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National newspaper warns of "cycling wars" after near miss video sparks media meltdown

Despite police, Crown Prosecution Service and court finding fault with driving, many media reports said the punishment "splits opinion"...

Last week our Near Miss of the Day 752 showed footage released by Sheffield North West Neighbourhood Policing Team, in which an approaching driver passed a group of cyclists too closely, resulting in a £417 fine and five penalty points.

The force added that "if anyone thinks this is an acceptable manner of driving, let this be your warning". However, despite the police, Crown Prosecution Service, and court finding fault with the driving, the footage has been reported less definitively by many media outlets who have since shared the video.

> Near Miss of the Day 752: “If anyone thinks this is an acceptable manner of driving, let this be your warning,” say police

A quick search of news stories relating to the incident reveals several written from the angle of the video "splitting opinion" or the punishment being controversial.

Yorkshire Live published one such article headlined: "Sheffield driver fined £417 for getting too close to cyclist as punishment splits opinion", before a follow-up piece went live this morning, titled "Angry drivers say 'cyclist to blame' as Sheffield motorist hit with £417 fine for overtaking bike".

Likewise, The Scottish Sun opted for: "Driver fined £400 for being ‘too close’ to cyclists on other side of country road – but it has divided opinion", while Manchester Evening News asked "Do you think that this driver deserved his fine or not?"

Most eye-catchingly, however, was The Telegraph's coverage, which warned of "the cycling wars taking over the countryside", and compared January's Highway Code changes, brought in to better protect vulnerable road users, as feeling like a "relegation to serfdom on the streets" for "miserable drivers".

Writer Harry de Quetteville said there had been a dispute between motorists and cyclists about who was at fault and "far from settling the issue, however, the film inevitably inflamed the spat between fans of four wheels or two".

Telegraph story

Part of the "digital collision" over videos like the one from Sheffield, he argues, is: "Because, according to the new Highway Code, there is indeed a new hierarchy of culpability, with cars one up from the bottom (above only lorries) and cyclists one down from the top (one down from pedestrians). It is a pecking order based, logically enough, on the vulnerability of potential victims. 

"But for miserable drivers already sucking up rampant petrol price rises, never-ending (or never beginning) roadworks, and general gridlock, the result can feel like relegation to serfdom on the streets. Gone are the princely postwar dreams of independence behind the wheel, replaced by demonisation as a manic pedestrian – or planet-killer. It all seems a bit unfair."

Elsewhere in the piece, De Quetteville, without nuance, says the new Highway Code encourages cyclists to ride two abreast, or in the middle of the road.

The Highway Code actually states, as per Rule 66:

Be considerate of the needs of other road users when riding in groups. You can ride two abreast and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders. Be aware of drivers behind you and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when you feel it is safe to let them do so

Inspector Kevin Smith, lead of the Sheffield Northwest Neighbourhood Policing Team, commented on our story to explain how the close pass case played out: "I can't take all the credit though I was just sent the footage, realised it was very close to the NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) date and sent officers out to personally serve the S59 warning and the NIP. 

"Chap responsible clearly thought he had done nothing wrong and took it to court.  The courts agreed with me and not the driver. By putting the videos out there I hope there is a bit of a database of what constitutes an offence to encourage other forces to have confidence in prosecuting videos like this.  

"I have issued hundreds of TORs and very few elect to go to court. When they do, and the court agrees with my assessment, that is worth sharing as validation  especially where there is video evidence. Anyway, the Telegraph has now gone with it."

The "splits opinion" headlines surrounding last week's video are not the first time the national press has taken an interest in issues of cycle safety this year.

Following the aforementioned Highway Code update in January, two major newspapers wrongly claimed drivers face fines if they do not use the Dutch Reach technique when opening car doors.

> Highway Code changes: Daily Mail publishes "error-strewn" Richard Littlejohn column attacking cyclists

In the same week, The Telegraph also published a provocative opinion piece titled "Pedal-pushers have taken over British roads – even as a cyclist, I think it’s time to rein them in".

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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60 comments

Avatar
eburtthebike | 2 years ago
8 likes

Presumably they also think that opinion is split on other controversial issues, like Putin, Hitler, Trump, chemical weapons, climate change etc, etc.

There should be warnings with "newspapers" like this, to the effect that what they say is not to be trusted unless validated by an independent source, like the police or the courts.  I think I feel a complaint coming on to the toothless press regulator.

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Flintshire Boy replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
1 like

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Correct. Opinion is certainly split on the Trumper.

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I see the way that you categorised him with Putin and Hitler (FGS!!!! LOL!!!)

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Jut because you have a certain point of view, it don't make it right.

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Go Elon, Go!

.

 

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brooksby replied to Flintshire Boy | 2 years ago
7 likes

I may be wrong, but I think that Burt mentioned Trump because he's a person in public life who polarises opinion, not because he necessarily thinks that Trump is 'the new Hitler'. He could have just as easily said Thatcher, Boris, and Simon Cowell.

I am curious, though, Flintshire: it seems that you spend so much more time on here 'defending' Trump and his ilk, and decrying the opinions of 'snowflakes' and 'leftists' than you ever do discussing bicycles and cycling... You okay, hun?

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to Flintshire Boy | 2 years ago
7 likes

Comparing Trump with Hitler and Putin is unfair I agree. Putin and Hitler were and are able to string a coherent thought together and to articulate it without sounding like a moron. 

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NOtotheEU replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
0 likes

eburtthebike wrote:

"newspapers" like this,

Do you mean all the newspapers except the one that you read? Or all the newspapers on one side or other of the imaginary political left/right split pushed by politicians and the media to keep us divided and so busy hating each other that we ignore how the world is actually being run?

If You Don’t Read the Newspaper You Are Uninformed, If You Do Read the Newspaper You Are Misinformed

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Roulereo replied to eburtthebike | 2 years ago
0 likes

You mean Censorship, like the Oligarchs of social media have been using for a while now? Warnings and bans work well crushing any pesky dissenting opinion or even actual facts.

But only for topics you agree with.

Not things like Hunter Biden's laptop exposing corruption of Joe Biden and China's influence, or investigating the lab leak being the source of Covid, or the huge conflicts in Ukraine (such as the bio-weapons labs, or the BVI company Ukraine leader Zelensky owns, as noted in the Panama Papers)... 

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chrisonabike replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
5 likes

I don't know your name but your posts ring a bell with me...

Avatar
brooksby replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
5 likes

Roulereo wrote:

You mean Censorship, like the Oligarchs of social media have been using for a while now? Warnings and bans work well crushing any pesky dissenting opinion or even actual facts.

But only for topics you agree with.

Not things like Hunter Biden's laptop exposing corruption of Joe Biden and China's influence, or investigating the lab leak being the source of Covid, or the huge conflicts in Ukraine (such as the bio-weapons labs, or the BVI company Ukraine leader Zelensky owns, as noted in the Panama Papers)... 

Oo - oo - oo!  I know, sir!  You forgot to mention Paul McCartney being replaced by a double, lizard Royals, alien autopsies, and UFOs at Area 51  4

Avatar
mdavidford replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
5 likes

brooksby wrote:

Roulereo wrote:

You mean Censorship, like the Oligarchs of social media have been using for a while now? Warnings and bans work well crushing any pesky dissenting opinion or even actual facts.

But only for topics you agree with.

Not things like Hunter Biden's laptop exposing corruption of Joe Biden and China's influence, or investigating the lab leak being the source of Covid, or the huge conflicts in Ukraine (such as the bio-weapons labs, or the BVI company Ukraine leader Zelensky owns, as noted in the Panama Papers)... 

Oo - oo - oo!  I know, sir!  You forgot to mention Paul McCartney being replaced by a double, lizard Royals, alien autopsies, and UFOs at Area 51  4

...and the 'vaccine' chips in people's brains being controlled by the 5G.

Avatar
brooksby replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
5 likes

mdavidford wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Roulereo wrote:

You mean Censorship, like the Oligarchs of social media have been using for a while now? Warnings and bans work well crushing any pesky dissenting opinion or even actual facts.

But only for topics you agree with.

Not things like Hunter Biden's laptop exposing corruption of Joe Biden and China's influence, or investigating the lab leak being the source of Covid, or the huge conflicts in Ukraine (such as the bio-weapons labs, or the BVI company Ukraine leader Zelensky owns, as noted in the Panama Papers)... 

Oo - oo - oo!  I know, sir!  You forgot to mention Paul McCartney being replaced by a double, lizard Royals, alien autopsies, and UFOs at Area 51  4

...and the 'vaccine' chips in people's brains being controlled by the 5G.

But that can't be right - I was told that 5G causes the Covid

Avatar
mdavidford replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
7 likes

brooksby wrote:

mdavidford wrote:

...and the 'vaccine' chips in people's brains being controlled by the 5G.

But that can't be right - I was told that 5G causes the Covid

Well - that's the beauty of it isn't it? First it causes it, then that gives them the excuse to implant the chip, then it allows them to activate it.

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Roulereo replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like

Conspiracy theories for you, are merely spoiler alerts for those less blinkered.

I get the jokes, and no I don't beieve in Lizard people etc. but be honest, you don't really believe half of what your media pushes on you?

I understand it's easier to swallow the spin and lies and disparage anyone's questioning of it as being from a nutter, recognising the alternative is just too hard. Having to acknowledge that the you don't know where Covid came from, or that Hunter Biden laptop was covered up, or that President Zelensky and his cronies may be very rich men with homes across London (Yikes, even The Guardian had an article 'Revealed: 'anti-Oligarch Ukrainian President has offshore connections", that is awkward).      

You're actually the ones clapping Lance Armstrong on the TdF podium in 2005 and nodding to his speech. 

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chrisonabike replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
4 likes

Well David, they may have laughed at Jesus, they may have laughed at Galileo, true. But they also laughed at Bozo the clown. Yes, the powerful and repressive are indeed insidious, manipulation is a universal and no tactics are off limits.  Local conspiracies abound.  There's a fairly readable book about it, too.

Mostly though these forces are mercifully imperfect.  Often they're fairly stupid and lazy because they're ordered and staffed by humans.  Generally they only need to work in a more crude [1], [2] - if more or less thorough - basis.  Hence I'm a great believer in "cock up over conspiracy".  Or mostly fairly transparent self-serving behaviour.  You know, follow the money, expect powerful folks to help each other, beware of our human biases to lend undue significance to chance relations and see bigger stories than there really are etc.

(Of course the way our entire world system conspires to thwart utopia and constantly fills the streets with large motor vehicles - that's another rabbit hole which even we few on road.cc daren't mention much.)

Here's a quick and useful test for you then.  Having exposed these major manipulators - who otherwise seem to have fooled everyone else - if they're as powerful as is suggested you'd likely expect fairly swift retribution.  Check if anyone's harrassed you (mis)using the legal system, thrown you in jail without due process for several years, beaten you or tried to assassinate you [3], [4], [5] (not like "impurifying our precious bodily fluids").

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brooksby replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
4 likes

Roulereo wrote:

Conspiracy theories for you, are merely spoiler alerts for those less blinkered.

fnord

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
2 likes

brooksby wrote:

Roulereo wrote:

Conspiracy theories for you, are merely spoiler alerts for those less blinkered.

fnord

Did you mean to write something there?

Avatar
mdavidford replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Roulereo wrote:

Conspiracy theories for you, are merely spoiler alerts for those less blinkered.

fnord

Did you mean to write something there?

.

I've just realised what's going on with Flintshire Boy's posts.

.

Can't believe I didn't see it before.

.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
4 likes

Quote:

or that President Zelensky and his cronies may be very rich men with homes across London

Why does this matter? It would matter if we were sanctioning Ukraine. We are not. We are sanctioning Russia for invading Ukraine on made up reasons and causing the deaths of many thousands of people. Russians would still have properties and business interests in London if the invasion had not happened. 

Of course you would support Putin because your Orange God finds him a very smart man who did a really smart thing and even when pressed by his most ardent supporters on the Fox to give him an out, praises Putin whilst pictures of Civillian dead are shown on the streets at the same time. 

I now expect drivel of "Crisis actors" and other Russian led narratives. 

 

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
6 likes

Roulereo wrote:

You mean Censorship, like the Oligarchs of social media have been using for a while now? Warnings and bans work well crushing any pesky dissenting opinion or even actual facts.

But only for topics you agree with.

Not things like Hunter Biden's laptop exposing corruption of Joe Biden and China's influence, or investigating the lab leak being the source of Covid, or the huge conflicts in Ukraine (such as the bio-weapons labs, or the BVI company Ukraine leader Zelensky owns, as noted in the Panama Papers)... 

Why are the U.S. right-wing nutters so obsessed with Hunter Biden's laptop? China's influence over the U.S. is absolutely not a secret and Japan and China are the top foreign holders of U.S. debt.

What I find bizarre is that the U.S. right-wing seem to idolise their politicians and think that they can do no wrong and they expect others to do the same. In the real world, politicans from all sides are bought, blackmailed, persuaded etc. to put other interests ahead of the public and that's the real issue. Follow the money.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

What I find bizarre is that the U.S. right-wing seem to idolise their politicians and think that they can do no wrong and they expect others to do the same. In the real world, politicans from all sides are bought, blackmailed, persuaded etc. to put other interests ahead of the public and that's the real issue. Follow the money.

But I thought (having once woken up in dialectics class) in the US the whole point was the money?  And that was the proof that politicians there were worthy of trust / respect - because they had proved they could make / mobilise money.  "To those that hath, more shall be given..."

Actually what am I saying?  That's everywhere.  "Now we have capitalism, comrade - we will take your money". (The British Museum / R4 "History of the world in 100 objects series had a nice episode on a Chinese lacquerware cup drawing parallels between Han dynasty imperial control of commercial interests and the "private companies but part of a wide state" system of modern China).

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
4 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

But I thought (having once woken up in dialectics class) in the US the whole point was the money?  And that was the proof that politicians there were worthy of trust / respect - because they had proved they could make / mobilise money.

Ah - but I think you're confusing 'money' and 'forrin money'.

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
4 likes

Now everything is a number how do I tell the difference?

EDIT answering my own question - Ukranian gold glows in the dark and Russian numbers have some of the digits backwards of course.

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NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

In the real world, politicans from all sides are bought, blackmailed, persuaded etc. to put other interests ahead of the public and that's the real issue. Follow the money.

Exactly.

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Roulereo replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

Easy to say 'right wing nutter' than to ask why there are emails from Joe Biden's son stating "the equity will be distributed...10 large to be held by H for the Big Guy". Hunter Biden was in Ukraine with his father then VP, being paid by Chinese and Ukrainian companies to buy energy and infrastructure assets worlwide. 

Instead we saw stories of Joe Biden riding his bike in Delaware. Oligarchs of social media all banned any mention of "the laptop from hell", while the legacy media worked to denounce the story right before an election.  

I gues we should just whine about Boris and his Covid parties and post Ukraine flags on our profile?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Roulereo | 2 years ago
3 likes

Roulereo wrote:

Easy to say 'right wing nutter' than to ask why there are emails from Joe Biden's son stating "the equity will be distributed...10 large to be held by H for the Big Guy". Hunter Biden was in Ukraine with his father then VP, being paid by Chinese and Ukrainian companies to buy energy and infrastructure assets worlwide. 

Instead we saw stories of Joe Biden riding his bike in Delaware. Oligarchs of social media all banned any mention of "the laptop from hell", while the legacy media worked to denounce the story right before an election.  

I gues we should just whine about Boris and his Covid parties and post Ukraine flags on our profile?

So you believe that big Chinese and Ukranian(?) companies can find no better person to work as a purchaser than Hunter Biden?

Do you realise that what you are saying just makes no sense?

Chinese companies buy up assets all the time without needing some dodgy son of a politician. UK energy got bought by a French company, was Hunter Biden part of that too?

I remember when Mark Thatcher was accused of doing dodgy deals and using his mum's position (Prime Minister of milk snatching) to gain influence. Along with the accusations came actual documented proof and he ended up serving prison time for some of his shenanigans. However, left wing nutters did not use that as a primary weapon to criticise Maggie Thatcher as she appeared to not be involved with the ruse - criticism of Maggie was based on her policies.

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
0 likes

I think you're missing Roulero's point.

It's not that those companies can't find someone better qualified, it's that they so obviously can.

So why employ Hunter Biden?

Likewise his art auctions, there are apparently a lot of anonymous people willing to pay a lot of money for some Hunter Biden art.

I don't know much about art, maybe it's really good? Or maybe, in a similar vein to his employment history, people are willing to pay way over market value.

Why?

What does Hunter Biden offer that leads to people wanting to repeatedly pay him large sums of money?

I've nothing against Joe Biden per se but there are definitely some serious ethical questions regarding his son's finances and how they relate to Biden sr.

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chrisonabike replied to Rich_cb | 2 years ago
1 like

But why is Roulero so excited about the current incumbent?  I mean yes he's the man in power so merits scrutiny.  And I'm not disputing the "what do you think you're getting paid for?" aspect - a nice example is Ian Hislop here bringing it to UK MPs who are equally nonplussed that the public would be concerned about businesses giving them money.

For all I know some of Roulero's concerns could have merit (lots would appear to be thoroughly refuted bollards of course).  However there does seem to be a rather strong correlation between people coming out with this suite of concerns and those associated with the culture of the previous US administration.  Which is documented as being no less sunk in sin.  That's edging in to whataboutery but Roulero's selective concern does put him into a particular bracket.  It's not just them of course.  There seems to be a trend of global increase in spamming people with conspiracy theories, dead-catting, the estate agent technique (don't just fib - say the exact opposite of the truth) and "doubling-down" when challenged.  None of these things are new of course.  The Russian goverment has been a major exponent of this but our own powerful classes are adopting this increasingly.

The problem is that this isn't really useful "argument".  Obviously it serves a purpose e.g. cheers those "on side" and can sway some people (as can just shouting at them, or having a good hairdo).  But demanding the other side engage is part of the game and is not being done in good faith.  Like the "creationist argumentation" technique - throw out your own points as axioms so don't bother backing them up.  Demand detailed evidence from the other side on every point however minor.  If anything is not forthcoming dismiss the whole.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
1 like

You definitely do make a point. How many enquiries did the Republicans make into the Benghazi attack? What did they find? Yet they kept on going back to it until suddenly it didn't matter as Clinton didn't win in 2016.

How many enquiries into 2020 "vote rigging" did they do, including hiring dubious actors to investigate some states votes, and Lindells massive cyber investigation? And what did they find? Any actual minor rigging was from Republicans and actually more votes were found for Biden. Yet it is still being quoted every day AND of course being used to remove voters rights. I mean forcing people into a 10 hour queue to vote, but not allowing people to bring them food or water does seem to be something any Democracy loving person should be up in arms over. 

And also why isn't Roulero up in arms that Madison Cawthorne has found out about Sex Orgies and Cocaine being done by the Representatives who they elected. Especially as it is all Republicans doing it. I mean I doubt Democrats would associate with him and he would have stated if it was them. The only thing he seems to admit is that anyone reporting HIS EXACT WORDS is faking the news. 

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chrisonabike replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm bored of arguing about distracting nonsense peddled by meme salesmen things that other people care about more than me now.  And topics which are just big talk (e.g. nuclear power / US politics).  Like a child or rather old man I just want to know how that bicycle wheel keeps going round.  When will it ever stop?

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
2 likes

Easy. The slight wobble of the Flat Earth as the Sun and Moon float over head causes the wheel to continously move in a similar way that affects certain bridges to wobble when it builds up resonance. 

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
0 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

Like a child or rather old man I just want to know how that bicycle wheel keeps going round.  When will it ever stop?

Ask Fabian Cancellera.

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