buy the only house they can afford, in the outer suburbs nowhere near public transport, which they can only reach by car.

    They therefore have joined the Daily Mail/Express demographic (which is where DE working class people end up when they "better themselves") in which motorists are Decent People and cyclists are Hooligans, Commies, Hippy Layabouts and Potential Terrorists looking for trouble just by riding a bike on the road.

    After being rear-ended by a driver a couple of years ago while minding my own business waiting for the lights to change and calling the police, I was told by said police I ought to consider not cycling.

    A few decades ago local police lived locally because housing came with the job or they could afford to buy somewhere locally or weren't too posh to live in a council flat. And they probably rode a bike to and for work.

    Then their locality became a censored (partly due to censored policing) and they fled to the middle of nowhere, spent half their working days hiding in cars and joined the Great Car-Owning Society.

    Now they're all Clarkson in uniform.

    Absolutely spot on.

    For reasons given above, and others, the police are institutionally and individually conservative (note the small "c") and tend heavily towards defending a dominant ideology. Anti-capitalist protesters are an unwashed rabble, students are posh whingers, and cyclists are a menace.

    The police are not there to protect you or to defend your rights and freedoms. In a squeeze, they will always protect The System and defend the ideologies of the under-educated, conservative working class from which they themselves have emerged.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,769
    rjsterry wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    ...
    I still think your view of motorists not knowing that they shouldn't stop in ASLs is way too charitable though.
    Having read the thread, my impression was that Greg66 was agreeing more with JT's comment about a picture often giving a misleading impression (and so being an unsatisfactory way to prosecute such an offence), rather than agreeing with JT's comment about lack of education and understanding. I picked up little indication one way or another of Greg's view on this second point from his comments. Perhaps I missed a comment from Greg on another thread?

    FWIW I agree that video and still photos can easily give an incomplete, if not downright false, view of a situation. JT's scenario with his GF is plausible, and an example of how a rigid interpretation of a law with incomplete information could lead to a seemingly unreasonable outcome.

    However, surely as far as education and understanding is concerned, ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Yes, educate, but also enforce. My personal preference would be to have signs on traffic lights at ASLs reminding motor vehicles that they could face a fine and points if they enter the ASL while the light is red. Harder then to claim ignorance, and surely not a huge extra cost when installing an ASL?

    Sorry, badly composed post: that line was referring to JT's post, rather than Greg's - should have worded it more carefully. Some further signage would certainly remove any doubt as to who is supposed to use ASLs. I also think it would help if they were all properly painted; a significant number of them are missing any kind of 'feeder' lane, which conflicts with the legislation covering them, not to mention making them more difficult to use safely.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    Dudu wrote:
    indeed my ex was captured doing it on cctv last year and I got a £60 fine. Councils make a fortune out of these fines and drivers invariably respect the bus lanes.
    Bit of a contradiction there, old son. But then drivers are terribly law-abiding types, aren't they, especially the laydeez?

    My car so I was the one that ended up getting the fine and paying it. Ex was a new driver, and I've never seen her drive in a bus lane since. If she'd not got the fine she'd probably still drive in them.

    The system works, then. One newbie driver turned into a law-abiding citizen, apparently.

    Now for the other 15 million-odd.
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    edited February 2011
    I think most drivers and moped/motorbike riders are completely aware that they are not allowed in bike boxes or cycle lanes.

    Quite right. That's why they tell you to ferck off (even if they're the police) or offer violence when you complain to them about their lawbreaking. Guilt.

    Personally, I'd be very relaxed with a system whereby depleted uranium-tipped spikes shot up through the road at the back edge of the ASL as soon as the lights changed to red, provided there was a decent lead-in cycle lane for the cyclists. :twisted:

    Plus exploding cat's eyes along the white lines marking bus lanes.
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    Any coppers reading this? Let's hear from you.
    ___________________________________________
    People need to be told what to do so badly they'll listen to anyone
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