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  1. #1
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    New FRAP Law in West Virginia

    New Law in W.V.?

    New law aims to make bicycle riders safer » Latest Updates » Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

    "The Bicycle Safety Bill (HB-4304) requires bicycles to generally travel in bicycle lanes or as close as practical to the right edge of the roadway. "

    Sounds like a FRAP Law, what was the Law before?
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    NOBODY is adding FRAP - it's getting eliminated or watered down, including in WV. Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. WV is a better place today than it was.


    Bottom line - WV *WAS* one of the worst FRAP states - no exceptions, must use path.
    The original bill would have gone to Massachusetts style - NO FRAP!
    Sadly, it was amended in committee to be FRAP with exceptions.

    The safe passing (3 foot) passage didn't get touched by committee, nor did the must use path DELETE! This is the good.


    This version of the bill shows the strikethroughs and additions.
    Final updated sections of law.
    The original bill.


    (And sorry to say, beware byline-free reporting. Lack of ad revenue cuts reporting which reduces readers which cuts ad revenue...)

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    Last edited by mr_bill; 06-09-14 at 12:28 PM.
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    NOBODY is adding FRAP - it's getting eliminated or watered down, including in WV. Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. WV is a better place today than it was.


    Bottom line - WV *WAS* one of the worst FRAP states - no exceptions, must use path.
    The original bill would have gone to Massachusetts style - NO FRAP!
    Sadly, it was amended in committee to be FRAP with exceptions.

    The safe passing (3 foot) passage didn't get touched by committee, nor did the must use path DELETE! This is the good.


    This version of the bill shows the strikethroughs and additions.
    Final updated sections of law.
    The original bill.


    (And sorry to say, beware byline-free reporting. Lack of ad revenue cuts reporting which reduces readers which cuts ad revenue...)

    -mr. bill
    Thank you for that update.

    (And I must give credit to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph for that article.)
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  4. #4
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    The new law isn't horrific, but it isn't good either. Motorists aren't very good at reading the fine print and round off such laws (in their minds) to mean that cyclists always have to ride as gutter-huggers. When a cyclist refuses to ride in a door-zone bike lane, a noticeable subset of motorists are pretty quick engage in harassment.

    It would have been far better to remove the mandatory use and FRAP laws or at least to specify them as the exceptions rather than making movements away from the gutter the exceptions. Still, it's better in some respects than Oregon (mandatory use of side paths), although we have a better, if ignored, passing law.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    The new law isn't horrific, but it isn't good either. Motorists aren't very good at reading the fine print and round off such laws (in their minds) to mean that cyclists always have to ride as gutter-huggers. When a cyclist refuses to ride in a door-zone bike lane, a noticeable subset of motorists are pretty quick engage in harassment.
    It is better than status quo.

    Sadly, there will always be a noticeable subset of motorists. (We are FRAP-free here in Massachusetts, but we have buzzkills too....)

    -mr. bill
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Noting that the bill also requires that autos give an audible signal when passing, let the horn honking begin. I think that will become a tool for honking harassment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Noting that the bill also requires that autos give an audible signal when passing, let the horn honking begin. I think that will become a tool for honking harassment.
    I don't mind polite audible signals, and around here most of the ones who do honk do so politely (the public bus company requires thir drivers to tap the horn a few seconds behind the bicyclist.

    But a mandatory honk for all passing all the time is simply nuts. I guess the WV legislature feels that their state is just too quiet and needs to liven things up.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I don't mind polite audible signals, and around here most of the ones who do honk do so politely (the public bus company requires thir drivers to tap the horn a few seconds behind the bicyclist.

    But a mandatory honk for all passing all the time is simply nuts. I guess the WV legislature feels that their state is just too quiet and needs to liven things up.
    The archaic audible warning provision is left untouched. It was abandoned by the UVC in 1934. Some states still have those archaic provisions. WV included. (The legislation doesn't change the status quo here.)

    -mr. bill
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

  9. #9
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    In the 1990's, I actually wanted to move to Berkley, WV. Now I am glad, I never did.

  10. #10
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
    Noting that the bill also requires that autos give an audible signal when passing, let the horn honking begin. I think that will become a tool for honking harassment.
    It's unbelievable to me that people think that honking before passing is a good idea. Even when polite, it's distracting at best, scary at worst. I think that when a bill like this is being discussed in legislature, we should be allowed to blow a hand held air horn when approaching a lawmaker in the hallway. You know, just as a warning that we're overtaking. After a few of them jump out of their skin, we'll see if they realize that horns are FRICKING loud when you aren't inside a car, and think about whether it's a good idea to startle people riding in traffic.

    I rarely have people honk here. I use a mirror and I know when cars are approaching, but even when I know they're there, it's startling to have a car horn go off 20 feet away.
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  11. #11
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    It's unbelievable to me that people think that honking before passing is a good idea. Even when polite, it's distracting at best, scary at worst. I think that when a bill like this is being discussed in legislature, we should be allowed to blow a hand held air horn when approaching a lawmaker in the hallway. You know, just as a warning that we're overtaking. After a few of them jump out of their skin, we'll see if they realize that horns are FRICKING loud when you aren't inside a car, and think about whether it's a good idea to startle people riding in traffic.

    I rarely have people honk here. I use a mirror and I know when cars are approaching, but even when I know they're there, it's startling to have a car horn go off 20 feet away.
    I agree!!

  12. #12
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    I like the change, especially the "traveling...at less than the normal speed of traffic" provision. Hopefully other states adopt similar language.

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    From what I've read on this side of the pond, the wording seems pretty much standard across most states. And again, from what I've read, most drivers stop reading at "shall ride as far to the right as practicable" and miss the bit about passing parked vehicles, avoiding poor road surfaces and objects in the road, etc., etc.

    so not much new there, then

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    The archaic audible warning provision is left untouched. It was abandoned by the UVC in 1934. Some states still have those archaic provisions. WV included. (The legislation doesn't change the status quo here.)

    -mr. bill
    Ohio has the same audible warning law. The only time it comes into play is taking the written test to get a license.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbman View Post
    From what I've read on this side of the pond, the wording seems pretty much standard across most states. And again, from what I've read, most drivers stop reading at "shall ride as far to the right as practicable" and miss the bit about passing parked vehicles, avoiding poor road surfaces and objects in the road, etc., etc.

    so not much new there, then
    Problem is some on both sides of the fence stop reading at "shall ride as far to the right as practicable". If everybody did what they are supposed to do it wouldn't be an issue.
    Too many people selectively choose the rules and laws that justify their actions, when in reality the rules and laws in their entirety are only intended to define what our duties are.
    Last edited by kickstart; 06-11-14 at 08:10 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Problem is some on both sides of the fence stop reading at "shall ride as far to the right as practicable". If everybody did what they are supposed to do it wouldn't be an issue.
    Too many people selectively choose the rules and laws that justify their actions, when in reality the rules and laws in their entirety are only intended to define what our duties are.
    Unfortunately, you are wrong there. The specific law to which you refer, the cyclist Far-to-the-Right law, was deliberately designed to retain motorists' proclamation that cyclists' prime duty is to stay out of the way of motorists, just so far as it was possible to enact this according to legal principles. There was no evidence supporting motorists' desire, but there was plenty of evidence that FTR endangered cyclists. The proper act would have been to repeal the FTR law, but motorists demanded their legal superiority. Enacting a traffic law that endangered cyclists to suit motorists would have been reversed by the courts as exceeding the police power. Therefore, the law that got written proclaimed that cyclists' prime duty was to clear the way for motorists except under one of the then-recognized situations in which FTR endangered cyclists. As all of us recognize, I expect, the public and the police recognize the requirement that cyclists stay out of the way of motorists without bothering to learn the exceptions or the reason for the exceptions. Real life is more complicated than Kickstart thinks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Unfortunately, you are wrong there. The specific law to which you refer, the cyclist Far-to-the-Right law, was deliberately designed to retain motorists' proclamation that cyclists' prime duty is to stay out of the way of motorists, just so far as it was possible to enact this according to legal principles. There was no evidence supporting motorists' desire, but there was plenty of evidence that FTR endangered cyclists. The proper act would have been to repeal the FTR law, but motorists demanded their legal superiority. Enacting a traffic law that endangered cyclists to suit motorists would have been reversed by the courts as exceeding the police power. Therefore, the law that got written proclaimed that cyclists' prime duty was to clear the way for motorists except under one of the then-recognized situations in which FTR endangered cyclists. As all of us recognize, I expect, the public and the police recognize the requirement that cyclists stay out of the way of motorists without bothering to learn the exceptions or the reason for the exceptions. Real life is more complicated than Kickstart thinks.
    Once again John shows us that he can't differentiate between his personal textbook theories, and common sense rules of the road for different types of vehicles.

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    Originally Posted by John Forester
    Unfortunately, you are wrong there. The specific law to which you refer, the cyclist Far-to-the-Right law, was deliberately designed to retain motorists' proclamation that cyclists' prime duty is to stay out of the way of motorists, just so far as it was possible to enact this according to legal principles. There was no evidence supporting motorists' desire, but there was plenty of evidence that FTR endangered cyclists. The proper act would have been to repeal the FTR law, but motorists demanded their legal superiority. Enacting a traffic law that endangered cyclists to suit motorists would have been reversed by the courts as exceeding the police power. Therefore, the law that got written proclaimed that cyclists' prime duty was to clear the way for motorists except under one of the then-recognized situations in which FTR endangered cyclists. As all of us recognize, I expect, the public and the police recognize the requirement that cyclists stay out of the way of motorists without bothering to learn the exceptions or the reason for the exceptions. Real life is more complicated than Kickstart thinks.



    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Once again John shows us that he can't differentiate between his personal textbook theories, and common sense rules of the road for different types of vehicles.
    This is not textbook theory; these events occurred as the modern FTR law was being written. Kickstart apparently has little facility in explaining his position. He supports the meaningless argument that there should be: "common sense rules of the road for different types of vehicles." The statement is meaningless because common sense has no fixed meaning but means only one's own prejudices. In this discussion about the laws applicable to cyclists but not to motorists, the FTR laws, Kickstart's statement means that he supports these laws which make cyclists subservient to motorists. Since that is the view indicated by his statements, he should openly express it rather than trying to hide it in meaningless verbiage.

  19. #19
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    If someone is incapable of reading the laws pertaining to FRAP/S and understanding how to apply its requirments as a cyclist, or its exceptions as a motorist, that's the failure of the individual, not the law. Willful ignorance falls under the same category.

    Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are all "subservient" to each other depending on time, place, and conditions. There isn't and shouldn't be a one size fits all exclusion of responsibility to others for any user group.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    If someone is incapable of reading the laws pertaining to FRAP/S and understanding how to apply its requirments as a cyclist, or its exceptions as a motorist, that's the failure of the individual, not the law. Willful ignorance falls under the same category.

    Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are all "subservient" to each other depending on time, place, and conditions. There isn't and shouldn't be a one size fits all exclusion of responsibility to others for any user group.
    Kickstart is again wrong, twice.

    First, Kickstart argues that motorists, cyclists, and pedestrian are "all 'subservient' to each other, depending on time, place, and conditions." I have to suppose that Kickstart is referring to the right-of-way rules, but his statement is not correct for those. The right-of-way rules specifying which person yields to another, depending on the time, place, and conditions but not to the character of the user. The right-of-way rules make safe the conflicts that naturally arise between drivers, no matter what type of vehicle they are driving. The subservience exercised by the FTR laws discriminate against one type of driver, cyclists, in favor of all other types of driver, at all times and in all places, just because the cyclist is riding a bicycle.

    Pedestrians are a bit different, because they have such a different operating mode that they don't fit with drivers, but cyclists are drivers of vehicles, just as are motorists.

    Next, traffic laws have to be understandable by the general public, because it is the general public who have to carry out their duties. Neither the general public, nor the traffic police (who should have a higher degree of understanding) understand the cyclist FTR laws. But that's not the only thing about America's traffic laws for cyclists that is not understandable. There is a first law that grants cyclists the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles. That's right and proper. All drivers using the roadway should operate according to the same rules; otherwise they will steer into collisions with each other. Next there is a contrary law that prohibits cyclists from exercising the rights of drivers, the old form of the FTR law and the first part of the newer FTR law. This law makes cyclists subservient to motorists by requiring them to stay out of motorists' way, not sometimes but generally, at all times and places. Then there is a third law, the exceptions listed in the FTR law that say that sometimes, in some places, under some conditions, maybe, cyclists don't have to be subservient to motorists but have the normal rights of drivers. Nobody really knows how traffic laws apply to cyclists; the issue is made needlessly complicated. And the complications, which are in the first part of the FTR law and the second part of the FTR law, were all enacted by motorists for the purpose of making motoring more convenient by shoving cyclists aside.

    The evidence is clear that this is how American traffic law for cyclists works. The evidence is also clear that Kickstart approves of this system.

    But the only evidence that Kickstart has provided to support his opinion is his view of common sense, which means nothing more than his own prejudices. Well, Kickstart, have you anything more to offer than your own prejudices? Maybe the claim that the general public has similar prejudices? Well, appealing to other peoples' prejudices is not a reasonable argument.

    On what basis, beyond your own prejudices, Kickstart, do you justify your support for the cyclist FTR laws?

  21. #21
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    The Washington state laws are clear, concise, equitable, and speak for themselves to any reasonable, rational person without a special interest agenda. I have nothing to add.

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