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  1. #1
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Motor vehicle operator convicted of passing too close

    This is an incident that happened to me.

    Thought some may be interested. Below is a recap and conclusion I sent out to fellow instructors.

    ********************

    The following text is a recap and final result of an incident I experienced on June 3, 2012 with a driver of a pick-up towing a fifth-wheel camper trailer. I will refer to this driver by his initials WP. In short, the driver, WP, forced me off the road and passed within approximately 1 foot. I was using a helmet mounted camera and captured the incident on video. The camera is a Contour brand, has 1080p HD capability and has a wide angle lens, approximately 120 degree field of view. This causes the video to have a slightly “fish-eye” or “bubble” effect. Similar to the passenger side mirror in your automobile, objects are closer than they appear.
    You can watch the video on YouTube, my YouTube name is “Elvisdigger” but the video specifically is located here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVfre88OQ2I

    By passing this story onto you my hope is that you gain some knowledge about the whole process should a similar incident happen to you. Thus avoiding the mistakes I made and reducing your stress level.

    After the incident, on the same day, I gave a statement to the RCMP. Over the next 3 months I emailed and phoned the officer twice for an update. To be fair, this 1-metre rule was only 1 year old at the time. The RCMP, a federal organization, might not be as well versed in specific provincial legislation, especially one that exists in only 1 province. Thus you need to know the applicable acts and gently direct the police in the proper direction. I mentioned the particular section to the officer during the statement and later in an email.

    On or about September 4 the officer served WP a Summary Offense Ticket (SOT) in violation of Motor Vehicle Act section 171B (1) (b), as below:

    Motor vehicle passing bicycle
    171B (1) A driver of a vehicle shall not pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction as the vehicle that is being ridden to the far right of the driver of the vehicle on the roadway, on the shoulder or in an adjacent bicycle lane unless
    (a) there is sufficient space to do so safely; and
    (b) the driver leaves at least one metre open space between the vehicle and the cyclist.
    (2) Notwithstanding subsection 115(2), a driver of a motor vehicle may cross a line to pass a bicycle in accordance with subsection (1) if the driver can do so safely as required by Section 100. 2010, c. 59, s. 10
    .

    After serving WP the SOT, the officer reported back to me via email as shown below:

    I wanted to let you know I spoke with the owner of the truck and served him with a ticket. The driver was very upset about this and said he would be contesting this ticket.
    He said there was no where else for him to go. He said he couldn't slow down as he had a trailer on the back and there was traffic in the other lane so he couldn't move over. He said he honked the horn to give a warning to you but then said you swerved out onto the road a bit. I told him the video didn't show you swerving out onto the road but he wasn't listening too well at that point as I told him he was getting a ticket no matter his excuse.


    On October 19 I was served a subpoena to appear as a witness in traffic court on October 24 at 7pm.

    Arriving early at 6:15 pm, to speak to the prosecutor, was for naught. The prosecutor arrived 10 minutes before court session. I spoke with him for about 60 to 90 seconds. Here’s the gist:
    1) There was a possibility that my video could not be used because I “altered it.” By altering they mean I added some text to the video explaining the situation (as you likely saw already). The prosecutor understood why, but strictly speaking, I was not to do this. Fortunately, the judge did not have an issue with it.
    2) Since I did not have the video on DVD/CD, rather on my laptop, it was likely that I would have to leave the laptop in evidence for 30 days. It was my wife’s laptop and I had visions of an evisceration when I arrived home without a laptop. Fortunately, the RCMP officer showed up with the video on DVD.

    I was called as witness and asked to describe the situation (abridged version):
    - Traveling from Musquodoboit Harbour to my home at the Head of Chezetcook along the number 7 highway.
    - Usually travel the available side roads that parallel the number 7
    - I had turned left off of one of those side roads, from Pine Hill Drive onto the number 7 highway.
    - About 17 seconds later that was when WPs horn sounded. I had to bail when I determined, in my rear view mirror, he was coming up fast and not slowing down and he passed within (approximately) 1 foot.
    After my description, I was asked if I had a camera and if I recorded the incident on video. The video was played in the courtroom.

    After my testimony, WP was allowed to asked questions. First, he asked the judge why it took so long (3 months) to get the SOT. The judge asked what his point was. WP then moved onto a very long-winded question (the judge asked him to get to the point) regarding how I knew how close he was to me. “What was my calibration?”
    My response was:
    1) I was there and buffeted by the blast of wind from the passing vehicle
    2) I am a survey engineer/cartographer and measuring is my occupation, thus I am very good at estimating distances
    3) I have it on video, and using the fog line one can estimate the distance
    4) I visited the area a few weeks after and measured the distances with as meter-stick and had taken pictures (not shown in court).

    WP then asked, if I had seen him coming up behind in my rear view mirror, why I didn’t pull over sooner? (As stated in my testimony, after the 3 second horn blast, I monitored his speed for a few seconds and decided he wasn’t slowing down, there was oncoming traffic and I had to bail off the road). I stated that there was a parked truck, some garbage cans, a soft shoulder, and then a guardrail at the bridge. I had to pick a place to safely pull over.

    WP stated (not verbatim) that, surely, if you see a large vehicle, towing a heavy trailer that you would know that the vehicle would have a long stopping distance.
    My response was to explain the dynamics of the road and describe the 150m of distance (1.5 times the length of a football field) from the Pine Hill Drive intersection to the bridge which was more than enough to stop. Regardless, he did not have to stop, rather he had to slow down from a supposedly 80 kph speed limit to 30 kph, the speed at which I was traveling.

    He reiterated his large vehicle conundrum and large stopping distance.
    He did not seem to understand, gave me an incredulous look and stated that “this is foreign to me.” I then explained that as an overtaking vehicle he was required to slow and wait until it was safe to pass. He then stated, “well I did slow.” My response was, “so then you were able to slow?”
    There was a bit of back and forth regarding this issue of slowing down at which point the judged stepped in and stopped the….argument. He asked if WP had any further questions, the answer was no.

    WP then gave his testimony describing the incident from his perspective. Large vehicle, oncoming traffic thus no room to move left, “like he always does” and unable to slow down in time, “like he always does.” He claimed that I “swerved all over the road.” He finished by stating that he was unsure what the issue was since, “I didn’t hit him.”

    In short, my perspective of his testimony is that WP feels that, as the operator of a larger vehicle, and “unable to stop or slow down,” he has absolute right-of-way and slower moving vehicles are to clear out. In his defence, some of that statement is true. He is driving a larger vehicle with a longer stopping distance and more blind spots. However, overtaking traffic is required to pass slower moving traffic only when it is safe to do so, slower traffic is not required to get out of the way. Again, he did not have to stop, but reduce his speed by 50 kph to my
    speed of 30 kph within the 150m (500 feet) of available road space. If he is unable to slow in that distance, then the vehicle should not be on the road.

    As a side note, I do pull off for these larger vehicles (I recommend that ALL cyclist do this, it is the prudent thing to do); tractor trailers, dump trucks, and especially these types of campers. No special licensing is required and no special training is required for these large fifth-wheel campers. However, I do need a moment to safely pull off the road, WP did not afford me that time.
    No, he wanted me to move. Now. He did not want to be inconvenienced by slowing down.

    After both testimonies, and that off the serving RCMP officer, and a reiteration of my points via the prosecutor, the judge sat and thought for a full minute, the courtroom was silent. He called me back up and asked;
    1) “Do you usually carry a camera?” I replied that I am a bicycle safety instructor and I tape traffic situations to show in the courses as an instructional aid. We learn from them.
    2) “Do you feel it acceptable that WP should veer into oncoming traffic?” Absolutely not.

    The judge thought for another minute, in a silent courtroom.

    The judge found WP guilty of an offence in section 171(B); not giving enough room when passing a bicyclist. The judge also admonished WP by stating that, although there were no hard distances given, the video clearly shows him passing within approximately a foot. The judge read out the particular section from the Motor Vehicle Act. The judge also stated to WP “you took a gamble and you’re lucky…and Mr. R. (me) is lucky, that he is still with us here today.”

    This is the first time this new “1 metre law” has been tested and it only succeeded because I had a video. If no video is available, then the second best option would be an agreeable eye witness. Other than that, the only other way to effect a conviction would require you, the cyclist, to be on the ground, as proof that the motor vehicle passed too close.

    Some suggestions to consider should it occur to you:
    1) I recommend a video camera, but be prepared to explain why you have it.
    http://contour.com/
    http://gopro.com/
    http://pointofviewcameras.ca/helmet-cameras

    2) Preparation is key. Anticipate the argument against and be prepared to answer. I spent a day preparing and many emails to others for advice.

    3) Don’t fiddle with any evidence. Provide the police with the raw video.

    4) Take a CAN-BIKE course. If nothing else it gives the judge confidence that you’re serious about safety and that you’re trained.
    Last edited by digger; 10-26-12 at 10:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Excellent post, thank you for taking the time to write it up.

    FWIW I have one of the new Sony HDR-AS15 cameras (the AS10 is the same thing without WiFi). I used to have a Contour Roam. The Sony is similar to the Contour in most respects. I'm not super happy with the quality of video but it's totally comparable to the Contour. I have yet to find the HD camcorder where license plates are ALWAYS readable, that's the big problem. Apart from that they're all good.

    Oregon Scientific has an interesting camera coming up that shoots front and rear at the same time but I am not overly thrilled with it - with the waterproof case on it I think it'll be too big for helmet use.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Excellent post, thank you for taking the time to write it up.

    FWIW I have one of the new Sony HDR-AS15 cameras (the AS10 is the same thing without WiFi). I used to have a Contour Roam. The Sony is similar to the Contour in most respects. I'm not super happy with the quality of video but it's totally comparable to the Contour. I have yet to find the HD camcorder where license plates are ALWAYS readable, that's the big problem. Apart from that they're all good.

    Oregon Scientific has an interesting camera coming up that shoots front and rear at the same time but I am not overly thrilled with it - with the waterproof case on it I think it'll be too big for helmet use.
    Oh wow! I just Googled that Sony cam and I like the size. It seems to be a tich less bulky than the Contour. I've had it in the back of my mind to get another camera. Thank you for the heads up.

    I didn't go for the Roam because it has an internal battery (right?). I wanted the ability to change batteries.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Careful there Digger, in posting that video, some here at BF might consider that you need to HTFU.

  5. #5
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Careful there Digger, in posting that video, some here at BF might consider that you need to HTFU.
    I know. I considered that when I posted it. Which is why I did not post it until the whole situation is over.

    They are just words on a screen laddie, just words on a screen.

  6. #6
    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Careful there Digger, in posting that video, some here at BF might consider that you need to HTFU.
    This is clearly dangerous.
    Last edited by CbadRider; 10-26-12 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary remark
    ‎"A man may lie to prevent himself from being killed, but although against his will he either lies or is killed, it does not follow that he lies or is killed against his will." - Anselm of Canterbury

  7. #7
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telkanuru View Post
    This is clearly dangerous.
    I think he was being facetious.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Digger,

    A few things that I had to "laugh" at with your case are:

    A) even though the driver admitted that it was unsafe to pass i.e. there was traffic in the opposing lane, he still felt that he had the "right" to "force" you off of the road and pass you anyway.
    B) that sadly like too many, he believes the "no harm, no foul" given his testimony of "I didn't hit him, so why are we here?"
    C) again sadly like too many he feels that because he's driving the larger, heavier, faster vehicle that that gives him more "right" to be on the road.

    I'm glad to hear that everything worked out for you.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Good story.

    I should mention that had it been the Austin "three foot passing law" that was in play here (which is the same as what Governor Perry vetoed previously for the entire state), the guy would not have been guilty of violating it as it allows one to pass at any distance (even less than the three or six feet the law requires) if the cyclist is in another lane, and the OP was on the (tiny, I know) shoulder when the pass happened.

    (Though the general passing ordinance (not specifically about vulnerable road users) is more vague, and he could have been nailed for that. Certainly, the distance he did pass at was not safe.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    Good story.

    I should mention that had it been the Austin "three foot passing law" that was in play here (which is the same as what Governor Perry vetoed previously for the entire state), the guy would not have been guilty of violating it as it allows one to pass at any distance (even less than the three or six feet the law requires) if the cyclist is in another lane, and the OP was on the (tiny, I know) shoulder when the pass happened.
    Interesting.

    Our MVA states:
    A driver of a vehicle shall not pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction as the vehicle that is being ridden to the far right of the driver of the vehicle on the roadway, on the shoulder or in an adjacent bicycle lane unless...

    So, you, as the cyclist are "protected" whether you're on the road to the right of the driver, in a bike lane or on the shoulder.

  11. #11
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    digger,
    Great story and write-up of events; good to see you win in the end.
    On a road like that (narrow) I would certainly be in the middle of the lane, with a bright rear blinky, sending a definite message that i am not a mailbox-on-a-post to be whizzed past. Riding the fogline seems to send the message "I'm trying to stay out of the way of traffic, and keeping a steady track, and if you can pass me & hold your line, we'll all be fine!"
    WP honked his horn and said " I see you, and if you'll just hold your line, my skilled driving will allow me to zip past with no delay for either of us!"
    Or maybe I'm just crazy for expecting drivers to behave responsibly...

  12. #12
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger View Post
    Oh wow! I just Googled that Sony cam and I like the size. It seems to be a tich less bulky than the Contour. I've had it in the back of my mind to get another camera. Thank you for the heads up.

    I didn't go for the Roam because it has an internal battery (right?). I wanted the ability to change batteries.
    It is definitely smaller but I think it's right around the same size when it's in its waterproof case. The Roam has a permanently installed battery which I didn't like. The Sony uses a standard Sony camera battery which is < $10 on eBay, and external chargers are also < $10.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  13. #13
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief View Post
    digger,
    Great story and write-up of events; good to see you win in the end.
    On a road like that (narrow) I would certainly be in the middle of the lane, with a bright rear blinky, sending a definite message that i am not a mailbox-on-a-post to be whizzed past. Riding the fogline seems to send the message "I'm trying to stay out of the way of traffic, and keeping a steady track, and if you can pass me & hold your line, we'll all be fine!"...
    Perhaps your're right. I'm happy to discuss.

    Before I became a bicycle safety instructor I ALWAYS rode the fog line. Now I tend to ride center lane, only moving right and positioning myself 1 foot to the left of the fog line, when overtaking traffic approaches. My hope is to indicate to the overtaking motorist, with a shoulder check and move right, that I know they are there.

    BUT perhaps this just invites them to pass unsafely, as you said.

    In heavier traffic on this rural road, I position myself 1 foot to the left of the fog line continually. Allowing smaller vehicles to pass safely and larger ones to wait until safe to pass. But, as stated, even larger vehicles I will pull over to allow them to pass.

    When I did my instructor training, I described the "centre lane and move right theory" above and the trainer admonished me stating that I should constantly position myself 9 to 12 inches from the road edge. I disagreed stating that, that was too close to the edge but would rather stay 9 to 12 inches left of the fog line. This allows me some lateral movement right, about 2 feet, up to the pavement edge.

    The CAN-BIKE courses I teach have very clear guidelines regarding lane position when riding in wide, standard and narrow lanes. However, rural roads get a little wishy-washy. I'll have to reread the sentence, but if memory serves, I do believe my instructor manual states 9 to 12 inches from road edge.

    It's a long discussion in class.

    In the case of this video I was about 1 foot left of the fog line.

  14. #14
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger View Post
    This is an incident that happened to me.

    Thought some may be interested. Below is a recap and conclusion I sent out to fellow instructors.

    ********************

    The following text is a recap and final result of an incident I experienced on June 3, 2012 with a driver of a pick-up towing a fifth-wheel camper trailer. I will refer to this driver by his initials WP. In short, the driver, WP, forced me off the road and passed within approximately 1 foot. I was using a helmet mounted camera and captured the incident on video. The camera is a Contour brand, has 1080p HD capability and has a wide angle lens, approximately 120 degree field of view. This causes the video to have a slightly “fish-eye” or “bubble” effect. Similar to the passenger side mirror in your automobile, objects are closer than they appear.
    You can watch the video on YouTube, my YouTube name is “Elvisdigger” but the video specifically is located here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVfre88OQ2I

    By passing this story onto you my hope is that you gain some knowledge about the whole process should a similar incident happen to you. Thus avoiding the mistakes I made and reducing your stress level.

    After the incident, on the same day, I gave a statement to the RCMP. Over the next 3 months I emailed and phoned the officer twice for an update. To be fair, this 1-metre rule was only 1 year old at the time. The RCMP, a federal organization, might not be as well versed in specific provincial legislation, especially one that exists in only 1 province. Thus you need to know the applicable acts and gently direct the police in the proper direction. I mentioned the particular section to the officer during the statement and later in an email.

    On or about September 4 the officer served WP a Summary Offense Ticket (SOT) in violation of Motor Vehicle Act section 171B (1) (b), as below:

    Motor vehicle passing bicycle
    171B (1) A driver of a vehicle shall not pass a bicycle travelling in the same direction as the vehicle that is being ridden to the far right of the driver of the vehicle on the roadway, on the shoulder or in an adjacent bicycle lane unless
    (a) there is sufficient space to do so safely; and
    (b) the driver leaves at least one metre open space between the vehicle and the cyclist.
    (2) Notwithstanding subsection 115(2), a driver of a motor vehicle may cross a line to pass a bicycle in accordance with subsection (1) if the driver can do so safely as required by Section 100. 2010, c. 59, s. 10
    .

    After serving WP the SOT, the officer reported back to me via email as shown below:

    I wanted to let you know I spoke with the owner of the truck and served him with a ticket. The driver was very upset about this and said he would be contesting this ticket.
    He said there was no where else for him to go. He said he couldn't slow down as he had a trailer on the back and there was traffic in the other lane so he couldn't move over. He said he honked the horn to give a warning to you but then said you swerved out onto the road a bit. I told him the video didn't show you swerving out onto the road but he wasn't listening too well at that point as I told him he was getting a ticket no matter his excuse.


    On October 19 I was served a subpoena to appear as a witness in traffic court on October 24 at 7pm.

    Arriving early at 6:15 pm, to speak to the prosecutor, was for naught. The prosecutor arrived 10 minutes before court session. I spoke with him for about 60 to 90 seconds. Here’s the gist:
    1) There was a possibility that my video could not be used because I “altered it.” By altering they mean I added some text to the video explaining the situation (as you likely saw already). The prosecutor understood why, but strictly speaking, I was not to do this. Fortunately, the judge did not have an issue with it.
    2) Since I did not have the video on DVD/CD, rather on my laptop, it was likely that I would have to leave the laptop in evidence for 30 days. It was my wife’s laptop and I had visions of an evisceration when I arrived home without a laptop. Fortunately, the RCMP officer showed up with the video on DVD.

    I was called as witness and asked to describe the situation (abridged version):
    - Traveling from Musquodoboit Harbour to my home at the Head of Chezetcook along the number 7 highway.
    - Usually travel the available side roads that parallel the number 7
    - I had turned left off of one of those side roads, from Pine Hill Drive onto the number 7 highway.
    - About 17 seconds later that was when WPs horn sounded. I had to bail when I determined, in my rear view mirror, he was coming up fast and not slowing down and he passed within (approximately) 1 foot.
    After my description, I was asked if I had a camera and if I recorded the incident on video. The video was played in the courtroom.

    After my testimony, WP was allowed to asked questions. First, he asked the judge why it took so long (3 months) to get the SOT. The judge asked what his point was. WP then moved onto a very long-winded question (the judge asked him to get to the point) regarding how I knew how close he was to me. “What was my calibration?”
    My response was:
    1) I was there and buffeted by the blast of wind from the passing vehicle
    2) I am a survey engineer/cartographer and measuring is my occupation, thus I am very good at estimating distances
    3) I have it on video, and using the fog line one can estimate the distance
    4) I visited the area a few weeks after and measured the distances with as meter-stick and had taken pictures (not shown in court).

    WP then asked, if I had seen him coming up behind in my rear view mirror, why I didn’t pull over sooner? (As stated in my testimony, after the 3 second horn blast, I monitored his speed for a few seconds and decided he wasn’t slowing down, there was oncoming traffic and I had to bail off the road). I stated that there was a parked truck, some garbage cans, a soft shoulder, and then a guardrail at the bridge. I had to pick a place to safely pull over.

    WP stated (not verbatim) that, surely, if you see a large vehicle, towing a heavy trailer that you would know that the vehicle would have a long stopping distance.
    My response was to explain the dynamics of the road and describe the 150m of distance (1.5 times the length of a football field) from the Pine Hill Drive intersection to the bridge which was more than enough to stop. Regardless, he did not have to stop, rather he had to slow down from a supposedly 80 kph speed limit to 30 kph, the speed at which I was traveling.

    He reiterated his large vehicle conundrum and large stopping distance.
    He did not seem to understand, gave me an incredulous look and stated that “this is foreign to me.” I then explained that as an overtaking vehicle he was required to slow and wait until it was safe to pass. He then stated, “well I did slow.” My response was, “so then you were able to slow?”
    There was a bit of back and forth regarding this issue of slowing down at which point the judged stepped in and stopped the….argument. He asked if WP had any further questions, the answer was no.

    WP then gave his testimony describing the incident from his perspective. Large vehicle, oncoming traffic thus no room to move left, “like he always does” and unable to slow down in time, “like he always does.” He claimed that I “swerved all over the road.” He finished by stating that he was unsure what the issue was since, “I didn’t hit him.”

    In short, my perspective of his testimony is that WP feels that, as the operator of a larger vehicle, and “unable to stop or slow down,” he has absolute right-of-way and slower moving vehicles are to clear out. In his defence, some of that statement is true. He is driving a larger vehicle with a longer stopping distance and more blind spots. However, overtaking traffic is required to pass slower moving traffic only when it is safe to do so, slower traffic is not required to get out of the way. Again, he did not have to stop, but reduce his speed by 50 kph to my
    speed of 30 kph within the 150m (500 feet) of available road space. If he is unable to slow in that distance, then the vehicle should not be on the road.

    As a side note, I do pull off for these larger vehicles (I recommend that ALL cyclist do this, it is the prudent thing to do); tractor trailers, dump trucks, and especially these types of campers. No special licensing is required and no special training is required for these large fifth-wheel campers. However, I do need a moment to safely pull off the road, WP did not afford me that time.
    No, he wanted me to move. Now. He did not want to be inconvenienced by slowing down.

    After both testimonies, and that off the serving RCMP officer, and a reiteration of my points via the prosecutor, the judge sat and thought for a full minute, the courtroom was silent. He called me back up and asked;
    1) “Do you usually carry a camera?” I replied that I am a bicycle safety instructor and I tape traffic situations to show in the courses as an instructional aid. We learn from them.
    2) “Do you feel it acceptable that WP should veer into oncoming traffic?” Absolutely not.

    The judge thought for another minute, in a silent courtroom.

    The judge found WP guilty of an offence in section 171(B); not giving enough room when passing a bicyclist. The judge also admonished WP by stating that, although there were no hard distances given, the video clearly shows him passing within approximately a foot. The judge read out the particular section from the Motor Vehicle Act. The judge also stated to WP “you took a gamble and you’re lucky…and Mr. R. (me) is lucky, that he is still with us here today.”

    This is the first time this new “1 metre law” has been tested and it only succeeded because I had a video. If no video is available, then the second best option would be an agreeable eye witness. Other than that, the only other way to effect a conviction would require you, the cyclist, to be on the ground, as proof that the motor vehicle passed too close.

    Some suggestions to consider should it occur to you:
    1) I recommend a video camera, but be prepared to explain why you have it.
    http://contour.com/
    http://gopro.com/
    http://pointofviewcameras.ca/helmet-cameras

    2) Preparation is key. Anticipate the argument against and be prepared to answer. I spent a day preparing and many emails to others for advice.

    3) Don’t fiddle with any evidence. Provide the police with the raw video.

    4) Take a CAN-BIKE course. If nothing else it gives the judge confidence that you’re serious about safety and that you’re trained.
    I plan on getting the GoPro Hero2, along with a Chest Mount Harness. I looked at the Contour and didn't like how I couldn't mount it on my chest. Other than that, fantastic post. So much so, I copied it and e-mailed it to myself, as a learning tool, for the future.

    Thanks heaps!!!

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    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    The idea that the guy believed himself to be incapable of slowing is pretty scary. To me that seems like an admission of guilt, perhaps reckless driving. I can't believe that it could ever be considered acceptable to operate any vehicle in such a way as to put yourself in this position, regardless of whether or not you're towing a trailer.

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    I'm glad the end result was correct! His arguments really were idiotic. If he can't slow down his vehicle in that distance, the vehicle should not be on the road.

    I agree with the others saying that moving over is normally a bad thing. But in this case, you judged his speed and aggressive attitude and correctly bailed to the right. I'm glad you were able to get his license plate info.

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    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Well done. Out of curiosity, do you know how much the fine is/was?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger View Post
    Perhaps your're right. I'm happy to discuss.

    Before I became a bicycle safety instructor I ALWAYS rode the fog line. Now I tend to ride center lane, only moving right and positioning myself 1 foot to the left of the fog line, when overtaking traffic approaches. My hope is to indicate to the overtaking motorist, with a shoulder check and move right, that I know they are there.

    BUT perhaps this just invites them to pass unsafely, as you said.

    In heavier traffic on this rural road, I position myself 1 foot to the left of the fog line continually. Allowing smaller vehicles to pass safely and larger ones to wait until safe to pass. But, as stated, even larger vehicles I will pull over to allow them to pass.

    When I did my instructor training, I described the "centre lane and move right theory" above and the trainer admonished me stating that I should constantly position myself 9 to 12 inches from the road edge. I disagreed stating that, that was too close to the edge but would rather stay 9 to 12 inches left of the fog line. This allows me some lateral movement right, about 2 feet, up to the pavement edge.

    The CAN-BIKE courses I teach have very clear guidelines regarding lane position when riding in wide, standard and narrow lanes. However, rural roads get a little wishy-washy. I'll have to reread the sentence, but if memory serves, I do believe my instructor manual states 9 to 12 inches from road edge.

    It's a long discussion in class.

    In the case of this video I was about 1 foot left of the fog line.
    I would also disagree with your former instructor; I do not gauge position in the lane based on the "road edge" ... that's shoulder, not roadway, and tends to very erratic in width (sometimes zero width). Riding parallel to the road edge would make for a very "un-straight" path here in California.

    In general, roads here seem to me to be more narrow than wide, and I find myself taking the lane often. But I do move right (even into the shoulder perhaps) to allow a pass once I can tell that the overtaking vehicle has slowed, and should be able to manage a safe pass. Maybe that's selfish of me to want to be noticed, and have my existence in the roadway accommodated.

    I haven't bothered to read more about CAN-BIKE, but you allude that there is a distinction made between rural and "non-rural" roads in terms of lane width.... that seems odd, and maybe confusing for a student to digest. For me, I treat narrow lanes the same regardless of location (city/country), and your video makes that road look narrow enough that I would ride way left of the fogline.

    You had the misfortune of encountering one knuckle-headed driver!

  19. #19
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I'm a little confused about why I would need justification for using a video camera. "Because I want to and because I want a record of people behaving badly since it could conceivably injure me."

    I'm glad you successfully made the ticket stick...the sense of entitlement is aggravating.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Careful there Digger, in posting that video, some here at BF might consider that you need to HTFU.
    I wouldn't say that. I would just say that Digger needs to 'take the lane' to avoid being passed like that. I don't necessarily mean how close the vehicle was so much, but how close he was riding to the edge of the road. So he can have the 2(or)3ft. to use, when motorists' choose not to care about the respective passing law.

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    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
    Well done. Out of curiosity, do you know how much the fine is/was?
    $285 and change for the first offence.

    http://cyclingrelaybill93.wordpress.com/

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    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief View Post


    I haven't bothered to read more about CAN-BIKE, but you allude that there is a distinction made between rural and "non-rural" roads in terms of lane width.... that seems odd, and maybe confusing for a student to digest. For me, I treat narrow lanes the same regardless of location (city/country), and your video makes that road look narrow enough that I would ride way left of the fogline.

    You had the misfortune of encountering one knuckle-headed driver!

    Information on CAN-BIKE is available here http://www.cyclingcanada.ca/resources/can-bike/

    I dont necessarily disagree with your point of view. I do see the advantage of taking the lane. If motorists can wait for a farm tractor or backhoe then why not a cyclist?

    The instructors are bound by what is in the MVA and cannot recommend techniques outside of what can be gleaned from the Motor Vehicle (Suggestion) Act. Liability issues.

    As you know, most provinces and states say, "as far right as practicable." The CAN-BIKE program creators have deemed that rural cycling requires about 0.3m from the edge of the curb...but there IS no "curb" rather a fog line and pavement edge. I have never seen a cyclist take the lane extensively in a rural setting in Nova Scotia, other than to avoid an obstacle or turning left. Riding down the centre of the lane for 10, 40 100km is just not done here.

    I think that any judge would deem this practice in violation of "as far right as practicable".

    I've attached the CAN-BIKE sections from the Student Handbook regarding standard, narrow, extra-wide lanes as well as rural riding.

    narrow-lane.jpgstandard-lane.jpgxwide-lane.jpgrural-riding.jpg

  23. #23
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I'm a little confused about why I would need justification for using a video camera. "Because I want to and because I want a record of people behaving badly since it could conceivably injure me."

    I'm glad you successfully made the ticket stick...the sense of entitlement is aggravating.
    When the judge asked me why I had a camera, I got the impression that he might be wondering if I had set-up the situation to trap the driver.

  24. #24
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I'm glad the end result was correct! His arguments really were idiotic. If he can't slow down his vehicle in that distance, the vehicle should not be on the road.

    I agree with the others saying that moving over is normally a bad thing. But in this case, you judged his speed and aggressive attitude and correctly bailed to the right. I'm glad you were able to get his license plate info.
    The others were stating that I should have positioned myself centre lane from the get-go. To avoid a close pass.

    I don't think they disagree with me bailing to the right. In my opinion, if I was centre lane, I doubt I would be typing this.

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    I also carry a contour camera on my commute bike and film all of my commutes. I only save those with 'issues' A while back I had a close pass by a FedEx truck, and reported it to FedEx - along with a link to the video (which you can see here. When I spoke to someone from FedEx, she was very interested in why I recorded my commutes, and I had to explain why I make the videos. I have to admit, it is not easy to explain without sounding paranoid.
    Last edited by sauerwald; 10-26-12 at 05:36 PM. Reason: fix link

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