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Old 02-26-07, 03:47 PM   #1
hotbike
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Ban Ramming

Why don't we, individually or collectively, write to our legislators and ask that a Law be passed to make ramming a car into a bike illegal?

Such a Law would make it clear to motorists what we as bicyclists expect of them.

People with sensitive ears would be happy with this Legislation, because then cyclists could say :
"It's against the Law to ram your car into a bicycle!"

and no cussing would be necessary.

Just food for thought...

PS- I got some good excercise shovelling snow today.
When the snow forces me to abstain from riding, I shovel sidewalks for the elderly and infirm who can't do it themselves. Tomorrow I can ride , albeit on the sidewalk, which is now clear of snow.
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Old 02-26-07, 04:40 PM   #2
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You're right that ramming bikes is wrong, and probably pretty annoying when it happens. Did this happen to you or to a friend? I'm pretty sure that ramming a bike is already against the law. Several laws, in fact. Vehicular assault. Vehicular homicide. Malicious destruction of property. Disturbing the peace. Failure to yield right of way. Reckless driving. You could also sue the driver in small claims court for the cost of damages and get a new bike out of it.

P.S. I shoveled out my dad's house today. More than a foot of heavy wet snow here in northern Michigan in the last 24 hours. It was a tougher workout than any bike ride. But all the riding has me in good shape to do other physical labor. At least I didn't have a heart attack today!
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Old 02-27-07, 08:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotbike
Why don't we, individually or collectively, write to our legislators and ask that a Law be passed to make ramming a car into a bike illegal?
Are you serious, or did I just swallow another hook
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Old 02-27-07, 09:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotbike
Why don't we, individually or collectively, write to our legislators and ask that a Law be passed to make ramming a car into a bike illegal?

Such a Law would make it clear to motorists what we as bicyclists expect of them.

People with sensitive ears would be happy with this Legislation, because then cyclists could say :
"It's against the Law to ram your car into a bicycle!"

and no cussing would be necessary.

Just food for thought...

PS- I got some good excercise shovelling snow today.
When the snow forces me to abstain from riding, I shovel sidewalks for the elderly and infirm who can't do it themselves. Tomorrow I can ride , albeit on the sidewalk, which is now clear of snow.
I thought there was already a law that covered this. Maybe not a specific law that states, as you put it "It is against the law to ram your car into a bicycle". But I thought the law stating a person needs to have control over their vehicle & not drive while impaired, etc. covered being hit. Or are the current laws to vague for your liking? If they are, good luck having a new law added or changing the existing ones.

I am not being sarcastic. If you feel you would like things to change then go for it, lobby your law makers to make positive change. Just please understand that something written on paper will not physically prevent a motorist from hitting a cyclist. Another part of the law should also clearly speel out the punishment for hitting a cyclist.
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Old 02-27-07, 09:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwarrior
Are you serious, or did I just swallow another hook
Considering the number of recent incedents involving car-into-bicycle rear end collisions where the driver was let off with a slap on the wrist while the cyclist lays in an ICU or a morgue, I say OP is serious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I thought there was already a law that covered this. Maybe not a specific law that states, as you put it "It is against the law to ram your car into a bicycle". But I thought the law stating a person needs to have control over their vehicle & not drive while impaired, etc. covered being hit. Or are the current laws to vague for your liking?
Unfortunately, the vague nature of current laws has allowed people on their phones, people sending text messages, fumbling with their mp3 players etc... to get right back on the road after injuring or killing a cyclist because their actions don't fit the official definition of "negligent." So yes, the current laws are too vague for my liking.
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Old 02-27-07, 12:00 PM   #6
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CliftonGK1 wrote:

"Unfortunately, the vague nature of current laws has allowed people on their phones, people sending text messages, fumbling with their mp3 players etc... to get right back on the road after injuring or killing a cyclist because their actions don't fit the official definition of "negligent." So yes, the current laws are too vague for my liking."

Yes, that's the answer I was 'fishing' for.

Current laws are too vague.

It would be easier to get the point across if a cyclist could tell , let's say, a "road rager"; "it's against the law to ram your car into a bicycle".

Simple and terse, and it get's the message across. Easier to read too, when it's posted on a sign.

And the penalty should be like 5 to 20 years in jail.

Thanks for the replies.

PS- I haven't had any motorists theaten me in quite a few years. Maybe it's because I'm a military veteran now, maybe because I gained weight (and muscle;upper body strength) .
It seems like when I was younger and I only weighed 160, I would get hostile teenage drivers honking and cursing at me. Now I weigh over 240 and no one says anything to me.
Upper body strength can be increased by shoveling snow, too, which I already mentioned.
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Old 02-27-07, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotbike
Current laws are too vague.

It would be easier to get the point across if a cyclist could tell , let's say, a "road rager"; "it's against the law to ram your car into a bicycle".
I don't think that additional legislature specific to bicycle 'ramming' is necessarily the best way to go about it, though. My opinion (and it's just that, no more - no less) is that the real solution is to change the definitions in the current laws, and close these loopholes which lawyers are using to spring their clients on technicalities.

IANAL, but from what I've read in the papers, drivers aren't found criminally negligent for texting, etc. under current law because criminal negligence implies a forethought of action, knowing that your actions will cause harm and proceding regardless. The burden of proof is then on the defendant to determine forethought criminal negligence versus accidental inattentiveness. Apparently, it isn't negligent to pilot a 4000 pound vehicle at 45mph through a residential thoroughfare while simultaneously trying to coordinate your morning conference call, mute your CD player, drink your coffee, and tell your 3 kids in the back seat to be quiet. There's no expression of poor judgement in trying to do all those things at once... You're just making an inattentive improper use of lanes when you drift into the bike lane and run over a cyclist.
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Old 03-03-07, 10:34 PM   #8
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instead of further outlawing already illegal behavior, let's legalize taking a t-ball bat to car that tries to dust us off! (nlol, but cqtm {chuckling quietly to myself**)
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Old 03-05-07, 10:00 PM   #9
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I'm sure that there are quite a few other laws that could apply here:
Assault or assault with a vehicle.
Damaging personal property.
Unsafe driving.
But, it would take the police and a prosecutor to apply them.
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Old 03-08-07, 09:50 AM   #10
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Cars should be classified as deadly weapons

Cars are deadly weapons. It should be completely obvious, but our culture has chosen to ignore it. More cases should include "assault with a deadly weapon", "attempted homicide" or similar charges.

A typical 9mm bullet weighs 125 grains and exits a pistol at 1100 feet per second.
That's 0.0081 kg moving at 335 m/s, for a kinetic energy of 911 Joules.

A typical 3000 pound car moving at only 6 miles per hour has TEN TIMES the kinetic energy.
1361 kg moving at 2.7 m/s, KE = 9790 Joules.
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