Weird police cycle training

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
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adr82
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Weird police cycle training

Postby adr82 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 21:48 pm

I was cycling into Glasgow this morning and in a village called Thorntonhall I caught up with a bunch of 6-7 people riding in a straggly line, all wearing fluorescent "POLICE" vests. I don't know if they were all trainee bike cops or whatever, but what I found really weird was their signalling. I was going to overtake them when the guy at the back stuck his arm straight out from his body, exactly as if he was about to make a right turn. So I hung back and waited, but none of them turned. Then they did it again a little further along the road and I realised each time they did it they were simply signalling to move to the right very slightly to pass parked cars! Not even cars that were on the road, they were parked three-quarters on the pavement. Does anyone else do this?! Is it common?? Crazy IMO, any driver seeing that is going to think the same as I did and get very confused. Would have expected better from the police...

kwi
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby kwi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 22:27 pm

So when driving to you not indicate to pass stationary cars?

outcastjack
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby outcastjack » Wed Oct 30, 2013 22:55 pm

if there is an obstruction on the left it is normal to point across your back with your left arm

kwi
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby kwi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 23:06 pm

How many non-cyclists would recognise that though.

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adr82
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby adr82 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 23:10 pm

kwi wrote:So when driving to you not indicate to pass stationary cars?

I don't drive, but virtually nobody does this unless the obstructing vehicle is far enough into the road to require you to pull out into the oncoming lane. I don't want to imagine the confusion if every driver indicated right every time they passed a parked car. It'd be the same problem as I described, other traffic would assume they wanted to make a right turn if they happened to be anywhere near a junction! There's generally some common sense involved, not a reliance on indicating every time.

outcastjack wrote:if there is an obstruction on the left it is normal to point across your back with your left arm

Yes, that I would have understood, even though there really wasn't any obstruction as the cars were almost entirely on the pavement.

kwi wrote:How many non-cyclists would recognise that though.

Better than totally misusing a signal that means something else entirely...

kwi
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby kwi » Wed Oct 30, 2013 23:20 pm

You are actually meant to indicate when you leave your normal line, regardless of crossing the central divide or not. It's the changing course or direction bit of the highway code.

Mickyg88
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby Mickyg88 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 23:23 pm

You are going to wish you had never posted this, not sure why ..

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adr82
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby adr82 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 23:57 pm

kwi wrote:You are actually meant to indicate when you leave your normal line, regardless of crossing the central divide or not. It's the changing course or direction bit of the highway code.

Yes, but there are lots and lots and lots of things you're meant to do on the roads that most drivers do not do! Just read the bits where it lists places you're expressly NOT allowed to overtake. Then go out and ride around for a while and watch people violate every last one of those rules. This why there are so many accidents every year. There are also parts of the highway code that would seem to prohibit what these guys were doing:
make sure your signals will not confuse others. If, for instance, you want to stop after a side road, do not signal until you are passing the road. If you signal earlier it may give the impression that you intend to turn into the road. Your brake lights will warn traffic behind you that you are slowing down
Source (103). This was a textbook case. There was absolutely no need for them to signal in the way they did at the place that they did, it was very confusing for me and would have been the same for any drivers in the same place. What if a couple of cars had been coming the other way, the one in front started to drive past as normal, then this guy sticks his hand out, the driver jams on the brakes because he thinks the cyclist is about to cut in front of him, and he gets rear ended by the following vehicle? It was a stupid thing to do and makes me wonder what else they were being taught.

philthy3
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby philthy3 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:09 am

Are you sure it said police and not polite? There's a company out there producing safety vests with polite on them made to look like police. I don't know why as I recall a warning that wearers would be prosecuted.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... -bibs.html

http://www.highvisibility.uk.com/polite

Having recently retired after 30 years in the police I have never seen any officer given cycle training. Of course the new executive of chinless wonders who will have done a risk assessment and strategy document on the use of bicycles by staff may have decided in a knee jerk moment that everyone must do cycle training to avoid a vicarious liability claim against the Chief Constable.
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ben-----
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby ben----- » Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:25 am

> Are you sure it said police and not polite?

That's exactly what I was going to say. Only last night I was cycling and went past a rider on a horse and her bib/jacket thing said, I thought for a second, POLICE, but on second, even third, look, I realised it was POLITE. Funny thing to have printed on your jacket. I might have one made up saying THOUGHTFUL or ...

dnwhite88
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby dnwhite88 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:26 am

outcastjack wrote:if there is an obstruction on the left it is normal to point across your back with your left arm

This is what we always do
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markhewitt1978
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby markhewitt1978 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:28 am

It's a sensible practice IMO. So many drivers can't see beyond their own bonnet and have no comprehension of cycling at all so much that they have no idea you have to move out because of parked cars, making this obvious is a good thing.

Slowbike
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby Slowbike » Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:51 am

Depends on the obstruction, traffic and what vehicle I'm using. As has been said above - it's to indicate you're about to deviate from your normal line - so if I can see an obstruction in my path I generally try a gradual move out to go around and not indicate - however, if there are lots of cars passing me then I may stay in and indicate a bit later then pull out - because it allows more cars to get past.
I generally indicate when in my car because it's a fooking great 4x4 and nobody can see past me to know I'm about to go past an obstruction...

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antfly
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby antfly » Thu Oct 31, 2013 08:53 am

I put my arm out whenever I want to discourage drivers from overtaking, mainly when about to accelerate down a fast downhill. Before I did this cars would sometimes try and pass me and it led to at least one very dangerous situation.
Smarter than the average bear.

thistle (MBNW)
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby thistle (MBNW) » Thu Oct 31, 2013 09:02 am

adr82 wrote:Does anyone else do this?! Is it common?? Crazy IMO, any driver seeing that is going to think the same as I did and get very confused. Would have expected better from the police...

If there's a lot of traffic trying to barge past then I'll signal so say I'm moving out. If there's nobody around then I don't bother.

When I did my driving theory test, one of the situations on the hazard perception test was coming up behind a bike who was coming up to parked cars. You were meant to realise that the cyclist was going to move out and the cyclist looking over his right shoulder was an indication that he was going to move out. No arm signals at all.

I don't know if this is still included in the test, but the hazard perception bit was a new thing so only people who took their test in the last 10 years or so will have done it.

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diy
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby diy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 09:03 am

Indicate when necessary and when someone will benefit. Simples.

If plod thought you were about to overtake and knew he needed to move out, it sounds like a correct signal.

BillyMansell
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby BillyMansell » Thu Oct 31, 2013 09:16 am

Having done BikeAbility instructor training, in the situation described by the OP, and remember that is the only scenario we've been asked to comment on, then you don't have to signal but you would turn your head well in advance of the situation to both to check for following traffic and, should there be following traffic, to make eye contact so as to indicate your intention to move out.

markhewitt1978
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby markhewitt1978 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 09:18 am

Remember that the police want to be seen to be doing things by the book when a more experienced non-police cyclist may seem that a hand signal in that situation wasn't necessary.

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fatsmoker
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby fatsmoker » Thu Oct 31, 2013 09:26 am

If you got a hi-vis vest with 'Police' on the back, would it make you safer?
Although it's probably illegal.

markhewitt1978
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Re: Weird police cycle training

Postby markhewitt1978 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 09:38 am

Illegal yes; impersonating a police officer.

However these are common especially with horse riders
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