Cyclist Myles Gatherer swerves to avoid pedestrians at a junction and collides with a car turning right across his path

A London cyclist suffered a fractured hand and back pain after a collision with a car having swerved to avoid a pedestrian crossing the road.

Myles Gatherer was riding down New Kings Road, near Fulham, on October 14 when he had to dodge the pedestrian at a junction. As he swerved, a car turning right across his lane proceeded to move across his lane.

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Mr Gatherer hit the bonnet of the car at around 20mph, he approximates, and was sent sprawling to the tarmac.

“I was approaching a set of traffic lights on New Kings Road at approximately 20mph,” he told the Evening Standard. “When approaching the green lights two pedestrians crossed in front of me.

“I took the decision to manoeuvre around the pedestrians, after I cleared the pedestrians I entered the junction.

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“When I entered the junction it became clear that a vehicle located at the oncoming side of the road intended to move across my trajectory.”

Mr Gatherer told the paper that the damage to his bike is still being assessed and that talks with the driver of the car continue.

  • gbacoder

    yes but the same would have happened if it had been a motorbike. unless it was a very loud one and he revved the engine, I suspect most motorbikes would not have been heard.

    yes should ride defensively, but also drivers need to look out. a driver may not “do it on purpose” but they too have a choice to look out for others more than they do. too many are impatient in London, they spot a gap and they go for it, leaving little room for error. if they only pulled out when sure and left more room for error, many lives would be saved.

    this driver will pay for their lack of attention and rightly so. I hope the driver learns their lesson and now looks out for others more. and is not distracted from passengers, music, etc in their car.

  • gbacoder

    it was a combo of all 3, the peds, the car, the cyclist. having said that the cyclist did not break any rules of the road, while the others clearly did.

    given that cyclists get called so much whenever they break a rule, even when it is safe (or safer) to do so – I think this just shows the predigest from some towards cyclists – they are dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.

    In my view, this is not a place for distracting jokes, it is a serious matter. I think some people out jokes in their comments only when it suits them to distract from something they don’t want others (or themselves) to see.

  • gbacoder

    I think it’s because there are few proper cycle lanes like there are in Europe. Cyclists are often actually safer going faster when close to traffic, as if someone swipes them it will not be at such a high speed difference.

    Cars too I have noticed in London, are impatient. They move off immediately from traffic lights, they take risks at junctions, etc.

  • gbacoder

    i think he means compared to other cyclists the peds encounter. certainly though the cyclist was not breaking any law or doing anything wrong going at that speed. peds should know that some cyclists go faster at times.

  • gbacoder

    i agree that he should have slowed on encountering the peds. i saw it and as a cyclist my first thought was “slow down now”.

    however, he moved around them, he was still considering their safety.

    car could have been confused by the peds, and should have waited.

    if only people waited or braked a little more when not sure, many accidents would not happen.

  • Andrew Gray

    obviously the car pulled across the cyclist, thats not in doubt but its no good being in the right when your dead, the rider was just going along with zero regard for his own vulnerability

  • bowwow rapha

    I’ve been along there in the mid thirties, the war put an end to that though!!

  • Malaprop

    The cyclist was going fast? Compared to what? He was moving along, and likely no faster than traffic. If they misjudged his speed its not becasue he was going at excess. They crossed opposite the light, the cyclist didn’t take anything off his speed and car entered the intersection when it shouldn’t.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    The motorist did not see the cyclist he or she did not have the accident on purpose I hope,cyclists should be aware of such conditions and ride defensively not aggressively like the cyclist in the video.

  • Peter

    You can’t cycle at 20mph down the Kings road . It’s way too fast. I’ve tried .

    Of course it’s the car driver’s fault legally but really , it’s not a suitable road to be going that fast .

    Cyclists have to look after themselves as they are at the bottom line physically vulnerable .He may have a camera and be ‘in the right ‘, but he has also got a broken hand.

  • mattoid

    Rubbish. Motorist very clearly moved across his right of way. End of.

  • Leodis75

    Driver at fault, had plenty of time to see the cyclist.

  • Greg Russell

    Cyclist at fault.
    1. Wearing a helmet cam.
    2. Trying to buzz the pedestrians for daring to cross the road didn’t see the potential hazard waiting to turn.

  • slim

    on the other hand had he not swerved he probably would have been hit full side on by the car – which looks like it was going to commit to the turn regardless of what was coming- which could have been much more devastating – the podestrians (sic) probably did him a favour in their stupidity

  • slim

    It is not illegal – the Highway code rules for pedestrians have no background in legislation they are just rules not regulations. Pedestrians were just morons but the cyclist could pass easily in safety and avoiding them without significant evasive action. The pedestrians hardly needed to be avoided at all. The car driver fully at fault. If you notice the Cyclist is wearing a Lezyne Powerdrive on his helmet and has it on the flash mode – this light is visible over much further distances than this and is quite capable of searing your retina – anyone who claims they didn’t see that one coming is a liar (even the clinically blind will see this light) the pedestrians saw him coming after all- the motorist, as usual, underestimated the cyclists speed and thought they could just nip in when they couldnt.

  • Crydda

    While in no way wishing to exonerrate either the car driver or the pedestrians here, I have to say he was cycling in a manner that seemed to fail to take into account road conditions or potential hazards – it was push on regardless, gung ho riding, with no sense of awareness or self preservation.
    The last time I cycled in London, which thankfully isn’t often, I was struck by just how agressively and far too fast for the conditions, many people ride – it was like some kind of death wish sportive at busy times, with cyclists often being very competitive towards other cyclists. It was frankly, all a bit scary and very different to the relaxed, easy going and far more reasoned approach taken in most European cities.
    In my view, the UK has a lot to learn, not only about how to provide a decent cycling infrastructure and changing the attitudes of too many drivers with a sense of entitlement, but also in changing the approach of plenty of cyclists, who seem to adopt a kind me ‘me against the world’ mentality.

  • Jon

    Rather than hitting a pedestrian, he should have hit his brakes, given that he had time to do so. There’s a lot of splitting hairs about the law etc. on here, but it’s not so difficult for us all to look out for each other and prioritise safety over proceeding at all costs. Rather than “who was at fault” I think the question the pedestrians, cyclist and driver should all be asking themselves is “how could I have behaved differently to avoid this outcome?”

  • Don Shipp

    Jason Howard hit a ped in similar circumstances, knocked her over, she died, and he was prosecuted.
    Bikes do have brakes.

  • Don Shipp

    The roads are public places where you will encounter members of the public with all of their physical and mental frailties. The restrictions on pedestrians are very few, indeed, and we all know how they behave.
    It is not the job of the driver or rider to cull the slow of limb or brain, it is the responsibility of the driver or rider not to endanger them. A much lighter weight of responsibility for the cyclist than the motorist but not none at all.
    Whatever the Highway Code says or fails to say, cyclists do have to obey the law – which means riding with due care, attention and consideration. Slowing down for pedestrians in the road is careful and considerate – swerving round them as they dash for safety isn’t.

    All that aside, the actual collision between the car and the cyclist was caused by the driver’s actions, not the cyclists. Nor the peds.

  • dourscot

    None of the above makes it illegal to cross the road when the light is red. The Highway Code is almost advisory and is not a legal code although it does mention laws.

  • dourscot

    Slowed down? He didn’t appear to be traveling above 20mph, slower than most cars on that road.

    The car driver didn’t see him and bears full responsibility – if you hit someone turning at a junction as far as insurers are concerned it’s an open and shut case. You lose.

  • getplaning .

    I know it is hard to make these choices in the moment, but if you are going to have a collision, collide with the person who is at fault. I have been run off the road, and told by police, “Sorry, but if there was no contact between you and the person who caused the accident, they are free to go with no liability.” Again, it is a split second decision, but the cyclist should have hit the pedestrian in this case.

  • SeanMcCuen

    ramming speed.

  • Jay

    Actually, if you pause the footage at 0:15, judging by the distance, the cyclist would have already saw the pedestrians starting to cross from 15-20m away. Going at 20mph there should be sufficient distance for him to brake instead of swerving. Bad judgement IMO.

  • Jay

    Absolutely agree on that one. The pedestrians misjudged how fast the cyclist was going and the car thought he could turn seeing the pedestrians were crossing. I’m an avid cyclist but I ought to think this incident wouldn’t have happened if the cyclist was sensible enough to slow down seeing pedestrians standing near and a car waiting to turn right.

  • Andy Smith

    I would have seen the car and just went straight into the pedestrian using them as a cushion for my fall.

  • EB

    I agree. The principle error was on the part of the driver. He should have made sure the road was clear for the right hand turn.

    They might try to argue that the pedestrian movement suggested the road was clear, but they shouldn’t have deputised responsibility for making that assessment to anyone else.

  • Don Shipp

    Too many different ideas about what constitutes road sense. Hence the need for the Law.

  • Filbert_Cobb

    No amount of law and codes is an adequate substitute for road sense

  • Don Shipp

    The Highway Code is not a legal document, it is more of a curate’s egg. It contains a bit of Law (but not enough), lots of advice (not all of it good), and some opinions from the people who wrote it which have no legal basis.

    The pedestrians probably misjudged the speed of the cyclist when they decided to cross – he was going fast.

    The cyclist should have been more aware of the pedestrians and more concerned with their safety and slowed down for them. (That’s how Rhiannon Bennett was killed, by a cyclist who tried to dodge her and got it wrong.)

    But most of all, the driver should have waited. If he initially thought that there was time to cross because the pedestrians had begun to do so then he should have noticed them break into a run and realized that something was coming up fast – and waited.

  • Matt Hallett

    P.S. For the record I think all parties were at fault. The cyclist
    wasn’t even attempting to slow down when coming to a tricky junction, the pedestrians failed to follow basic Highway Code regulations and the car driver was doing so without due care and attention. But I guess it’s the cyclist who ended up breaking bones, so who really lost out?

  • Matt Hallett

    Well, here’s the thing Champ. And it’s something pedestrians fail to realise. There is quite clear instruction in the Highway Code that covers how pedestrians can and can’t cross roads:
    Rules for pedestrians:
    Rule 7D – General road crossing: “If traffic is coming, let it pass. Look all around again and listen. Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time.”
    Rule 21 – Crossing at traffic lights: “You should only start to cross the road when the green figure shows….If no pedestrian signals have been provided, watch carefully and do not cross until the traffic lights are red and the traffic has stopped.”
    That’s verbatim from the Highway Code. Feel free to go check yourself. Last time I checked, the Highway Code was a legal document. So contravening these rules would constitute an illegal action.

  • Don Shipp

    The pedestrians were not crossing illegally. Unwisely, perhaps, but that isn’t illegal in Britain. Nor should it be.
    The cyclist should have slowed down but above all else the driver should have waited until he could see that the road was clear.

  • TheVelvetUnderpants

    Terrible crash. I pass along that stretch of road quite frequently and know that junction in Parsons Green, I wouldn’t consider it to be an accident blackspot from my experience. It looked to me that the car was moving across the oncoming traffic regardless and hadn’t seen the cyclist. The cyclist might have been able to swerve to the left of the car had he not just swerved to the right in order to avoid the pedestrians, but regardless of this the point of impact was well over on the cyclist’s side of the road. Thank god it wasn’t more serious, poor fellow.

  • Matt Hallett

    I’d be suing the pedestrians, not the turning car there. They were illegally crossing at what would have definitely been a red crossing man for them (because the traffic light is clearly green for the cyclist). The turning car would have been allowed to turn right (because his traffic light would have also been green) when it was safe to do so. The fact the driver could see pedestrians crossing would make logical sense that there wasn’t therefore any oncoming traffic (or why would they have been crossing at all), so to have a cyclist suddenly appear would have been a big surprise.
    Sadly the pedestrians never get in trouble for this sort of thing, despite the fact I see it on a daily basis on my own commute as well. If we have to stop at red traffic lights then why shouldn’t pedestrians also be enforced to stop at a red crossing man?