Monday, March 21, 2011

Motorbikes in the Bus Lane

Confession - I ride my motorbike in the bus lane on the Stillorgan Road every day to work. I know that this is illegal and that the bus lane is only for buses, taxis, bicycles, CD plate cars, ambulances, school buses, Garda cars/bikes, and other emergency services - in fact everybody except cars, trucks, and motorbikes. I'm not the only biker to ride in the bus lane - it certainly beats weaving in and out of traffic. I am very careful and do not speed - it is certainly a safer way for me to travel, not to mention a lot quicker. They won't admit it - but the Gardaí seem to turn a blind eye to it. Most other bus lane users also turn a blind eye and let us get on with our journeys.

Photo from Barry Ward's website.
There will be some who think that bikers in the bus lane should be shot on sight, and that they are a danger and menace to society. It is also galling for all those folks stuck in their cages (cars and trucks) to see us pass by illegally - it takes me 20 minutes to get from Blackrock to the IFSC this way. In a car it could be over an hour. If bikes had to travel the same way as cars, all advantages are lost and bikers would have to revert to using cars - making the traffic worse.

So - an angel I definitely am not. Just wanted to get that off my chest first before I start ranting again.

A few weeks ago a white mid-sized school bus (clearly marked as such) drove up very close behind me in the Stillorgan Road bus lane and made several aggressive efforts to pass me out on the inside. This never happened to me before and it was quite intimidating - not to mention scary. The bus was going very fast and it was a close shave when I steered out of the lane at Donnybrook Bus Depot to cross into the main traffic. He had tried to kill me.

Today I had the misfortune to be in front of the same school bus again from Belfield to Donnybrook. Once again the driver was very aggressive and drove up right behind me (less than two feet - no kidding). He tried to pass on the inside several times, beeped at me to get out of his way, and wound down his window to roar ("this is a f**king bus lane") at me after as we came to the end of the lane. He headed up Clonskeagh Road. He had tried to kill me again.

Get this - he was doing all this aggressive driving while he had SCHOOL CHILDREN IN HIS BUS!

Clearly this bus driver has a thing about bikes being in the bus lane - it can't be just me (two incidences only) that causes this maniac to drive like this and put the children's lives at risk. My life was at risk too - in his anger at me being in "his" bus lane he was making irrational decisions and taking risks, he was making the situation worse. OK - I was wrong to be there in the first place, but two wrongs don't make a right. Nor am I trying to dilute my own offence by pointing a finger of blame at someone else. Also - if any readers have children, or know people who have children who take this white school bus on the Stillorgan Road to Clonskeagh, be warned. Your children's lives are at risk in this bus.

He will not get a third chance to kill me.

(Written 11 hours after the incident after I calmed down).

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