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Old 10-19-05, 09:51 AM   #1
Crazy8
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Policy article-increasing bicycle safety

I found this article in the October issue of Governing magazine- good to see it in a policy magazine. Interesting point about helmets...

http://www.governing.com/articles/10trans.htm
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Old 10-19-05, 10:15 AM   #2
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This is a good article. Particularly how the author addresses helmets and how it is foolish to have the only bicycling policy be a helmet promotion policy. Aside from all the discussions here about vehicular cycling, critical mass, bike lanes, and the general direction of advocacy here in the United States, it really is "safety in numbers" which reduces the threat to any one cyclist.

It would be interesting to see how a law dictating that the car is automatically at fault for any car/bicycle accident would work here in the US. We already have some blanket laws like that, such as automatic pedestrian right of way, and rear-end accidents. I wonder if drivers would take bicycles more seriously if the legal responsibility were placed squarly on them for avoiding an accident.

Before we get into another flame war about the responsibility of cyclists (or helmets), remember that I am talking about official policy toward cars -- how the laws are enforced with respect to cars, not how cyclists should behave or how the laws should be enforced against cyclists. Even with an automatic pedestrian right of way, the pedestrian can still be cited for jay walking. The same principle can easily apply for cyclists as well. After all, there is still the concept of dead right.
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Old 10-19-05, 10:18 AM   #3
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He is pointing out the obvious
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Old 10-19-05, 11:27 AM   #4
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It's interesting that you found this while a thread on obeying traffic laws is near the top of the subject list. Members of this forum that have been to Holland report that cyclists there obey all the traffic laws, thus, they can hold drivers responsible in an accident.
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Old 10-19-05, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
We already have some blanket laws like that, such as automatic pedestrian right of way,
Just a minor nit pick. This is not true, pedestrians only have the right of way while in a crosswalk. This is apparently a common misconception, I remember being taught that in driver's ed back in the 70s. But it wasn't true then and it's not true now.

Check your vehicle code.

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Old 10-19-05, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
Just a minor nit pick. This is not true, pedestrians only have the right of way while in a crosswalk. This is apparently a common misconception, I remember being taught that in driver's ed back in the 70s. But it wasn't true then and it's not true now.

Check your vehicle code.

Az
The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. (b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian shall unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. (c) The provisions of subdivision (b) shall not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
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Old 10-19-05, 08:27 PM   #7
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I don't know how true this statement is... but it sure sounds good to me.

"In Amsterdam and many cities where cycling is common, drivers are taught that a cyclist comes first, both practically and legally. In Holland and most Scandinavian countries, if a driver hits a cyclist, the driver is at fault. Period. The European Union is now working to make this a standard policy in its member countries."

Now obviously, like the pedestrian law that was just discussed, there are exceptions and responsibilities on the part of all parties involved.
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Old 10-19-05, 09:27 PM   #8
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In several countries (Japan, Sweden, etc) if you ever hit a ped or a bicyclist you will probably lose your license forever.

Unfortunately, a car is part of being an American so the right is rarely revoked. It's too bad, but it's the way it is.

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Old 10-20-05, 09:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
Just a minor nit pick. This is not true, pedestrians only have the right of way while in a crosswalk. This is apparently a common misconception, I remember being taught that in driver's ed back in the 70s. But it wasn't true then and it's not true now.

Check your vehicle code.

Az
You are right. But the point still holds, as there is blanket right of way at intersections for pedestrians. I seem to remember this from drivers ed as well. Hmmm... conspiracy? :0
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