Warning to van drivers- stop talking bollocks and learn how to drive


On the way to work on Thursday I passed a van belonging to a company called PTS (probably this PTS, the logo looks the same. On the rear left hand corner of the van was a sticker which read (roughly, this is from memory)-

“Warning to cyclists! This van may turn left, do not pass on the inside.”

The person who had this printed up and attached to the van may have thought they were being helpful. Some of you may wonder why they’re bothering to state the obvious. I saw it and translated it to-

“Warning! The driver of this van may be a moron who doesn’t know how to use their mirrors or indicators. We’ve stuck this bullshit notice here as an attempt to cover our arses if they do anything stupid.”

Cyclists know that drivers sometimes turn left. That is why, whenever we’re going up the inside of traffic, particularly close to junctions, we’re on the lookout for drivers who are about to make manoeuvres. When drivers have the sense and decency to indicate it makes our, and their, lives so much easier.

I can’t help thinking that telling people you may do something stupid at some point in the future isn’t a valid defence when you go ahead and do that stupid thing. It probably makes the stupidity worse. The sign on the PTS van feels like a lazy attempt to blame any future victims when the company should be ensuring the competence of its drivers. They should make sure they’re drivers understand mirror-signal-manoeuvre, not make excuses for them.

I cycled past the van on the inside.


5 thoughts on “Warning to van drivers- stop talking bollocks and learn how to drive

  • Simon Painter

    I read that as:
    “Look, Mr Fucking Cyclist, don’t be a bell end and undertake me at junctions because I’ve got enough to concentrate on without you trying to creep in to my blind spot”.

    • Ian Pattinson

      To which my reply would be:
      “Bollocks. I’m one of the things you’re supposed to be concentrating on, particularly at junctions. Which usually have cycle lanes and advanced stop boxes so that it’s easier for you to tell where I am anyway. You see those stalky things behind the steering wheel? They help you indicate your intentions to other road users. Learn to utilise them properly and you’ll make the whole process so much easier and safer.”

  • Alan

    I’d usually take the middle ground – if there’s space, a cycle lane, an unoccupied ASL box, the lights are set right (i.e. other flows on green) and someone is not indicating they probably aren’t going left. But as soon as there’s no space for me in front or I can’t read the other lights I tend to hang back and make myself visible in a mirror.

    Sign on the back of a van though does smack a bit of blame culture!

  • black van driver

    Your rant seems to state that all cyclists are intelligent and observant. I drive in London all day, six days a week and I have been cycling in London for 20 years. There are a lot of cyclists who are complete morons who do not have any awareness of anything around them, seeming to expect everyone else to take responsibility for them.
    When I am cycling I assume that I cannot be seen so take steps to be seen. No one is perfect, mistakes are made.

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