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  1. #1
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    VC instruction or a fine?

    Anyone have either practical experience of this or know what the instruction is, i.e., practical or just watch a video?

    http://www.kcra.com/news/15689523/detail.html

    Santa Cruz Offers Bicycle Traffic School

    Class Similar to Program For Motorists

    POSTED: 6:07 am PDT March 24, 2008

    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Bicyclists ticketed for cruising through a stop sign or other violations can now avoid a hefty fine in Santa Cruz by attending a special traffic school designed for those who pedal around town.

    The two-hour class, which costs $35 and is patterned after traffic school for motorists, allows bicyclists to escape tickets costing up to $200. State law requires bicyclists to follow the same road rules as vehicles.

    The Community Traffic Safety Coalition of Santa Cruz County came up with the program because the university town has a lot of bikes on the road and a lot of injuries

    Santa Cruz police write up to 30 bike tickets each month
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  2. #2
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    30 a month! It's an epidemic!

    So, how many times can one attend this class?
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Traffic school permits a motorist to avoid a point against his/her driving record, but does not eliminate the fine. A motorist is permitted to use traffic school for this purpose only once every 18 months.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  4. #4
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    If you receive a cycling related civil traffic ticket in Tempe, AZ you can take a class (for a fee) and have the ticket dismissed:
    http://www.tempe.gov/court/bdc.htm

    If you receive a ticket in Paradise Valley, AZ for running stops/lights while cycling you can take Road-1 and have the ticket dismissed:
    http://www.azbikeclub.com/Editorial.html

    Al

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    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Traffic school permits a motorist to avoid a point against his/her driving record, but does not eliminate the fine. A motorist is permitted to use traffic school for this purpose only once every 18 months.
    Sounds reasonable.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  6. #6
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Anyone have either practical experience of this or know what the instruction is, i.e., practical or just watch a video?

    http://www.kcra.com/news/15689523/detail.html
    What makes the OP think the safety course offered is "VC instruction"?

  7. #7
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    What makes the OP think the safety course offered is "VC instruction"?
    Nothig, but it's a suitably provocative title to garner some interest, preferably from people in SC who have first hand experience/knowledge.

    Also, the London version involves either being fined or watching a psa video, i.e., no practical instruction, which makes me wonder if it made any change to their behaviour.
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  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Nothig, but it's a suitably provocative title to garner some interest, preferably from people in SC who have first hand experience/knowledge.

    Also, the London version involves either being fined or watching a psa video, i.e., no practical instruction, which makes me wonder if it made any change to their behaviour.
    Is the OP aware of any evidence that VC instruction (allegedly "practical instruction") makes any significant or measurable change in the students' cycling behavior? Or would have any effect on fined bicyclists' behavior?

  9. #9
    Conservative Hippie
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    That is good news. It indicates that the local establishment is taking bicycles seriously as vehicles.

    What evidence is there that traffic schools change motorist behavior?

    I know a woman that got a speeding ticket years ago. She went to traffic school. She has received at least two other speeding tickets that I know of. Each time she's gone to traffic school. She still drives too fast.

    She was involved in a wreck. The other driver was found to be at fault for excessive speed. She still drives too fast.

  10. #10
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Is the OP aware of any evidence that VC instruction (allegedly "practical instruction") makes any significant or measurable change in the students' cycling behavior? Or would have any effect on fined bicyclists' behavior?
    In London, especially with untrained and inexperienced cyclists, practical training makes a huge difference. Even the video instruction has some positive impact but not nearly as much as practical training.

    However, some experienced cyclists (most likely a minority chosen for their controversial views) are quite often filmed saying they will continue to break the rules of the road because they either think it makes them safer or need to get somewhere without being slowed.

    I am still interested in hearing from people in Santa Cruz who have either first hand experience of the fine/training or know exactly what's involved with the training.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Script's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- Bicyclists ticketed for cruising through a stop sign or other violations can now avoid a hefty fine in Santa Cruz by attending a special traffic school designed for those who pedal around town.

    The two-hour class, which costs $35 and is patterned after traffic school for motorists, allows bicyclists to escape tickets costing up to $200. State law requires bicyclists to follow the same road rules as vehicles.

    The Community Traffic Safety Coalition of Santa Cruz County came up with the program because the university town has a lot of bikes on the road and a lot of injuries

    Santa Cruz police write up to 30 bike tickets each month
    I know this is kind of obtuse, but do the Santa Cruz police ticket the motorists for the same violation in proportion to the cyclists ticketing? Sounds to me like that would represent such a large revenue generated by ticketing motorists that they'd be the largest police department in the country.

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Script View Post
    I know this is kind of obtuse, but do the Santa Cruz police ticket the motorists for the same violation in proportion to the cyclists ticketing? Sounds to me like that would represent such a large revenue generated by ticketing motorists that they'd be the largest police department in the country.
    My experience in another coastal California city, Oceanside, is that police perform periodic sweeps. Since the rolling "California" stop is nearly ubiquitous among motorists in the absence of cross traffic, I am concerned that the police may have a discriminatory zero tolerance policy against cyclists. I am particularly concerned for those of us who normally trackstand at stop signs. It is too bad they cannot focus on the spirit of the law, acknowledging that the purpose of a stop sign is to establish right-of-way and to ensure that everyone gets a good look at the intersection before entering it. Whether the wheels of a car or bicycle come to a complete stop is a mere legal technicality and municipal fundraiser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    What makes the OP think the safety course offered is "VC instruction"?
    Jesus tap-dancing Christ! If I had to put up with a lecture by a VC instructor I would pay the ticket, hell, I'd rather be waterboarded than have to listen to a VC lecture.
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  14. #14
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    If the training is done well, then I think it is a good thing. However, I also think that a $200 fine for failing to stop a bicycle at a stop sign is super-excessive. Stop signs are there for a reason and people should stop at them. However, the punishment should fit the crime. In Massachusetts, by the way, the fine is $20.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    In London, especially with untrained and inexperienced cyclists, practical training makes a huge difference. Even the video instruction has some positive impact but not nearly as much as practical training.

    However, some experienced cyclists (most likely a minority chosen for their controversial views) are quite often filmed saying they will continue to break the rules of the road because they either think it makes them safer or need to get somewhere without being slowed.
    Uh huh. And what are your references for this claim of "huge difference" and/or "positive impact" of bicycling training? Huge difference in what metric?

    BTW who is doing all the "filming" of experienced cyclists with controversial views? And for what purpose?

  16. #16
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Uh huh. And what are your references for this claim of "huge difference" and/or "positive impact" of bicycling training? Huge difference in what metric?...
    http://www.ctc.org.uk/

    http://www.lcc.org.uk/

    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    ...BTW who is doing all the "filming" of experienced cyclists with controversial views? And for what purpose?
    National UK tv channels, e.g., ITV, BBC, Channel4, Five, etc.
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  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    Jesus tap-dancing Christ! If I had to put up with a lecture by a VC instructor I would pay the ticket, hell, I'd rather be waterboarded than have to listen to a VC lecture.
    Likewise. If I had to listen to Mossy John or "Tom Cruise" or be sent to Gitmo as a "guest", I'd take Gitmo. At least there the torture seems to have more of a purpose.

  18. #18
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    Uh Huh! Those are web sites promoting their own courses; where is the evidence of the big changes in the students' behavior that you are claiming? Ya know -results, evidence, metrics, the bottom line.

    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    National UK tv channels, e.g., ITV, BBC, Channel4, Five, etc.
    Do they have nightly shows of bicyclist interviews, once a week or once in a blue moon?

    Since you gratuitously added "VC instruction" to your thread title just to provoke interest, I will suggest another useful, just as "practical", option to bicyclist scofflaws instead of a fine. Why not offer them an opportunity to wear helmets in a classroom for 20 or 30 hours. Might just provide another "big difference."

  19. #19
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Uh Huh! Those are web sites promoting their own courses; where is the evidence of the big changes in the students' behavior that you are claiming? Ya know -results, evidence, metrics, the bottom line.

    Do they have nightly shows of bicyclist interviews, once a week or once in a blue moon?

    Since you gratuitously added "VC instruction" to your thread title just to provoke interest, I will suggest another useful, just as "practical", option to bicyclist scofflaws instead of a fine. Why not offer them an opportunity to wear helmets in a classroom for 20 or 30 hours. Might just provide another "big difference."
    If you dig around the websites I'm sure you'll find the annual reports, training reports, forums and CT comments.

    Well alrighty then...after you...
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  20. #20
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    If you dig around the websites I'm sure you'll find the annual reports, training reports, forums and CT comments.

    Well alrighty then...after you...
    Yep, I might find a pony too!

    I think instead I'll settle for the answer that another shill for "VC instruction" is just blowing smoke with fabricated claims of its effectiveness.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markhr View Post
    If you dig around the websites I'm sure you'll find the annual reports, training reports, forums and CT comments.

    Well alrighty then...after you...
    You will not find any verifiable data on the CTC or LCC websites to substantiate your claim that:

    In London, especially with untrained and inexperienced cyclists, practical training makes a huge difference. Even the video instruction has some positive impact but not nearly as much as practical training.
    I would advise people to more fruitfully spend their time chasing rainbows, not trawling those sites for non-existent papers.

    Of the circa 480,000 bike journeys a day in the capital, how many would you speculate are undertaken by cyclists who have had formal training?
    Last edited by Fear&Trembling; 03-26-08 at 07:19 AM.

  22. #22
    Fritz M richardmasoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    What makes the OP think the safety course offered is "VC instruction"?
    The 2 hour class has long been offered in the city of Santa Cruz to county residents (which is where I live). It consists of common sense stuff based on a highly condensed version of the LAB Bike Ed classes, i.e. wear a helmet, use lights at night, stop at stop signs and red lights, signal your turns, watch out at the train tracks, avoid sidewalks, watch for pedestrians, and take the lane where necessary. I think the class is funded in part by the Association of Monterey Bay Governments.

    Santa Cruz police perform traffic "sweeps" like John E suggested, except around here it's typically speeders on Mission and Bay Streets. Santa Cruz police can be a little thuggish, especially towards the homeless and college students, but I don't know of discriminatory enforcement against cyclists - I don't know for sure, but I imagine the tickets are mostly for obviously egregious violations.

    There's a wide mix of cyclists in Santa Cruz. There are a large number who follow the letter of the law, and another large number who do what they want. Lane taking is commonly done by all levels of cyclists on narrower streets such as Cliff Drive pictured below.

    Santa Cruz City and County have some interesting policies to encourage bike riding. City employees, for example, don't have free parking downtown, so a substantial number ride their bikes to work. The county gives substantial vouchers for use at Santa Cruz bike shops for those who attend the 2 hour safety class.

    This photo is from Santa Cruz. Many cyclists opt to use the almost adjacent bike path when traffic is this heavy, but you have to walk the bike across a railroad trestle bridge to get to the path.


  23. #23
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardmasoner View Post
    The 2 hour class has long been offered in the city of Santa Cruz to county residents (which is where I live). It consists of common sense stuff based on a highly condensed version of the LAB Bike Ed classes, i.e. wear a helmet, use lights at night, stop at stop signs and red lights, signal your turns, watch out at the train tracks, avoid sidewalks, watch for pedestrians, and take the lane where necessary. I think the class is funded in part by the Association of Monterey Bay Governments.

    Santa Cruz police perform traffic "sweeps" like John E suggested, except around here it's typically speeders on Mission and Bay Streets. Santa Cruz police can be a little thuggish, especially towards the homeless and college students, but I don't know of discriminatory enforcement against cyclists - I don't know for sure, but I imagine the tickets are mostly for obviously egregious violations.

    There's a wide mix of cyclists in Santa Cruz. There are a large number who follow the letter of the law, and another large number who do what they want. Lane taking is commonly done by all levels of cyclists on narrower streets such as Cliff Drive pictured below.

    Santa Cruz City and County have some interesting policies to encourage bike riding. City employees, for example, don't have free parking downtown, so a substantial number ride their bikes to work. The county gives substantial vouchers for use at Santa Cruz bike shops for those who attend the 2 hour safety class.

    This photo is from Santa Cruz. Many cyclists opt to use the almost adjacent bike path when traffic is this heavy, but you have to walk the bike across a railroad trestle bridge to get to the path.

    [.IMG]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/67/196792900_197dc233d4.jpg[/IMG]
    Thanks very much for the comprehensive answer.
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