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Old 12-31-16, 09:54 PM   #1
B. Carfree
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New to me excuse

Not a cycling issue per se, but close enough.

I was walking across a street with a pedestrian signal (yes, it was green for me). I was southbound in the westernmost crosswalk (yes, it is even marked; rare hereabouts). I was wearing a bright orange ANSI class 3 rain coat just after mid-day on a mildly sunny day. A pick-up was facing north in the left turn lane, so we were going to cross paths but the right of way was mine. As I was crossing, the motorist just kept coming at me. I yelled and waved my arms (while preparing to leap out of the way). He finally stopped just before I would have had to take serious evasive action.

Now for the kicker. He yelled out his window, "I didn't see you because of all the stickers on my windshield." He seemed to think this meant he was good to go. Good grief. My wife yelled back at him to remove the stickers, which seemed to confuse him.

(For Clifford: As you may have guessed, he had a couple of those large 8"X6" Oregon Country Faire parking stickers on his windshield.)

We really, really really need to find a way to teach our motoring public rule number one of driving: Don't hit things that are in front of you.
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Old 12-31-16, 10:21 PM   #2
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This proves -- to my personal satisfaction -- two of my pet peeves:
  • Crosswalks at four way intersections are the most dangerous places for pedestrians. It's safer to design on-demand pedestrian crossings at naturally occurring points that are at least 50-100 yards away from intersections, so drivers have no competing distractions, no right-on-red opportunities, no left-when-clear opportunities, and no valid excuse for not paying attention to the pedestrian crossing signal in front of them.
  • Chicagoland had the dumbest policies for taxis, requiring multiple windshield stickers that obscured the driver's view. (That was in the 1990s. Haven't been back on business since, no idea whether that's still required.)
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Old 12-31-16, 10:23 PM   #3
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Make that three of my pet peeves. The third of which is that "mistakes" like that driver made prove that too many people are already driving on autopilot. Might as well just turn the steering over to artificial intelligence.
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Old 01-01-17, 12:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Not a cycling issue per se, but close enough.

I was walking across a street with a pedestrian signal (yes, it was green for me). I was southbound in the westernmost crosswalk (yes, it is even marked; rare hereabouts). I was wearing a bright orange ANSI class 3 rain coat just after mid-day on a mildly sunny day. A pick-up was facing north in the left turn lane, so we were going to cross paths but the right of way was mine. As I was crossing, the motorist just kept coming at me. I yelled and waved my arms (while preparing to leap out of the way). He finally stopped just before I would have had to take serious evasive action.

Now for the kicker. He yelled out his window, "I didn't see you because of all the stickers on my windshield." He seemed to think this meant he was good to go. Good grief. My wife yelled back at him to remove the stickers, which seemed to confuse him.

(For Clifford: As you may have guessed, he had a couple of those large 8"X6" Oregon Country Faire parking stickers on his windshield.)

We really, really really need to find a way to teach our motoring public rule number one of driving: Don't hit things that are in front of you.
Or potentially going to be in front of them.
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Old 01-01-17, 07:37 AM   #5
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This proves -- to my personal satisfaction -- two of my pet peeves:
  • Crosswalks at four way intersections are the most dangerous places for pedestrians. It's safer to design on-demand pedestrian crossings at naturally occurring points that are at least 50-100 yards away from intersections, so drivers have no competing distractions, no right-on-red opportunities, no left-when-clear opportunities, and no valid excuse for not paying attention to the pedestrian crossing signal in front of them.
They're the second most dangerous places IMO. The most dangerous is crosswalks at roundabouts. I jaywalk rather than crossing at them. Your prescription is exactly right. Put the crosswalk in a calmer place than the right at the intersection. You might like the book "Traffic" by Tom Vanderbilt. It looks into a lot of the things we do when driving and when designing roads that we probably shouldn't be doing.
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Old 01-01-17, 08:04 AM   #6
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B. C: It seems like you already had a healthy level of suspicion when you saw the truck. That's good. Don't trust anybody behind a driving wheel, because there are just too many things that compromise their integrity.
Stickers, huh? I think it's reasonably-safe to say that this person was not thinking clearly. I'm glad you and your wife are ok. Never trust.
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Old 01-01-17, 08:49 AM   #7
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the right of way was mine.
Just because you were there doesn't mean other people knew you were there. Irrelevant if the right of way was yours, theirs, the chicken or the ducks.
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Old 01-01-17, 09:50 AM   #8
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When I used to commute on foot instead of by bike, I was almost hit 3 times at intersection cross walks (when I had the ped signal). I adopted the practice of crossing prudently, though illegally, between intersections and felt much safer.

An 8"x6" sticker on the front windscreen while driving? And this seems like a good idea?
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Old 01-01-17, 12:26 PM   #9
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Make that three of my pet peeves. The third of which is that "mistakes" like that driver made prove that too many people are already driving on autopilot. Might as well just turn the steering over to artificial intelligence.
The ADVANTAGE to doing that will be: the vehicle WILL BE in control of AN intelligence.
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Old 01-01-17, 06:41 PM   #10
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This is why I think anything other than the rear view mirror obstructing forward vision ought to be illegal. Stickers on the windshield of any kind, things hanging from the mirror...

GPS units shining back in the drivers eyes at night are a complete enigma to me. Why anyone would do this is beyond me and it ought to be grounds for a ticket and fine.


-Tim-
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Old 01-01-17, 08:24 PM   #11
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it was probably his idea of an apology
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Old 01-01-17, 09:52 PM   #12
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Crosswalks at four way intersections are the most dangerous places for pedestrians. It's safer to design on-demand pedestrian crossings at naturally occurring points that are at least 50-100 yards away from intersections, so drivers have no competing distractions, no right-on-red opportunities, no left-when-clear opportunities, and no valid excuse for not paying attention to the pedestrian crossing signal in front of them.
Why in the world should people on foot be required to walk 100 to 200 yards out of the way at every intersection for the convenience of people in cars? Seriously, this is nuts.

-mr. bill
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Old 01-02-17, 01:41 AM   #13
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When I used to commute on foot instead of by bike, I was almost hit 3 times at intersection cross walks (when I had the ped signal). I adopted the practice of crossing prudently, though illegally, between intersections and felt much safer.

An 8"x6" sticker on the front windscreen while driving? And this seems like a good idea?
Just yesterday someone who had adopted that approach overlooked a speeding minivan near my house and had his head planted in the windshield. He survived and she was cited for failing to have insurance.

Man struck by minivan on Valley River Drive taken to hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries | Local | Eugene, Oregon
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Old 01-02-17, 02:18 AM   #14
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Why in the world should people on foot be required to walk 100 to 200 yards out of the way at every intersection for the convenience of people in cars? Seriously, this is nuts.

-mr. bill
It's for the convenience and safety of pedestrians. If you study the places where people tend to cross, other than at intersections and designated crosswalks, it's usually because that's the most convenient and -- in their perception -- safest place to cross.

Divided university campuses with public streets running through are good examples. So are neighborhoods with lots of apartment complexes. Pedestrians tend to choose their own preferred places to cross streets, and those places tend to be used consistently by others. It took years, and some fatalities and serious injury accidents, before two local universities installed either on-demand stop lights for pedestrian crosswalks, or wheelchair accessible bridges, at natural locations long used by students. At one campus two of the deaths were students in wheelchairs who were forced to cross a busy multi-lane boulevard because the nearest intersections with lights and crosswalks were hundreds of yards away and were very dangerous because drivers tended to ignore pedestrians and protected walk signals.

The standard for design should be users in wheelchairs, walkers, canes or folks who walk slowly due to disabilities. Crosswalk signals designed by and for able bodied people don't properly serve the pedestrians who need those protections the most: more time to cross; better protection from impatient and distracted drivers.

Crosswalks at intersections don't need to be eliminated. But they should be supplemented by mid-location crosswalks at logical areas -- which studies will show are at places chosen by a consensus of pedestrians.
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Old 01-03-17, 08:12 AM   #15
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Don't walk (or ride) as if you are invisible. Act as if motorists CAN see you and want to kill you.
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Old 01-03-17, 08:30 AM   #16
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"I didn't see you because of all the stickers on my windshield." He seemed to think this meant he was good to go. Good grief. My wife yelled back at him to remove the stickers, which seemed to confuse him.

And she was correct:


https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/815.220


I remember seeing a story on the local news decades ago when those Garfield the cat stuffed animals that you could affix to your windshields with suction cups became popular. A member of our state police warned that you could be ticketed for obstructing your view.
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Old 01-03-17, 01:34 PM   #17
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it's not really new, I have seen a number of reports on bike portland that motorists always get off killing cyclists because they were blinded by the sun. As if that is a license to drive around hitting things.
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Old 01-03-17, 01:58 PM   #18
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... duh ... I'm like a smart person .... duh ...
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Old 01-03-17, 02:00 PM   #19
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and yet ... "OSP urges pedestrians and bicyclists to wear bright colors, have reflective material and use extra caution when there is limited visibility due to hours of darkness or inclement weather" Oregon State Police blames vulnerable victims while driving deaths spin out of control - BikePortland.org

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Old 01-03-17, 02:09 PM   #20
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Why in the world should people on foot be required to walk 100 to 200 yards out of the way at every intersection for the convenience of people in cars? Seriously, this is nuts.

-mr. bill
To be fair, when I choose to legally cross streets, I generally walk out of my way to get to the crossings. Unless I am walking down a sidewalk, it is rare the place I need to get to is at the end of a crosswalk.

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We really, really really need to find a way to teach our motoring public rule number one of driving: Don't hit things that are in front of you.
We can do that. It just involves actually taking people's license and restricting their ability to drive a car without one in a way that is rather politically impossible.

Start having to take a bus or walk for a few months or longer, and people's behavior will change in a hurry, compared to our rather lackadaisical licensing system now.
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Old 01-03-17, 02:27 PM   #21
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To be fair, when I choose to legally cross streets, I generally walk out of my way to get to the crossings. Unless I am walking down a sidewalk, it is rare the place I need to get to is at the end of a crosswalk.



We can do that. It just involves actually taking people's license and restricting their ability to drive a car without one in a way that is rather politically impossible.

Start having to take a bus or walk for a few months or longer, and people's behavior will change in a hurry, compared to our rather lackadaisical licensing system now.
While it is easy to say pull licenses and let them take a bus or walk, there are a lot of people who cannot walk that far, or have no access to public transportation. It is challenging to get those who do have transportation alternatives to not drive, and nearly impossible to get those who have no public option to not drive. So the trick is how to get those people who's license has been revoked or suspended to not drive. As the numbers of drivers increases, the likelihood of an unlicensed driver getting caught decreases. If there is minimal to no perceived threat of getting caught and punished compliance with the law falls to near 0. Seems to me then, the trick is how to make it likely that unlicensed are caught, and more importantly to have them believe they will be caught.

Not that I have any good solution, but to just increase the penalties on the low percentage that get caught will just increase the likelihood of people who have been caught and revoked to drive anyway due to time factors. And once they get away with unlicensed driving once, it does get easier and easier each time, as the no-punishment state for each violation reinforces non-compliance.
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Old 01-03-17, 03:20 PM   #22
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Not that I have any good solution, but to just increase the penalties on the low percentage that get caught will just increase the likelihood of people who have been caught and revoked to drive anyway due to time factors. And once they get away with unlicensed driving once, it does get easier and easier each time, as the no-punishment state for each violation reinforces non-compliance.
I agree completely. The issue is access to vehicles for those who have had their license suspended. That is why I feel you must hit the people who give them access to said vehicles.

You'd think twice about loaning your car to someone without a license if the penalties were roadside confiscation if they were caught driving illegally, and if your insurance was invalidated while they were driving it. If you put a real punishment on people who willingly let those without licenses drive, and put a block in state computers prohibiting those without licenses from registering vehicles and buying new ones, you can cut way down on the access.

As to the difficulty of getting around without a license, that is tough. If you've proven to be a danger to others, their right to safety on the road is not trumped by your needing to get places easily.
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Old 01-03-17, 04:53 PM   #23
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(For Clifford: As you may have guessed, he had a couple of those large 8"X6" Oregon Country Faire parking stickers on his windshield.)

We really, really really need to find a way to teach our motoring public rule number one of driving: Don't hit things that are in front of you.
Lots of organizations require parking stickers to be put on the windshield (or hang tags on the mirrors) including public parks, disabled parking, various city parking permits, some offices?

Usually put in some out of the way place, but I suppose the people making the windshield stickers and tags never thought that people might actually want to see out.
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Old 01-04-17, 02:24 AM   #24
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I agree completely. The issue is access to vehicles for those who have had their license suspended. That is why I feel you must hit the people who give them access to said vehicles.

You'd think twice about loaning your car to someone without a license if the penalties were roadside confiscation if they were caught driving illegally, and if your insurance was invalidated while they were driving it. If you put a real punishment on people who willingly let those without licenses drive, and put a block in state computers prohibiting those without licenses from registering vehicles and buying new ones, you can cut way down on the access.

As to the difficulty of getting around without a license, that is tough. If you've proven to be a danger to others, their right to safety on the road is not trumped by your needing to get places easily.
I really like this solution to our growing unlicensed driver problem. I'd add that the state should have a "revoked/suspended license" list publicly available so that people can double-check to make sure the person they are considering loaning their car to has a valid license.
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Old 01-04-17, 10:27 AM   #25
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> if your insurance was invalidated while they were driving it

I thought in most cases it was. I'd be interested in having someone with actual knowledge chime in. On the minus side, it that is true, it may mean someone else's uninsured motorist coverage is taking the hit.

Anecdote that doesn't prove anything: a coworker got into a car-car accident. The other driver was at fault, but was an illegal alien driving his (US citizen) girlfriend's car. Her insurance would not cover the accident unless she filed a police report saying the car was stolen. She wouldn't, so his insurance paid out for his repairs. I assume hers were not covered.
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