Driving Under Lockdown

As the roads are currently much emptier during the UK coronavirus lockdown, in general terms it’s actually somewhat safer out there. The air is clearer and there’s much less traffic.

Of course only those who are doing work that can’t be done from home, and those either shopping or doing other critical chores are supposed to be out on the roads.

Cycling is allowed right now, along with running and walking. And you’re definitely seeing a lot more cyclists (and runners and walkers) out there. My own view on outdoor cycling is to only travel a distance I could walk back if I ran into a mechanical problem. In any case, my cycling fitness isn’t where I’d want it to be right now, so doing “centuries” isn’t on the cards.

Anyway, I’ve take to using my GoPro for these rides, and there’s a surprising amount of poor driving happening despite the empty streets. For example, in a 50 minute ride this lunchtime, I got “left-hooked” and a last minute overtake. See the video below:

A “left-hook” is when a vehicle overtakes you, only to immediately turn left into a side road. They just couldn’t wait behind you the extra three seconds or whatever. As a cyclist, you have to hit the brakes to avoid them. This wasn’t the worst example ever.

The truck driving was especially poor. He decided to overtake me, even though there was a traffic island coming up which meant he had to occupy the full width of the lane. The sensible thing to do would have been to wait for me to pass through the gap, and overtake me afterwards when there was more roadspace. But no, he shot through, the truck swaying as though being driven by a stunt driver.

Some police forces allow you to upload action-cam or dashcam footage that shows examples of dangerous driving. In this case, I think the truck driving counts, but as it happens, I’ve got other footage that is already pending with the police from an incident on Friday! One case at a time…