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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Beware, iPod zombie cyclists are on the rise

    My wife was T-boned by some idiot cyclist jamming out to music in his own little world. She screamed at him while slamming on her brakes, but of course he didn't hear her. As she was lying on the pavement with a cracked frame he took off his headphones, said 'what?' and rode away, leaving her on the ground.

    Beware, iPod zombie cyclists are on the rise
    Chris Gourlay



    WATCH out for the iPod zombies. Cyclists distracted by music blaring in their ears have become the latest menace on Britain’s roads.

    The fashion for cyclists to wear earphones on crowded city streets is being held partly responsible for the recent upsurge in cycling injuries and deaths, as well as collisions with pedestrians.

    Road safety groups are alarmed at the practice and this weekend Edmund King, the president of the AA, called on the Department for Transport (DfT) to launch a campaign warning cyclists of the risk. The number of urban cyclists has grown so sharply that safety groups say the risky behaviour of a minority can cause serious problems.

    The latest DfT figures show that 820 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the three months to June, a 19% rise on the same period in 2008. It is not known how many of these cases were caused by people listening to music because the DfT and the police do not record the information.

    However, many cyclists believe the problem is increasing. Internet cycling forums are full of heated exchanges between indignant cyclists and seething motorists, railing against the “erratic behaviour” and “breathtaking stupidity” of riders who career through the traffic, sporting the telltale white wires of an iPod.

    “If cyclists had to take a test, like all other road users do, and pay insurance, then perhaps there would be a lot less idiots riding their bikes, wearing their iPod or mobile phone earphones and expecting everyone else to not only give way to them but to also read their minds as to their next action,” said one blogger after the death of a London cyclist last week.

    Another said that “iPod zombies are a menace. I saw a bus clip one of them the other day in Victoria who was oblivious to anything around him.”

    This weekend Nicholas Gardiner, an Oxfordshire coroner, spoke out about the risks of riding with iPods, saying that cyclists’ careless attitude had to be challenged. “Frankly I find it quite frightening the things cyclists do,” he said. “They ought to take a minimum amount of care over their safety. It seems to me ridiculous to deprive yourself of what is the second most important of your senses.”

    Last year he recorded a verdict of accidental death when Abigail Haythorne, 17, died after pulling out into an oncoming car. She had an MP3 player in her pocket, and her earphones tucked inside her neck scarf, and he said it was possible she was wearing them when she was struck by the car.

    Pedestrians, too, have fallen victim to cyclists listening to music and apparently oblivious to those around them. In June, a six-year-old girl from Wallasey, Merseyside, suffered serious injuries after she was mown down on the pavement by an iPod-wearing cyclist who didn’t even stop to help her, according to witnesses. The girl underwent hours of surgery to reconstruct her shattered leg.

    The issue of risky behaviour by cyclists has become a more pressing issue for motorists because ministers are considering whether to make them liable for crashes, even if they were not at fault.

    Youth for Road Safety, a new group, is to launch a campaign called Tune into Traffic under the slogan “Your earphones could kill you”.

    Manpreet Darroch, who is leading the campaign, said: “It’s a serious problem which is only going to get worse as the number of cyclists increases — lots of people are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. People don’t realise how dangerous listening to music is on the roads — whether pedestrian or cyclist. It takes one of your key senses away. People shouldn’t do it.

    “You can legislate until you are blue in the face. On the issue of iPods we just need to raise awareness.”

    However CTC, the national cycling group, argues that people should be left to make their own judgments. “We encourage deaf people to cycle so we don’t think it’s essential to hear traffic in order to ride,” said a spokeswoman. “You have to be sensible. The most important thing is that you look around you all the time — especially over your shoulder.”

    There is currently no legislation in place to govern either the use of music players or the wearing of helmets on the road, but cyclists can be prosecuted for dangerous riding — an offence that attracts a maximum penalty of £2,500.

    The police claim to be getting tougher on cycling offences and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has promised “complete zero tolerance of cyclists who break the rules”. However, David Cameron, the Tory leader, last year rode unpunished through red lights in London.

    Johnson plans to give even greater leeway to cyclists, to encourage people to switch to one of the greenest forms of transport. He is studying the possibility of allowing cyclists to shoot red lights on left turns at a junction.

    Last week King called on the DfT to address the iPod issue. “They’re meant to be mobile, but if you are cycling, you need all your senses about you.”
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6936280.ece

  2. #2
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    Naw, just let them ride with earphones instead of headphones, and everything will work out ok.

  3. #3
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    lol I was being sarcastic because we just had a thread were some "experts" asserted that earphones are definitely different and safer than headphones, and it is completely ok to use them while riding a bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    “If cyclists had to take a test, like all other road users do, and pay insurance, then perhaps there would be a lot less idiots riding their bikes, wearing their iPod or mobile phone earphones and expecting everyone else to not only give way to them but to also read their minds as to their next action,” said one blogger after the death of a London cyclist last week.
    How is a cyclist wearing an iPod any different from a car driver with a huge set of amplifiers and the volume set to 11 any different? The real problem isn't the music player, it's operator inattention.

    All of the collisions and incidents outlined in this story come down to the same factor, the operator of a vehicle not paying attention to what they are doing.

    I find it interesting that the only solution for this problem amongst cyclists is licencing, testing and insurance, because none of those are resolving the problem when it comes to motorists.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Bicycle license? What the...

    Then I won't get a bike, even though I am a law-abiding citizen, not to wear headphones/earphones while in a bike.

    I ain't care if you wear your iPod or not. Just don't wear it while in a bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    How is a cyclist wearing an iPod any different from a car driver with a huge set of amplifiers and the volume set to 11 any different? The real problem isn't the music player, it's operator inattention.

    All of the collisions and incidents outlined in this story come down to the same factor, the operator of a vehicle not paying attention to what they are doing.

    I find it interesting that the only solution for this problem amongst cyclists is licencing, testing and insurance, because none of those are resolving the problem when it comes to motorists.
    This isn't a car forum, it's a bike forum. Why do some people get all defensive when someone points out bad cycling and shout 'but cars do xyz, and it's bad!'? I'm sure you can find a great car discussion on one of the many car forums that IB owns, but I'm hear to talk about bikes.

    In case you haven't noticed, there are great differences between cars and bikes.
    Last edited by Ziemas; 11-29-09 at 11:25 AM.

  7. #7
    My bike don't goose me! BillB.'s Avatar
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    Sorry to hear . Easy way to get his attention carry a very small stick, when you see him again wing it at him and when he looks say "WHAT? Couldn't hear you with your Ipod blaring!" and keep going right on by! There are other things I would love to suggest far worse then that but I will be nice. Hate people on cells while they are driving, illegal here, but they still do it. I have hit a car on purpose with my bike to get their attention from running over a child in a crosswalk when they had the right of way before. Guy gets out and asks what the !@#$ my problem was and I simply pointed at the kid and said is your phone call worth more than his life a!@#$%4? Yeah when people are distracted bad things can happen. Some can multiplex very well some can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    My wife was T-boned by some idiot cyclist jamming out to music in his own little world. She screamed at him while slamming on her brakes, but of course he didn't hear her. As she was lying on the pavement with a cracked frame he took off his headphones, said 'what?' and rode away, leaving her on the ground.

    Beware, iPod zombie cyclists are on the rise
    Chris Gourlay



    WATCH out for the iPod zombies. Cyclists distracted by music blaring in their ears have become the latest menace on Britain�s roads.

    The fashion for cyclists to wear earphones on crowded city streets is being held partly responsible for the recent upsurge in cycling injuries and deaths, as well as collisions with pedestrians.

    Road safety groups are alarmed at the practice and this weekend Edmund King, the president of the AA, called on the Department for Transport (DfT) to launch a campaign warning cyclists of the risk. The number of urban cyclists has grown so sharply that safety groups say the risky behaviour of a minority can cause serious problems.

    The latest DfT figures show that 820 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the three months to June, a 19% rise on the same period in 2008. It is not known how many of these cases were caused by people listening to music because the DfT and the police do not record the information.

    However, many cyclists believe the problem is increasing. Internet cycling forums are full of heated exchanges between indignant cyclists and seething motorists, railing against the �erratic behaviour� and �breathtaking stupidity� of riders who career through the traffic, sporting the telltale white wires of an iPod.

    �If cyclists had to take a test, like all other road users do, and pay insurance, then perhaps there would be a lot less idiots riding their bikes, wearing their iPod or mobile phone earphones and expecting everyone else to not only give way to them but to also read their minds as to their next action,� said one blogger after the death of a London cyclist last week.

    Another said that �iPod zombies are a menace. I saw a bus clip one of them the other day in Victoria who was oblivious to anything around him.�

    This weekend Nicholas Gardiner, an Oxfordshire coroner, spoke out about the risks of riding with iPods, saying that cyclists� careless attitude had to be challenged. �Frankly I find it quite frightening the things cyclists do,� he said. �They ought to take a minimum amount of care over their safety. It seems to me ridiculous to deprive yourself of what is the second most important of your senses.�

    Last year he recorded a verdict of accidental death when Abigail Haythorne, 17, died after pulling out into an oncoming car. She had an MP3 player in her pocket, and her earphones tucked inside her neck scarf, and he said it was possible she was wearing them when she was struck by the car.

    Pedestrians, too, have fallen victim to cyclists listening to music and apparently oblivious to those around them. In June, a six-year-old girl from Wallasey, Merseyside, suffered serious injuries after she was mown down on the pavement by an iPod-wearing cyclist who didn�t even stop to help her, according to witnesses. The girl underwent hours of surgery to reconstruct her shattered leg.

    The issue of risky behaviour by cyclists has become a more pressing issue for motorists because ministers are considering whether to make them liable for crashes, even if they were not at fault.

    Youth for Road Safety, a new group, is to launch a campaign called Tune into Traffic under the slogan �Your earphones could kill you�.

    Manpreet Darroch, who is leading the campaign, said: �It�s a serious problem which is only going to get worse as the number of cyclists increases � lots of people are completely oblivious to what�s going on around them. People don�t realise how dangerous listening to music is on the roads � whether pedestrian or cyclist. It takes one of your key senses away. People shouldn�t do it.

    �You can legislate until you are blue in the face. On the issue of iPods we just need to raise awareness.�

    However CTC, the national cycling group, argues that people should be left to make their own judgments. �We encourage deaf people to cycle so we don�t think it�s essential to hear traffic in order to ride,� said a spokeswoman. �You have to be sensible. The most important thing is that you look around you all the time � especially over your shoulder.�

    There is currently no legislation in place to govern either the use of music players or the wearing of helmets on the road, but cyclists can be prosecuted for dangerous riding � an offence that attracts a maximum penalty of �2,500.

    The police claim to be getting tougher on cycling offences and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has promised �complete zero tolerance of cyclists who break the rules�. However, David Cameron, the Tory leader, last year rode unpunished through red lights in London.

    Johnson plans to give even greater leeway to cyclists, to encourage people to switch to one of the greenest forms of transport. He is studying the possibility of allowing cyclists to shoot red lights on left turns at a junction.

    Last week King called on the DfT to address the iPod issue. �They�re meant to be mobile, but if you are cycling, you need all your senses about you.�
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6936280.ece

  8. #8
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I got run over by a deaf lady in an electric wheelchair. That was lame.

    I'd get all alarmist about it, but I haven't the energy at the moment.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I got run over by a deaf lady in an electric wheelchair. That was lame.

    I'd get all alarmist about it, but I haven't the energy at the moment.
    Speaking of those electric wheelchairs, hoverrounds and what not. Do they count as a motor vehicle or as a pedestrian?
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  10. #10
    Senior Member SlimAgainSoon's Avatar
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    But if they're blonde and hot and riding in a skirt ... they get a pass.

  11. #11
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    Had to deal a FEW times on the MUP with iPod-ed joggers and bike riders -- call out to them, HOLLER at them, then just a drill-sergeant-loud "YO!" about six feet behind them. I'm sure they all thought I was an a-hole, much like I thought they were.

    If I call to you 2x, and you don't show some sign of recognition that someone else has encroached on your little world, I'll blow by you, and LMAO if you fall over.

    I personally don't ride w/ earphones -- tried it, took away from the ride experience. If you can roll them and still function, party on. If you can't, leave 'em at home. There ARE responsibilities when you're in public, mainly to not act like the last human on earth. Or the only one that matters....

  12. #12
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Had to deal a FEW times on the MUP with iPod-ed joggers and bike riders -- call out to them, HOLLER at them, then just a drill-sergeant-loud "YO!" about six feet behind them. I'm sure they all thought I was an a-hole, much like I thought they were.

    If I call to you 2x, and you don't show some sign of recognition that someone else has encroached on your little world, I'll blow by you, and LMAO if you fall over.

    I personally don't ride w/ earphones -- tried it, took away from the ride experience. If you can roll them and still function, party on. If you can't, leave 'em at home. There ARE responsibilities when you're in public, mainly to not act like the last human on earth. Or the only one that matters....
    Do you honk at every car you pass when driving too? If you can't pass another rider safely that sounds like your problem.
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  13. #13
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecactus View Post
    How are earphones safer than headphones? I'm sure cyclists will opt for the in-ear ones because the other kind keeps falling out.
    Listening to music through headphones handicaps a cyclist. Your sense of hearing should be fully alert whenever you have to navigate roads full of people and cars!
    Yawn. Someday, when you learn to ride without the training wheels, you may figure it out.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
    Do you honk at every car you pass when driving too? If you can't pass another rider safely that sounds like your problem.
    If you're passing with only one lane each direction, the law in most states does specify honking before passing.

    Most motorists don't bother, and it doesn't usually result in an accident, but if you want the overtaken car to have the burden of staying to the right and not increasing speed while you pass, then yes, you're supposed to provide an audible signal before overtaking.

    Whether this is a legal requirement for cyclists varies by jurisdiction -- an audible signal when overtaking pedestrians or cyclists is required on most of the bicycle paths and multi-use paths I use, but not all of them.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Speaking of those electric wheelchairs, hoverrounds and what not. Do they count as a motor vehicle or as a pedestrian?
    Generally, adaptive devices are treated as pedestrians in most respects in most states, but there's quite a bit of variation.
    Last edited by jputnam; 11-30-09 at 02:46 PM.
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  16. #16
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    If you're passing with only one lane each direction, the law in most states does specify honking before passing.

    Most motorists don't bother, and it doesn't usually result in an accident, but if you want the overtaken car to have the burden of staying to the right and not increasing speed while you pass, then yes, you're supposed to provide an audible signal before overtaking.

    Whether this is a legal requirement for cyclists varies by jurisdiction -- an audible signal when overtaking pedestrians or cyclists is required on most of the bicycle paths and multi-use paths I use, but not all of them.
    That may be true, but the burden of passing safely most definitely is on the overtaking vehicle (bike or car). In urban traffic the idea of acknowledging every passing vehicle is ridiculous and anyone who is "blowing" by other users of an MUP should be on the road anyways.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
    That may be true, but the burden of passing safely most definitely is on the overtaking vehicle (bike or car). In urban traffic the idea of acknowledging every passing vehicle is ridiculous and anyone who is "blowing" by other users of an MUP should be on the road anyways.
    The original post specifically referred to a MUP, not urban traffic.

    I'm free to ride blithely down the center of an un-laned MUP, to veer left or right or speed up without watching for overtaking traffic.

    If, however, an overtaking rider has signaled his intent to pass, I must stay to the right side of the MUP and not speed up or turn left until the overtaking vehicle has passed.

    The overtaking rider may choose to pass without signaling, but if I happen to drift left while he's doing it, and he runs into me, it's his fault, not mine.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    Generally, adaptive devices are treated as pedestrians in most respects in most states, but there's quite a bit of variation.
    Thank you, that makes sense. And sadly a lot of people who use them seem to think that they can "drive" them at full speed and expect everyone else to get out of their way. So much so that the VA that I go to has signs in all areas reminding those operators to use the slow mode.
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  19. #19
    Fred on Foot dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    The original post specifically referred to a MUP, not urban traffic.

    I'm free to ride blithely down the center of an un-laned MUP, to veer left or right or speed up without watching for overtaking traffic.

    If, however, an overtaking rider has signaled his intent to pass, I must stay to the right side of the MUP and not speed up or turn left until the overtaking vehicle has passed.

    The overtaking rider may choose to pass without signaling, but if I happen to drift left while he's doing it, and he runs into me, it's his fault, not mine.
    If I ran into someone on the MUP, wrecking my bike and possibly myself, the fact that it was his fault would be no consolation.

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    There all over Austin.

  21. #21
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
    The original post specifically referred to a MUP, not urban traffic.

    I'm free to ride blithely down the center of an un-laned MUP, to veer left or right or speed up without watching for overtaking traffic.

    If, however, an overtaking rider has signaled his intent to pass, I must stay to the right side of the MUP and not speed up or turn left until the overtaking vehicle has passed.

    The overtaking rider may choose to pass without signaling, but if I happen to drift left while he's doing it, and he runs into me, it's his fault, not mine.
    Care to cite that? Most rules regarding bike paths and lanes require users to stay to the right and signal any intention to slow or turn, just as on the street. That being said, your final sentence makes my point, it is the duty of the overtaker to pass safely regardless of what the passed cyclist is doing (rocking or zoning out.)
    Non semper erit aestas.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Speaking of those electric wheelchairs, hoverrounds and what not. Do they count as a motor vehicle or as a pedestrian?
    In Minnesota you can get a DUI in an electric wheelchair.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
    Do you honk at every car you pass when driving too?
    Don't know where DX-MAN is from, but here in Massachusetts it is the law that a cyclist has to sound an audible warning before passing a pedestrian. It's always nice if the pedestrian responds in some way to indicate that they heard you. Kind of closes the loop.

    Speedo

  24. #24
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    In Minnesota you can get a DUI in an electric wheelchair.
    Steve,

    That's good to hear. As I've seen some people in those electric wheelchairs that behave worse then the worst scofflaw cyclists that we've heard complaints about.
    Digital Cowboy
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  25. #25
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    I gave up on listening to music while riding as a courier in the 80's after almost getting smoked.

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