UPDATED: Dangers of bicycling close to large, speeding trucks
published : 12 Oct 2015 at 14:16
updated: 14 Oct 2015 at 13:27
writer: Jon Fernquest
Warning on dangers of bicycling close to large, speeding trucks. Taking the lane might be standard practice in western countries, but is still new to Thailand.
UPDATE: 'TAKING THE LANE' SAFE OR NOT?
When people riding bicycles "take the lane" they ride their bike in the middle of a lane on a road or highway and effectively "take over the lane" and tell cars and trucks in the lane "if you want to go faster than us, use another lane."
By 'taking the lane' cyclists avoid being sideswiped if a car or truck passes them too closely when they are riding on the edge of the road.
To "take the lane" is standard practice among experienced cyclists in western countries and in the UK the practice is government approved.
Most drivers in the UK, for instance, seem to aware of why cyclists "take the lane" but some are not aware and react in a hostile fashion, as an article in the Guardian points out:
"Most London cyclists will have experienced ill-informed motorists who think we [the bicyclists] are being arrogant or selfish when all we're doing is taking a safe, government-approved road position. It can be extremely intimidating and dangerous to have an angry motorist behind you trying to overtake.The fact that even some police officers don't understand the concept shows how vital it is that a cyclist's right to take the lane is enshrined in the Highway Code." (see here and also here)
However, Thailand is not the UK. The law is not clear and "taking the lane" could be very dangerous (the author personally knows of a foreigner paralysed by a 16 wheeler along a stretch of road from Chiang Saen to Chiang Rai, although it was on a motorcycle at night).
There have been several high-profile biking deaths in Thailand involving foreigners over the last couple of years, so it is not at all clear that drivers will respect this practice.
Further, the response by police and insurance companies would likewise be unpredictable (see real case here).
ROAD SAFETY & BICYCLING
Bicyclists in truck lane: Warning
Furthermore, they were cycling in the right-hand part of the lane, rather than the left-hand part close to the side of the road which would make it easier for trucks to pass them.
The post received mixed comments from netizens.
One netizen wrote that cyclists should restrict themselves to areas where there are bicycle lanes.
Another commented that cycling near vehicles reduces wind resistance, one possible benefit.
Another observed that the cyclists may be forced to suddenly change direction to avoid obstacles in front of them.
Video credit: Facebook user Wissnu Naraya
TRANSCRIPT OF COMMENTARY ON VIDEO:
I am not against bicyclists.
I am just concerned for their lives and their families.
But they should not cycle on main roads used by 10-wheelers and other vehicles that are travelling fast.
When accidents happen and result in death, motorists get all the blame.
Society does not give them a second chance.
It always faults them, and smaller vehicles are never wrong.
However, this is not always the case.
I am not against cyclists. I am just worried about their families if they no longer have their main pillar.
I have a small income. If I crash into them, I don't have the money to pay for their funerals.
I don't want funerals. I don't want accidents to happen.
I just want them to cycle in safer areas.
Thank you for listening. I insist that I am not against anyone.
END OF TRANSCRIPT
Learn from listening
- 19-wheelers: very large trucks that have 10 wheels -
- accident (noun): an unpleasant event that happens unexpectedly and causes injury or damage - อุปัทวเหตุ, เหตุบังเอิญ
- approved: given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว
- arrogant: thinking you are better or more important than other people and behaving in a way that is rude and too confident - หยิ่ง, ถือตัว
- aware (adj): knowing that something exists, or to have knowledge or experience of a particular thing - ทราบ, รับรู้
- blame: responsibility for doing something badly or wrongly; saying that somebody is responsible for something - การรับผิดชอบต่อสิ่งไม่ดีที่เกิดขึ้น
- chance (noun): a possibility; a likelihood; an opportunity - โอกาส
- code: rules of proper behaviour for a particular job, organisation, etc. - มาตรการ, กฎเกณฑ์, ระเบียบ
- commentary: a discussion of something - ความคิดเห็น คำวิจารณ์
- concept: a principle or idea - ความคิด
- concerned: worried about something - มีความกังวล
- couple: two things or people - สอง, สองสิ่ง, คนสองคน
- crash (verb): to collide, to hit something else with force - ชน
- cycle: riding on a bicycle -
- cyclist: a person who rides a bicycle - นักขี่จักรยาน
- edge (noun): the outside limit of an object, a surface or an area; the part furthest from the centre - ริม, ขอบ
- effectively: in reality - ตามความเป็นจริง
- experience (verb): to have something happen to you or to live through some event - ประสบ
- experienced (adj): having knowledge as a result of doing something for a long time, or having had a lot of different experiences - ซึ่งมีประสบการณ์, ชำนาญ
- extremely (adv.): very; to a very high degree อย่างสุดขีด, อย่างมาก, อย่างยิ่ง - อย่างสุดขีด, อย่างมาก, อย่างยิ่ง
- fashion: a way of doing something - แบบ
- fault: to find something bad or wrong in a person or thing; to blame - ตำหนิ
- for instance: for example - ตัวอย่างเช่น
- funeral: a ceremony that takes place after someone dies - งานศพ
- high-profile (adj): creating a lot of public attention - เป็นที่สนใจจากคนในสังคม
- highway: a main road for travelling long distances, especially one connecting and going through cities and towns - ทางหลวง, ทางสายใหญ่
- hostile: behaving in a very unfriendly or threatening way towards someone - ไม่เป็นมิตร, เป็นปรปักษ์, ต่อต้าน,มีเจตนาร้าย
- ill-informed: not knowing about something that they should know about -
- income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้
- insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
- intimidating (adj): causing someone to be frightened or nervous because they are not confident in a situation - ทำให้กลัว, ข่มขู่, กรรโชก
- lane: one of the parts that a wide road or motorway is divided into, marked by painted lines and intended for one line of traffic - ช่องทางเดินรถ
- motorist (noun): a person driving a car or other motor vehicle - คนขับรถยนต์, ผู้ขับรถ
- netizen: a person who uses the Internet a lot - พลเมืองเครือข่ายคอมพิวเตอร์
- not always the case: not always true -
- overtake: to go past a moving vehicle or person ahead of you because you are going faster than they are - ผ่านพาหนะอื่น,ไล่แซง, ตามทัน
- paralysed: to cause to be unable to move - ทำให้เป็นอัมพาต
- personally: used for saying that you talking about yourself or are giving your own opinion - โดยส่วนตัว
- pillar: a very important member or part of a group, organization, system, etc - แกนนำสำคัญ
- point out: to mention something in order to give somebody information about it or make them notice it - ชี้ให้เห็น, บ่งชี, ชี้, ระบุ
- position: to put somebody/something in a particular place or position - จัดวาง, วางที่, วางตำแหน่ง
- practice: a way of doing something - การปฏิบัติ
- react: to behave in a particular way because of something that is happening around you or something that someone is doing to you - ตอบสนอง, เกิดปฏิกิริยา
- response: a reaction to something that has happened or been said - การตอบสนอง
- result in: cause to happen -
- right: a moral or legal claim to have or get something or to behave in a particular way - สิทธิ
- selfish: caring only about yourself rather than about other people - เห็นแก่ตัว
- sideswipe: a strike from the side, a glancing blow, glance off - การคลำไปด้านข้าง, แฉลบ, อาการทำให้สิ่งของแบนๆ มีลักษณะเฉียงๆ, โฉบ
- society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม
- standard practice: the way things are normally done - การปฏิบัติที่เป็นมาตราฐาน
- take over: to begin to have control of or responsibility for something, especially in place of somebody else - เข้าควบคุม, เข้ารับตำแหน่งต่อ
- transcript: a written or printed copy of words that have been spoken - บันทึก
- unpredictable: changing often, in a way that is impossible to prepare for - ซึ่งทำนายไม่ถูก, ซึ่งคาดไม่ได้
- vehicle: a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. - ยานพาหนะ
- vital: extremely important; necessary for the success or continued existence of something - จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก