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Old 08-21-04, 09:07 PM   #1
Pedal Wench
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11:00 News

Hi All,

Saturday night's 11pm news led off with two unrelated stories of two kids killed on their bikes after getting hit by cars. It's so sad. One was a hit and run, hit by someone speeding through the neighborhood. This boy was 10. The other incident was when two 14-year-olds were riding on a sidewalk. When the sidewalk ended, they swerved onto the road and got hit by a truck pulling a back-hoe. Both easily preventable if the drivers were more cautious.

Today, I saw a man riding around Stone Mountain Park with a small child in a carrier on the back of his bike. Neither had helmets. Is it a law that the child should have a helmet? I told the man that he should, whether by law or just common sense.

I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.
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Old 08-21-04, 09:19 PM   #2
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I hope they catch the hit and run driver and roast him/her.
The second accident would have been easier to prevent if the cyclists had been more cautious.
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Old 08-21-04, 09:20 PM   #3
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Very tragic, but as said before by many other people I beleive the second incident could have been prevented easily, the two children should have seen the sidewalk coming to an end, and thus should have stopped to let the truck pass or at least look before going onto a street. Of course I may sound mean, but that is the truth, people on their bikes need to be as aware as those who are in their vehicles.
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Old 08-21-04, 11:33 PM   #4
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A 10 year old girl was also mowed down infront of her home on her bike in Queens two weeks ago here in NYC.

I took some digital photos of the story from the Saturday, August 7, 2004 paper of the New York Post. The image explains everything about the little girl who was killed infront of her home.

Here's the story from the Saturday, August 7, 2004 paper of the New York Post by ERIN CALABRESE and ZACH HABERMAN.







Here's an image of the van and the bike under it.



Here more information about the same story.

Girl on bike hit, killed in Queens


Peace.

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Old 08-22-04, 08:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
I hope they catch the hit and run driver and roast him/her.
The second accident would have been easier to prevent if the cyclists had been more cautious.
This is obvious, but it is the nature of children to forget caution. I was taught to be extra careful when driving near any kids because they sometimes do unpredictable things. It may be that this particular situation happened too quickly for the motorist to avoid, but it never hurts to slow down a bit when there's kids along the street.
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Old 08-23-04, 09:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 3cannondales
Today, I saw a man riding around Stone Mountain Park with a small child in a carrier on the back of his bike. Neither had helmets. Is it a law that the child should have a helmet?
Yes, the child must wear a helmet. Unfortunately most law wnforcement officers don't have the time or the inclination to enforce the law. They're too busy busting "real" lawbreakers.

I too see cyclists of all ages ridign to/from/around Stone Mountain with no helmet. I've even seen a few cyclists riding with their helmet hanging from the handlebar. Why bother?


I hate reading or hearing about cyclist vs. motorist stories. It seems the cyclist always comes out the loser.
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Old 08-23-04, 02:49 PM   #7
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were any of these kids wearing helmets? I don't see any mention of it.
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Old 08-23-04, 03:23 PM   #8
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I work with my 5 year-old more on safety than anything else. He learned this weekend about always removing his helmet when he gets off his bike to go play on the playground because of the choking risk of leaving it on. First we will get him good at recognizing the safety issues, then we will work on getting his training wheels off.

I am in the neighborhood where Larry Schwartz used to live. We put up a memorial bike rack with a plaque in his honor up by the neighborhood playground. I talk to my son every ride about how hard you have to work to ride safely. It's tough enough to stay safe when you do, much less if you don't.

We had an older couple walk right out in front of us during our ride on Saturday morning. This was on a straight and open stretch of the neighborhood road and they were looking right at us when they did it. They even let their dog dart out across the street about 10 feet in front of them on one of those retractable leases as they stepped right into the roadway in our path. So in an instant they stepped right out in front of us and had their dog covering the other half of the straight. Had I been in a car, I think that I would have been able to miss them, but their dog would have been deader than a hammer. Fortunately we were going cautiously and alertly enough that we could both stop.

We both had a talk to them for about 5 minutes on how dangerous and careless they had been. To be honest, he said more than I did. It surprised me how much he had learned about road safety. I honestly think that their dog heard more of what we said than did they. But I was proud of my son either way. I guess the extra time spent is paying off after all.
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Old 08-23-04, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
I hate reading or hearing about cyclist vs. motorist stories. It seems the cyclist always comes out the loser.
Unfortunately, in most cases a helmet's not going to make much difference one way or the other....
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Old 08-24-04, 06:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KevinmH9
Very tragic, but as said before by many other people I beleive the second incident could have been prevented easily, the two children should have seen the sidewalk coming to an end, and thus should have stopped to let the truck pass or at least look before going onto a street. Of course I may sound mean, but that is the truth, people on their bikes need to be as aware as those who are in their vehicles.
These are very tragic incidents.

I think drivers around here in Atlanta are allowed to drive way too fast, far above the posted speed limit. It's a law-enforcement problem.

I also think children should be trained to ride bicycles as if there were vehicles, not toys. We put kids on a bike and don't even train them.
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Old 08-24-04, 06:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I think drivers around here in Atlanta are allowed to drive way too fast, far above the posted speed limit. It's a law-enforcement problem.
The speed limit is treated like a joke my most motorists and by most cops, too. So it's not per se a law enforcement problem, but rather it is the result of the lack of law enforcement.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:10 PM   #12
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I had the same thing happen to me when I was driving my car down our street and a little girl, about 8 years old darted out from a side street. I was on the correct side of the street when she came out of nowhere. I was going below the speed limit when I saw her and slammed on my brakes. She smashed into my windshield and bounced off the car. Luckily she only broke her collar bone. The insurance company and police both said it was her fault and her family had to pay for all damages. This is a picture of how hard she hit my windshield, almost came thru it.

The only part that I don't like about the article is when they say "the minivan mowed her down". They certainly could have choosen better wording. That makes it sound like he intended to hit her, which I doubt that he did. It's always tragic when something like this happens, but it will keep happening until parents decide to teach their children the dangers of streets.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:11 PM   #13
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Oh no don't blame it on the idiot who breaks the law, blame it on the one cop working a highway whose supposed to stop every car for speeding. Its impossible, not too mention most time they have more important things to do. Cop gets a call a person was just hit by a car, you want him to reply: "Let me stop 6 more cars, then I'll tend to that" No if you really wanna help join the law enforcement team, then you'll see for yourself with all the other crap going on its hard to make alot of traffic stops.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:15 PM   #14
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Yes, I totally agree with you lightspeed, children do make mistakes yes but it seems that children are ruining the only dignity that we have.....Parents are to blame as well, parents need to train their children on bike riding and what to watch for. My dad can't leave for a day of work without tellling me to be careful, everywhere I go with my dad if I have my bike with me he always give me the safety breifing....This just sounds like another case of a poorly instructed child, and thus a parent who doesn't take the time to teach their child.
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Old 08-24-04, 09:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I also think children should be trained to ride bicycles as if there were vehicles, not toys. We put kids on a bike and don't even train them.
Interesting point. I agree, and drove some of this home with my 10 year old daughter today. We had a car approach the road we were on from an intersecting road to our right. The car had a stop sign and we were cruisng at maybe 12 mph. She hit the brakes and I almost rode over her. It wouldn't have been pretty, low speed or not, my 200 lbs. clobbers her. But I managed. I talked to her later and told her "you're on the road, you are following all the rules. You are wearing your helmet, you signal, you are staying to the right like you're supposed to, so you have the right of way." Then I thought about what I was telling her and decided I better ammend it, so I continued: "Don't stop if you see them coming but be prepared to. Look at the driver and make sure they see you, and smile and maybe wave if they yield to you like they are supposed to".

So I'm teaching them to behave like vehicles, but watch out for those that aren't treating them like vehicles. There is such a thing as "dead right".
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Old 08-24-04, 09:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ryan
Oh no don't blame it on the idiot who breaks the law, blame it on the one cop working a highway whose supposed to stop every car for speeding. Its impossible, not too mention most time they have more important things to do.
Car crashes is the #1 killer of teenagers in the U.S. What's more important than that?
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Old 08-25-04, 02:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ryan
Oh no don't blame it on the idiot who breaks the law, blame it on the one cop working a highway whose supposed to stop every car for speeding. Its impossible, not too mention most time they have more important things to do. Cop gets a call a person was just hit by a car, you want him to reply: "Let me stop 6 more cars, then I'll tend to that" No if you really wanna help join the law enforcement team, then you'll see for yourself with all the other crap going on its hard to make alot of traffic stops.
The solution is simple -- more cops. Something else that would help is some serious penaties that would make an example of anyone they actually do catch. Fear is an extremely useful tool for behaviour modification.
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Old 08-25-04, 02:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RINGO
A 10 year old girl was also mowed down infront of her home on her bike in Queens two weeks ago here in NYC.
it always saddens and amazes me that society just lets this sort of thing carry on happening. I have a little girl of my own of that age and it is just absolutely tragic. One little mistake and and her life is just taken away. I just hope the guy who invented the motor-car is roasting in hell.
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Old 08-25-04, 08:28 AM   #19
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I have one question. What was that little girl doing in the street (it must have been getting dark) after 8 pm. Most little kids should be in the house at that time of night. I always had to be in the house by dusk. Visability can't be great at that time of night. Yes she was close to home but her parents should have rules saying you can NOT ride in the street after a certain time because it's getting dark. You can't trust kids to think about dangers themselves, they have no fear or concept of that kind of danger. Parents need to be more watchful and responsible for their children. My heart goes out to the parents and the driver of the mini van.
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Old 08-25-04, 10:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Litespeed
I have one question. What was that little girl doing in the street (it must have been getting dark) after 8 pm. Most little kids should be in the house at that time of night. I always had to be in the house by dusk. Visability can't be great at that time of night. Yes she was close to home but her parents should have rules saying you can NOT ride in the street after a certain time because it's getting dark. You can't trust kids to think about dangers themselves, they have no fear or concept of that kind of danger. Parents need to be more watchful and responsible for their children. My heart goes out to the parents and the driver of the mini van.
I think this kind of attitude is part of the problem it is so easy to blame the child or the parents- if only they had locked the child in the bedroom for 16 years this wouldn´t have happened- if only we would drive a bit more carefully then there would no accidents anymore- this is just denial and refusal to face the facts - this enables us to think it could never happen to us and just treat these things as freak occurrences- maybe next year everyone will listen and drive really carefully and their will be no accidents bull ****-our children should not be in the position where a momentary mistake costs them their lives- but that just seems to be something that most people are prepared to accept
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Old 08-25-04, 06:06 PM   #21
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So what are you trying to say ? What are the facts as you see them?
It was an accident plain and simple, yes it could have been prevented. Parents are responsible for their children until they reach the ripe old age of 18. This doesn't mean locking up the children in their rooms never to see day light until they are adults. If parents don't want that responsiblilty they shouldn't have kids. Are you saying that the girl should have no rules at all, that she had every right to be riding out in the street at night? As you say, a momentary mistake should not cost the child her life and it shouldn't. That is where the parents responsiblilty begins. Accidents will always happen, no matter how hard we try and prevent them.
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Old 08-25-04, 08:52 PM   #22
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Accountability all around is what's needed.

Drivers, cyclists, parents, law-enforcement, elected officials... In the meantime, cyclists (and parents of cyclists) need to be acquainted with safety rules.

I agree with Ryan on this: police are expected to be magicians and just make all our problems go away. Meanwhile, they are underpaid, under-appreciated and over-stressed.
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Old 08-26-04, 03:35 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=Litespeed]So what are you trying to say ? What are the facts as you see them?
It was an accident plain and simple, yes it could have been prevented. [QUOTE]

what I am trying to say is that just focusing on each accident and looking at it as a freak event and then allocating blame is not getting to the root of the problem. We can make people accountable- we can educate people - we can tell people to lock their children away in the house (which leads to other problems)- none of this will make the problem go away- when accidents keep happening and keep killing people in the massive numbers that die on our roads I just think we have to look at the underlying assumptions that we have made and the environment that facilitates these accidents. Personally I dont think that cars enhance our lives and on the contrary erode the quality of lives. The point is often made that if terrorists attacked us and killed people in the massive numbers that die on our roads there would rightly be outrage. It doesnt seem to make any difference though. We seem to have blind spot though about our cars.

I accept that most people don´t agree with me and a lot more kids will have to end up under cars before the problem is solved.
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Old 08-26-04, 04:30 PM   #24
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My heart goes out to ALL of the victims in this and any other accident. It disturbs me when I so often see people on bike-related forums always blaming the motorist first. True, there are a lot of stupid and inconsiderate automobile drivers out there, but in this case it sounds like the kid came out of nowhere and the van driver is probably distraught. Many solutions have been offered above to prevent this sort of thing from happening and I think a combination of them is the only thing that will. Parents need to take greater care with their children, require them to wear helmets and teach them the rules of the road. Meanwhile, many motorists should slow down, pay more attention to their driving and be more respectful of sharing the road.

What I found most interesting about this thread, however, is how well it illustrates media bias. I encourage everyone who didn't already notice it to re-read the linked articles above. See the huge differences? While the NY Daily News chose to report the FACTS in the tragic story, the NY Post chose to make a huge splash with it. I found this disgusting, unnecessary and - most importantly - inaccurate. Choosing to use phrases like "...a minivan mowed her down...;" "...Ford Aerostar slammed into her...;" "doctors tried desperately to save her life" are big no-nos in any J-School in the country and they bias the article. IMO, these "reporters" should be disciplined and taught how to REPORT a story and not EMBELLISH one. Those two articles are a perfect example of how minor changes in wording (adding unnecessary adjectives, etc.) can make a big difference to the tone of the article. If you had read only that version, you'd assume the driver was some SOB who didn't care about what happened and "got away with it." Reading the NY Daily News article, however, we learn that "Alexia's uncle, some friends and the shaken van driver managed to lift the vehicle up and free her."

Just an interesting exercise in poor reporting and media bias. My prayers are with Alexia's family AND the van driver...
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Old 08-26-04, 04:58 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Chris L
The solution is simple -- more cops. Something else that would help is some serious penaties that would make an example of anyone they actually do catch. Fear is an extremely useful tool for behaviour modification.
I have always wondered...why do we allow companies to build engines/cars capable of doing 75-95-120 mph when the speed limit is 75 max on most highways and much less in congested areas? Does this excess capability add weight and make engines less efficient at lower speeds/rpms?

Nor should companies be allowed to advertise their vehicles driving at speeds that are clearly in excess of posted limits in many places. They would never show their drivers drinking; or smoking dope; or doing drive by shootings.

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