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Old 18.01.2017, 16:20
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Accident on cycle path

I am hoping some can offer me some advice. This happened in Canton Vaud.

My 17 year old daughter was cycling along a cycle path / pavement last Friday when she was knocked over by a car coming out of a side road turning right.

The driver although driving slowly did not stop at the give way nor did she look right. My daughter saw her braked but could not stop in time. Thankfully my daughter is only shocked and bruised. Her bicycle is damaged.

The driver initially accepted full responsibility, saying it was totally her fault as she only looked left but is now saying that my daughter is partly to blame as she should not have been on the cycle path going in the direction she was going but should of been in the cycle lane on the other side of the road. Had my daughter of been a pedestrian things could of been very different. Please can you advise me if it is the cars responsibility to look left and right and check the pathway is clear before proceeding? The driver also advised that her son uses the same pavement / cycle lane in the direction my daughter was traveling.

The driver is advising both parties are to blame and as a goodwill gesture is suggesting that we cover the cost of the damaged bike and she should cover the costs for the damage to her car. The damage to the car is more than the damage to the bike. I am not disputing that there is a cycle lane on the road side either but we did not realize that the cycle path / pavement could only be used by bicycles in one direction. The junction is clearly a give way junction.

My daughter has previously used the cycle lane on the road but had experienced on more than occasion when she was turning left into into a side road cars passed on her inside using the bus lane. She felt she was much safer using the cycle path on the other side of the road.

I also have a 12 year old son who cycles to and from school and I am concerned about him cycling on the main road in the cycle lane as I believe this is much more dangerous than the pavement. Many other young children also use this cycle path in both directions.

I have sent an email to our community police officer and am waiting a reply.

I would really appreciate your help and opinion in this matter, I have attached a photo so you can see the road layout. She was in line with the construction sign at point of impact.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:24
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Re: Accident on cycle path

Just go to the police and let them decide who is at fault.

EDIT: Ooops missed the bit which said you had.

EDIT2: Double check for any arrows indicating that bikes can only go one way.
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:33
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Re: Accident on cycle path

If my spiderly senses are right that is the corner of Route de Divonne and Chemin Barrauraz. https://goo.gl/maps/nKbVe2Kc9N42 (Aerial image is newer than street view.)

Arrows are only pointing in one direction.

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My daughter has previously used the cycle lane on the road but had experienced on more than occasion when she was turning left into into a side road cars passed on her inside using the bus lane. She felt she was much safer using the cycle path on the other side of the road.
Do not see the issue. You mean when she turns into Chemin Barrauraz? Sorry, but looks like your daughter does not know how to properly and safely turn left on the street.
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:36
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Re: Accident on cycle path

Strictly speaking and unless indicated otherwise, cycle lanes are unidirectional, i.e. you cycle in the direction of the traffic. Having said that, the driver should be checking both directions for pedestrians as they have priority.
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:38
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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If my spiderly senses are right that is the corner of Route de Divonne and Chemin Barrauraz. https://goo.gl/maps/nKbVe2Kc9N42 (Aerial image is newer than street view.)

Arrows are only pointing in one direction.


Do not see the issue. You mean when she turns into Chemin Barrauraz? Sorry, but looks like your daughter does not know how to properly and safely turn left on the street.
I found it on street map - and concur. However.......

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Strictly speaking and unless indicated otherwise, cycle lanes are unidirectional, i.e. you cycle in the direction of the traffic. Having said that, the driver should be checking both directions for pedestrians as they have priority.
It may depend on whether it was bike into car or car into bike.

Last edited by dodgyken; 18.01.2017 at 16:39. Reason: None - but what a waste of a 10,000th post
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:42
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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Last edited by dodgyken; Today at 15:39. Reason: None - but what a waste of a 10,000th post
Congrats!

Spammer.

Anyway, back to the discussion in hand...
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:47
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Re: Accident on cycle path

To me it's the fault of the car as she should have looked both ways before going onto a main road off a side one. She's an adult who has taken a driving test. Kids, cyclists & pedestrians all do daft things.
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Old 18.01.2017, 16:56
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Re: Accident on cycle path

I say if you think you are right bring it to the court.

I think the suggestion by the driver is fair if both are to blame.
At best it was an unclear traffic situation and additionally your daughter was not able to stop in time.

Did not find a Swiss court ruling, but german court rulling blame the cyclist to various degresse. http://pdeleuw.de/fahrrad/urteile.html#links

It is possible that a court says your daughter has 20% blame and the car driver 80% blame. Means you must pay 20% of cars damage and 20% of your own damage. Hope you have a private liability insurance other wise you will pay the 20% of the cars damage from your own pocket.

Also, if the court thinks your daughter is in the wrong they may even fine her.
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:11
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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If my spiderly senses are right that is the corner of Route de Divonne and Chemin Barrauraz. https://goo.gl/maps/nKbVe2Kc9N42 (Aerial image is newer than street view.)

Arrows are only pointing in one direction.


Do not see the issue. You mean when she turns into Chemin Barrauraz? Sorry, but looks like your daughter does not know how to properly and safely turn left on the street.
Goodness your spidery senses are correct! The directional arrows are in the opposite direction to which my daughter was traveling.

On this occasion she was going straight ahead on the cycle path direction Coppet but previously she used to use the cycle path on the other side of the road and when she was turning left into one of the side roads (Chemin Barrauraz) and would move into the middle of the road to turn cars would pass at speed on her inside. This scared he hence why she choose to use the cycle path / pavement. Bearing in mind she had joined from the previous road on the left.
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:17
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Re: Accident on cycle path

I've cycled that stretch of road many times.. Personally i follow the correct direction of travel and I hate when others are cycling towards me!!

But as a car driver also, I look both ways when performing pretty much any maneuver..

So, yeah, bike going the wrong way, car driver should have looked.
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:19
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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It is possible that a court says your daughter has 20% blame and the car driver 80% blame. Means you must pay 20% of cars damage and 20% of your own damage. Hope you have a private liability insurance other wise you will pay the 20% of the cars damage from your own pocket. Also, if the court thinks your daughter is in the wrong they may even fine her.
We have liability insurance and at the end of the day my daughter is ok. The bike and car can be repaired and it is an eye opener to everyone as I drive that junction everyday. My main concern is really are my children safer cycling on the road cycle lane of a 70kph busy road or to cycle on the cycle path / pavement with caution that cars will come out of the side roads.......
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:24
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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We have liability insurance and at the end of the day my daughter is ok. The bike and car can be repaired and it is an eye opener to everyone as I drive that junction everyday. My main concern is really are my children safer cycling on the road cycle lane of a 70kph busy road or to cycle on the cycle path / pavement with caution that cars will come out of the side roads.......
Based on your daughter's experience - 100% safer on the road

If your daughter is uncomfortable cycling along the road - and turning left there are options:
1) Choose another route
2) Walk that section
3) Stop on the right hand said of the road ahead of turning left, wait for space and then cross. (I was taught this on my Penny Farthing when I did my cycling proficiency)

I know of a particular road which has a cycle lane along one side - with arrows going with the flow of traffic. I have seen parents cycling in the cycle lane against the flow of traffic - with their children following. Parents as happy as Larry and children with a look on their face saying "Please say these aren't my real parents."
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:25
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Re: Accident on cycle path

I think the driver's offer - that you pay for the bike and she pays for the car - is a pretty fair compromise, to be honest.
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:27
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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My 17 year old daughter was cycling along a cycle path / pavement last Friday when she was knocked over by a car coming out of a side road turning right.

The driver although driving slowly did not stop at the give way nor did she look right. My daughter saw her braked but could not stop in time. Thankfully my daughter is only shocked and bruised. Her bicycle is damaged.
So your daughter was using the bicycle strip/sidewalk on the left side of the road even though there is one on the right? The yellow unidirectional arrow should be clear enough.

The glance to the right by the car driver is a very quick glance, assuming it happens at all, to ensure nothing's blocking the lane one intends to use; anything smaller than a car is easily overlooked, be it a bicycle or skater or similar.

I'm not convinced the car driver is to be blamed at all, rather the contrary.

With that said:
Since 2012 3rd party damage where the bicycle's to blame is covered by your private liability insurance (default is 200CHF Selbstbehalt [excess?], YMMV) so the cost to have the car repaired is probably covered anyway. I think you want to call your insurance asap regardless of who you think is to blame, with too long a delay you risk them refusing payment if it turns out you have to pay.
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Old 18.01.2017, 17:37
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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Based on your daughter's experience - 100% safer on the road

If your daughter is uncomfortable cycling along the road - and turning left there are options:
1) Choose another route
2) Walk that section
3) Stop on the right hand said of the road ahead of turning left, wait for space and then cross. (I was taught this on my Penny Farthing when I did my cycling proficiency)
There seem to bee some back roads which partly can be used. But from my experience back roads are not allways safer.

Turning left is a three step process.

Step one) Realize that you wish to turn left. Indicate properly, stick out your left hand and arm (no hipster sign), palm vertical. Keep right, stop if necessary.
(By the law vehicles are now no longer allowed to pass on the left, but they will anyway).

Step two) Traverse to the middle. Once it is safe to do so ride forward to the middle but keep on your side of the lane. Still have the hand out.
Vehicles are allowed to pass on the right. If there is not enough space you may have your bike slightly slanted and block the path.

Step three) Once there is no incoming traffic, take your left arm in and finally make a wide left turn into the other street.

Done.
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Old 19.01.2017, 03:11
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Re: Accident on cycle path

Both did a mistake, but for most accidents to happen that's a prerequisite.
If she is afraid the solution is not to go in the wrong lane, but stop and walk through it until you build the confidence to ride the bike at intersections. Or if you go in the wrong lane at least apply an extremely defensive attitude (break in advance if you see a car pulling out, stop to let others pass). Staying in the middle of the road with cars passing on both sides is not nice, but at least there's an additional bus lane so it's not that bad.
Personally I would be very happy with what the driver suggested.
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Old 19.01.2017, 08:59
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Re: Accident on cycle path

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We have liability insurance and at the end of the day my daughter is ok. The bike and car can be repaired and it is an eye opener to everyone as I drive that junction everyday. My main concern is really are my children safer cycling on the road cycle lane of a 70kph busy road or to cycle on the cycle path / pavement with caution that cars will come out of the side roads.......
One tip that was given to me when i took up proper road cycling .. Is to own your piece of the road.
Don't hide from the cars or try to squeeze into a small bit pavement to avoid the traffic, if you need to turn left, go out there, signal well and make the turn, be visible, don't hide on the right hand side and shoot across through a little gap. If on the road, stay far enough out to avoid drains, it's better than weaving in and out to avoid each one.

Of course we as drivers don't like to get stuck behind a cycle doing 30kph on a main road.. But at least if you are a little annoyed for a few seconds, you are looking at the person.. Better than a cyclist appearing from nowhere and hitting them.

If there's a suitable bike lane then always use it.. Else use the road, use it with confidence, be visible, be consistent, even if it means getting in the way.. It's better to get beeped at than appear from nowhere and get hit!
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Old 21.01.2017, 20:40
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Re: Accident on cycle path

Correct me if I'm wrong, but after quite some research (when I first moved to Switzerland) I've got an impression that it actually is obligatory to use a cycle lane on the RIGHT side of the road if there is one.

Then again, in situation like this:
Bei einem Unfall trägt der Automobilist dennoch Verantwortung und muss mit rechtlichen Konsequenzen rechnen.
(even if cyclists is at fault, like in this case)
http://www.svv.ch/de/konsumenten/fra...r-der-vortritt

Swiss traffic laws are confusing
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