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.