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Old 04-29-12, 12:50 PM   #1
unterhausen
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at one time, killing people with your car was illegal

interesting history of how roads became viewed as made for cars. There was an organized effort by the AAA and car companies to change perceptions. I think people realize that cars are a real problem, but the Stockholm syndrome has taken over.


There is a public monument here in State College that shows how the main drag in town used to look before cars took over. Looked like a nice place to walk. Nowadays, it's effectively been turned into a highway, and you'd have to be getting drunk to want to sit beside the road during the day.
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Old 04-29-12, 12:58 PM   #2
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I think people realize that cars are a real problem, but the Stockholm syndrome has taken over.
They realize it, but they choose to ignore it. Because they don't want to get involved.
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Old 04-29-12, 02:06 PM   #3
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You know, I'm not at all sure that most of my friends and neighbors actually realize what a problem cars are.

Personally, I just hate being in a pack of cars, side by side, nose to tail and flying along at 10 mph or so above the speed limit. But when I say so people don't agree or disagree. They never have any comment at all. It goes in one ear and out the other.

Now that there are 3 and 4 cars in most households our roads are badly over-crowded. I say so from time to time. The people I work with? They don't seem to even consider it.

They take the roads as they find them and it doesn't seem to occur to them that they have any right to demand something better.

One exception is that they will complain about roads falling into disrepair. But it also seems to me that the roads are deteriorating faster than they did, say, 20 years ago while the complaints seem to be getting quieter and less common.

I've often thought that the automobile has a strange quasi-hypnotic effect on people. This subject would seem to be an example. Just give the people their 'fix' and they're quite docile.
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Old 04-29-12, 02:12 PM   #4
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What's weird is that when I first started driving a car, my weight started going up, and I became more stupid. Like it was more difficult to stay on task and think while driving. The newer cars make you even more so. Riding a bike wakes me up, makes me more aware of my surroundings and puts in in a much better mood.
While cars are quite useful for certain situations, I'm beginning to think they are an invention of the devil.
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Old 04-29-12, 05:51 PM   #5
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What mainly made the big turn around in roads becoming primarily for cars is that autos became cheaper and gasoline became more plentiful, and the more influential people with cars could grease the palms of politicians to get peds and cyclists out of the way.
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Old 04-29-12, 07:47 PM   #6
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You forgot motorcycles. At least here in Korea motorcycles are considered annoying and banned from using any public expressways. I ride 2 wheels all the way. If its doable timewise I ride one of my bicycles, if its not then I go to the motorcycle. If we have to take our 2 kids anywhere far I let my wife drive the car. I haven't driven a car beyond moving it around the parking area for 8 years now.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:26 PM   #7
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Just give the people their 'fix' and they're quite docile.
I don't know about them becoming docile, but most Americans definitely have an addiction to using automobiles. That ever-growing addiction has made us a nation of obese morons, in my opinion.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:25 AM   #8
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I don't know about them becoming docile, but most Americans definitely have an addiction to using automobiles. That ever-growing addiction has made us a nation of obese morons, in my opinion.
I think the car made for fatter folk, but I don't blame the car for making people into morons.

Television had one of the largest roles in making people into morons in the past half century, I say.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:33 AM   #9
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You know, I'm not at all sure that most of my friends and neighbors actually realize what a problem cars are.
That's what I was thinking. A significant portion of suburban dwellers (my parents, to start) exclusively use cars to get around, and would more likely find pedestrians, bicyclists and low speed limits as the "real" problems.
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Old 04-30-12, 06:55 AM   #10
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Television had one of the largest roles in making people into morons in the past half century, I say.
As a matter of fact, I've thought for a long time that Hollywood's influence on our culture has been just terrible.

But I don't say it as much as I used to. I found that I was getting nowhere. Other than getting almost everyone mad at me.
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Old 04-30-12, 07:41 AM   #11
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As I have state before, these days if you really hate a person so much you want them dead, just buy them a bike and run over them. The worst you will get is a slap on the wrist!!!
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Old 04-30-12, 10:11 AM   #12
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I think the car made for fatter folk, but I don't blame the car for making people into morons.

Television had one of the largest roles in making people into morons in the past half century, I say.
Without downplaying the role of cousin Philo's invention in the declining intellect of Americans, there is a growing body of evidence that a sedentary lifestyle has a negative impact on mental acuity. In fact, the folks over at the 50-plus forum are discussing the role of exercise in staving off Alzheimer's right now.http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nt-Alzheimer-s

Of course, watching the T.V. is often a major part of a sedentary lifestyle.
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Old 04-30-12, 10:32 AM   #13
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http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news...awareness.html

"Shawn McCarty was riding ... when an SUV hit him in the bike lane, causing him to fly into the air about 30 feet and land on a sidewalk about 20 feet from his bike. The cyclist,.. was dead an hour later. The driver of the black Chevrolet Tahoe, Amy Sue Alexander, was cited for unsafe passing of a bicycle and driving in the bicycle lane. For the two tickets, Alexander, 41, paid a fine of $420 in Scottsdale City Court. ... two civil charges were all that the law would allow, a Scottsdale police spokesman said."

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...ties-road.html

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Old 04-30-12, 12:17 PM   #14
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I think the car made for fatter folk, but I don't blame the car for making people into morons.

Television had one of the largest roles in making people into morons in the past half century, I say.
+1000

Television: the one-eyed god of the 20th century (looks like farcebook and youtube maybe for the 21st).
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Old 05-01-12, 07:39 AM   #15
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Locally, all a motorist has to say is that their window fogged up, they were reaching over to turn on the defroster, and they thought that they "hit a pothole". This was the case of a local teen running over numerous road cones and striking/killing a well know local road construction worker dressed in hiv viz outerwear. The local DA, based on a report by our state's highway patrol, has decided to not press criminal charges against the teen, and calling it a "tragic accident".

Locally, as being a cyclist, I'm toast and on my own.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:27 AM   #16
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Locally, all a motorist has to say is that their window fogged up, they were reaching over to turn on the defroster, and they thought that they "hit a pothole". This was the case of a local teen running over numerous road cones and striking/killing a well know local road construction worker dressed in hiv viz outerwear. The local DA, based on a report by our state's highway patrol, has decided to not press criminal charges against the teen, and calling it a "tragic accident".

Locally, as being a cyclist, I'm toast and on my own.
Admittedly, there is a bit of a grey area here. An accident is just that: an accident. It's entirely possible that the events described above are in fact exactly what took place. I would have a hard time pressing criminal charges against someone that did something completely unintentionally or due to factors outside their direct control. But at the first hint of negligence on the part of the driver, that's where something needs to be done.

I've had my window fog up - first thing I do is wipe my hand over it so I can see again, THEN I turn on the defroster.
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Old 05-01-12, 11:31 AM   #17
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can everyone say 'the highway users conference'

and 'highway trust fund?'
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Old 05-01-12, 11:40 AM   #18
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"...In the case of a collision, the larger, heavier vehicle was deemed to be at fault. The responsibility for crashes always lay with the driver".

That is still the case in Holland and Denmark, as a sort of "strict liability", which takes quite a lot to override. I'm not sure about other European countries.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:09 AM   #19
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Admittedly, there is a bit of a grey area here. An accident is just that: an accident. It's entirely possible that the events described above are in fact exactly what took place. I would have a hard time pressing criminal charges against someone that did something completely unintentionally or due to factors outside their direct control. But at the first hint of negligence on the part of the driver, that's where something needs to be done.

I've had my window fog up - first thing I do is wipe my hand over it so I can see again, THEN I turn on the defroster.
Even if a person doesn't get charged with neglegent homicide, I would like to see drivers' licenses yanked, to remind people not to operate a deadly weapon if they can't see where they are going. The exceptions I would make would be more along the lines of night time ninja cyclists or somebody darting out from behind parked cars.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:23 PM   #20
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I'm a bit confused. So, if I come to a crosswalk with half a dozen kids on it, my window is fogged up and I don't see them, I can get away with running them over because it was an accident? Call me old fashioned or whatever, but I was taught that when you get behind the wheel of a car, you take responsibility for operating it properly, which includes cleaning off the windows so you can see out of them.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:44 PM   #21
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Remember Homer running red lights while covering his eyes and saying "If I didn't see it, it's not illegal!"?

Sometimes the supposedly exaggerated stupidity of a dope on TV is still less than that of a real life dope.
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Old 05-03-12, 07:24 AM   #22
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I'm a bit confused. So, if I come to a crosswalk with half a dozen kids on it, my window is fogged up and I don't see them, I can get away with running them over because it was an accident? Call me old fashioned or whatever, but I was taught that when you get behind the wheel of a car, you take responsibility for operating it properly, which includes cleaning off the windows so you can see out of them.
You are "old fashioned or whatever."

Yup that is pretty much the way things are... motorists in such situations are being charged with "remorse." And unless there is a civil trial, they pretty much get away with killing with a motor vehicle.

Now the particular scenario you proposed might just upset a community a bit more... like the old guy that plowed through a barrier and killed a bunch of folks at a farmers market.

That driver was eventually charged... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Russell_Weller But it took an incident that outrageous to bring it to court.

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Old 05-03-12, 07:36 AM   #23
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Even if a person doesn't get charged with neglegent homicide, I would like to see drivers' licenses yanked, to remind people not to operate a deadly weapon if they can't see where they are going. The exceptions I would make would be more along the lines of night time ninja cyclists or somebody darting out from behind parked cars.
Trouble is if someone does dart out from behind parked cars how do you prove it? If you allow an exception for ninja cyclists you create a situation where an errant motorist can take someone's lights off and chuck them down a street drain and then claim they were a ninja. If you don't allow such exceptions you end up with a situation where someone gets charged for not seeing someone who was doing their best to not be seen.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:03 AM   #24
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Trouble is if someone does dart out from behind parked cars how do you prove it? If you allow an exception for ninja cyclists you create a situation where an errant motorist can take someone's lights off and chuck them down a street drain and then claim they were a ninja. If you don't allow such exceptions you end up with a situation where someone gets charged for not seeing someone who was doing their best to not be seen.
That's a bit of a stretch there, usually it's law enforcement that makes that assumption was going ninja, since lights can be dislodged during the impact. Even if a motorist tried that scenario, there's the possibility of witnesses observing, and if there are no witnesses, the motorist having that much time and energy would pick up any of their evidence and flee the scene. Again, one complaint I've read on BF is that of bicycle lights getting dislodged and deactivated on impact and are overlooked by many law enforcement investigations.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:24 PM   #25
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Basically, when driving at night, you should be prepared for ninja cyclists. A lot of drivers aren't, of course.
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