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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dperreno View Post
    What struck me about this event was that the pickup driver didn't try and defend himself or deny anything. To the contrary, he clearly stated that he was looking at and listening to his phone instead of paying attention to the road. He is taking responsibility for what he did - and we see far to little of that today.
    Guess I didn't read it that way. I read it more like: "Yeah, I was doing that. So what? That is normal behavior."

    Not taking responsibility for an act that is bad so much as saying since it is the thing everyone is doing he's just going with the flow; blame society.
    It is better to smell the flowers than taste the roots.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    The parallel with drinking and driving is disturbing, when it comes to personal responsibility and the level of impairment.

    We (in the US) go about dealing with drunk driving exactly backwards, IMO. We should issue special drivers licenses that allow people to still drive, but not buy alcohol. This would be much easier, since the main enforcement becomes at the store/bar. They simply have to card everyone as a matter of course (this would help with underage drinking in a small way as well). I wish I could think of a similar way to do the same with phones. I don't think we have the tech to shut down a phone that in a car, but maybe it wouldn't be too hard to develop.

    The reason for this is primarily that in the US (unlike more civilized countries... ) there are very few places were driving is optional (yes, I understand the irony of saying this on a biking forum, but bear with me). So most people still 'need' their vehicles for driving to work and day to day stuff. I don't like it, but that's sort of where we're stuck. So address the problem of drinking, and being distracted, but allow people to maintain their employment and continue to use their cars as needed (with a huge caveat on 'needed').
    Last edited by Notso_fastLane; 07-14-14 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #28
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    Plea bargain: 360 days in jail over 3 years, four years supervised probation, then record discharged.
    Driver on phone who killed Minn. bicyclist gets jail, can have case erased from record | Star Tribune

  4. #29
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
    Plea bargain: 360 days in jail over 3 years, four years supervised probation, then record discharged.
    Driver on phone who killed Minn. bicyclist gets jail, can have case erased from record | Star Tribune
    I hope he never forgets what he did. Regardless of how remorseful he is.

  5. #30
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    This is really sad - for the family and the children who will now grow up without a mother.

    I do feel a little for the guy because he made a terrible mistake and I'm sure he will be burdened with guilt and be sufficiently punished for his crime. That he stopped immediately and did not hide his crime showed it was a mistake, one which should never have happened in the first place.
    I don't "feel" for the guy at all. He should have kept it in his pocket. Period. This sympathy is why so many drivers go scott free for their poor driving practices... juries just sit there and think... "well I feel sorry for this guy... " and "there but for the grace of God..." bla bla bla. BS.

    People need to be responsible for their actions while driving. There is NO EXCUSE for this sort of behaviour.

    This is why I fully support laws that make drivers responsible for any collision with a vulnerable road user... similar to such laws in parts of Europe. This puts the weight back on motorists to pay attention to what the heck they are doing behind the wheel... not to treat driving as if one is on a rolling couch.

  6. #31
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post

    This is why I fully support laws that make drivers responsible for any collision with a vulnerable road user... similar to such laws in parts of Europe. This puts the weight back on motorists to pay attention to what the heck they are doing behind the wheel... not to treat driving as if one is on a rolling couch.
    I too would like to see liability, in a motor vehicle/vulnerable road user collision, automatically go toward motorists unless it could be proven otherwise, since it would change many motorist's driving habits rather quickly.
    In looking at how a number of judicial and legislative systems, insurance firms, and the general public in the US view cyclists and pedestrians in general, I seriously doubt that any law of this nature would ever make it off the drawing board.

  7. #32
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticMN View Post
    Plea bargain: 360 days in jail over 3 years, four years supervised probation, then record discharged.
    Driver on phone who killed Minn. bicyclist gets jail, can have case erased from record | Star Tribune
    It is worth noting that while it may be erased from his criminal/MV record, he still will be regarded as a felon for five years and his arrest record will follow him around for life.

    What I don't quite understand is why everyone is going out of their way to try to keep him in the National Guard, who would usually toss out anyone convicted of a felony.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  8. #33
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    I too would like to see liability, in a motor vehicle/vulnerable road user collision, automatically go toward motorists unless it could be proven otherwise, since it would change many motorist's driving habits rather quickly.
    I wouldn't count on that. I think we should have presumed liability laws for vulnerable road users but I don't think they'll have much impact on fatalities.
    "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." - ATL Urbanist

  9. #34
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    I too would like to see liability, in a motor vehicle/vulnerable road user collision, automatically go toward motorists unless it could be proven otherwise, since it would change many motorist's driving habits rather quickly.
    In looking at how a number of judicial and legislative systems, insurance firms, and the general public in the US view cyclists and pedestrians in general, I seriously doubt that any law of this nature would ever make it off the drawing board.
    Sad but true. Our only real hope are the robot overlords that will seek to protect us in spite of ourselves. (yes, that was somewhat sarcastic... but it really hits home about how we treat each other as humans)

  10. #35
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Our only real hope are the robot overlords that will seek to protect us in spite of ourselves.
    I hope I'm not on the road on a bike when SkyNet takes control over the driverless cars...
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  11. #36
    SeŮior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I think insurance rates is probably a good one. Making cell phone use while driving a primary offense and a reported use would hike insurance rates $500/year for each occurrence, that might make a dent.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  12. #37
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I think insurance rates is probably a good one. Making cell phone use while driving a primary offense and a reported use would hike insurance rates $500/year for each occurrence, that might make a dent.
    A bonanza for the insurance companies, maybe they should get a cut of all traffic ticket dollars and court costs too!
    Showering them with no cost, free money sounds good for those who own insurance company stock.

  13. #38
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    You don't have to have Sherlock Holmes' powers of observation to notice how many motorists are looking at phone screens behind the wheels of their cars. And you don't have to possess Nostradamus-like prophetic powers to predict what the future might have in store for you if you cycle within reach of motor vehicles. Even if everyone driving complies with the 3-Foot rule, how long does it take a motor vehicle traveling at 50 mph to drift to the right 3.5 feet? Roughly 2 seconds. Ever seen a deer or a large K-9 hit-by-car at the side of the road? I don't want to go like that.

    Something SHOULD be done about distracted drivers. But if we make laws prohibiting phone use in cars, the phones will just move from the top of the steering wheel (where there is a CHANCE the driver might notice something through the windshield) to hiding in the lap - making a bad situation worse. I really don't see any solution other than to limit my exposure to motor vehicle traffic while enjoying my bicycle. And I would certainly not expose my children to the danger.

    There needs to be some SERIOUS studies and follow-up education with REAL numbers associated with the increased risk of phone us in cars. I know auto insurance companies are very interested in that data as it hits them in the pocket book (and they raise their rates to compensate). The problem as I see it is that most of the lawmakers yack on their phones behind the wheel. How do you get addicts to make laws against addicts? And how do you get soccer moms who routinely text behind the wheel to make the association to the added danger when not wrapped in a metal cocoon with 360į air bags? I think people who routinely text behind the wheel have less of a sense of how dangerous it is when they are exposed themselves.

    Cycling near motor vehicles has always been a blood sport. Now the situation is just ridiculous.
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 11-19-14 at 06:16 PM.
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  14. #39
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Given that the presumed % of motorists using cell phones while driving has increased significantly over the past several years, how do you explain a lack of evidence of a corresponding increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents from distracted driving or any other cause?

  15. #40
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    The condition of bail, that the killer not use his phone while driving, is a bit much to take. How about he not be allowed to drive? He was already giving the chance to prove he was capable of doing the right thing while behind the wheel. He failed and an innocent person is dead because of his selfish behavior.
    B. Carfree,

    How do they plan on monitering his not using cell phone while driving? Are they going to have a cop ride with him everywhere he goes? Will he be pulled over periodicatlly to make sure that he isnít using his cell phone? Just how do they plan on making sure that he isnít going to be using his cell phone while driving?!?Ē

    Even if heís required to lock it up in the trunk, or in a locked box how are they going to make sure that he complies? And why wasnít his license suspended? I mean if I am not mistaken, do they not take an officers *** while they investigate an officer involved shooting? Why not temporarily suspend a persons license at least until investigation is over?

    I mean after all driving is a privilage NOT a right, so along with the implied consent to a blood alchol test why not temporarily suspending a personís license when they theyíve been involved in a crash of any sort?
    Digital Cowboy
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  16. #41
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    Police should be empowered to sieze and destroy not every cell phone that they see a driver using, but any cell phone in a car that is within reach of a driver. Cops should be equipped with a modified version of Vise Grip Locking C Clamp
    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    #20 , refitted with diamond-treaded, meat tenderizer type jaw pads. That'd crush any cell phone in existence with pretty minimal hand effort I should think.


    Feldman,

    WTF, I hope that you are not serious. As that is about the most asinine thing that I have heard, how would you feel if you were in a car and the driver hit someone while on their cell phone and when the police stopped the car they destroyed your phone?

    Yes, I agree with the police being able to seize the drivers cell phone to see if they were using it at the time of the crash, I agree suspending a drivers license pending a full investigation. But I cannot agree with the police being able to destroy ALL cell phones within reach of the driver.
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  17. #42
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Give you two some slack because from your online statements you arenít in North America. Here most people like this one donít feel guilt for what they have done. They are upset because they got caught. ďGee, Iíve been doing this forever. If that cyclist and her kids hadnít been there none of this would have happened. I mean, who tows kids behind a bike along a street anyway?Ē

    And, no we donít want any cop seizing property or denying freedom to anyone except under very specific and limited rules. That is one of the reasons we are here instead of in the old countries where individual people not of the ruling class had essentially no rights. We want due process that involves a third party. Even then we operate under the innocent until proven guilty rule; or we are supposed to. As the Innocence Project is discovering there are many actually innocent people who are punished for crimes they did not commit.
    HawkOwl,

    I have to agree with what you just said. I donít think that anyone really wants to live in that kind of a society.

    And like you I hope that he was just kidding when he said that the cops should be able to destroy any cell phone within reach of the driver.
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  18. #43
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    I wouldn't trade due process of law for the illusion of a bit more safety

  19. #44
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Given that the presumed % of motorists using cell phones while driving has increased significantly over the past several years, how do you explain a lack of evidence of a corresponding increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents from distracted driving or any other cause?
    Incomplete data? Or maybe worry for nothing? Whatever it is, I would REALLY like to know the truth.

    What I see with my own two eyes in the city grid are cars that actually DON'T GO when they should be going more than anything. This actually helps me on my bicycle. What else I see are lots of very low speed bumping incidents at traffic signals as a result of someone engrossed in their phone as their foot relaxes off the brake pedal. At least one a month and sometimes more. Before cell phones I never witnessed such a thing in 30+ years of city cycling. But what I am observing is not really hurting anyone so likely never gets reported.

    On the open road, state highways, and Interstate highways ESPECIALLY the straight, long stretches (like the one in the OP) I see motorists drifting all over the place. Mostly inside their lane just barely. Or driving erratic speeds on the Interstate with no traffic to speak of. I have leap-frogged many motorists who drove under the limit while yacking, and over the limit between calls. Maybe they are safer on the phone? In the old days I would have suspected alcohol. These days I blame phones and corroborate such visually. It's hard to visually tell if the guy/girl in the next car is drunk. It's easy to see the phone behavior.

    I agree that the jury is still out on the numbers. It just seems like common sense that if phone use is similar to drunk driving for reaction times that the numbers should go up. At least the drunks are looking through the windshield. Or maybe the war on drunk drivers is offsetting the simultaneous increase in phone use casualties?

    Do you care to hazard a guess? I really have no clue.
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 11-19-14 at 09:31 PM.
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  20. #45
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    Is the shoulder paved or gravel? And what difference does having a shoulder make with regard to a segregated path?


    Cranky,

    Why do you always think that the answer is segregated infrastructure? Besides my usual question of where is the real estate suppose to come from, where is the funding suppose to come from to build this to build this segregated infrastructure?

    You do know donít you that too many times that money that has been earmarked for bicycle projects have been redirected to other more ďpressingĒ projects.

    So as I have asked before where is the real estate suppose to come from for segregated infrastructure and as I just asked in this post where is the money suppose to come from to build it? And why do you always think that segregated infrastructure is the answer?
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  21. #46
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    Iím responding in sadder-but-wiser mode. So, tell me why a cell phone within reach of a driver should be any different from an open bottle of liquor. IMHO, all of the distractions you mention are an extreme example of someone swinging their automotive fist and having no concern for whatever nose gets in the way. What could possibly be a difference between two items (bottle of booze, cell phone) that have a similar ability to reduce the ability of the driver to control their vehicle. Call me an idiot, I donít care, but Iíve ridden bikes and driven both for over forty years and can tell you driver behavior has changed. The law needs to treat drivers as less than human--and piss on the Constitution if need be.
    Feldman,

    Wow, who the F pissed in your Wheaties?!? Piss on the Constitution? Son, those are fighting words to all of the Active Duty Soldiers and Veterans on this site. We didnít enlist to have the Constitution trampled on.

    Why stop at destroying cell phones, why not give the cops the power to put a bullet into an engine block, or shot the driver? Destroying all cell phones ďwithinĒ reach of the driver is going too far.

    What if those cell phones are turned off? What if those cell phones do not have cell service? Should they be destroyed as well? What about tablets and laptops, or GPSí, will they also be destroyed? Where do you draw the line?

    We have due process in this country for a reason, and no one can just destroy private property whenever they feel like it.

    And again, I have to say, saying ďPiss on the ConstitutionĒ is fighting words to Active Duty Soliders and the Veterans on this site. And is NOT what we signed up for, we signed up to PROTECT the Constitution.

    Also as youíve been asked, just what kind of a police state do you want to live in where the police have the power to destroy private property without due process?
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  22. #47
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dperreno View Post
    What struck me about this event was that the pickup driver didnít try and defend himself or deny anything. To the contrary, he clearly stated that he was looking at and listening to his phone instead of paying attention to the road. He is taking responsibility for what he did - and we see far to little of that today.


    dperreno,

    I agree, at least this driver is owning up to what he was doing at the time, hell he even stayed on the scene and rendered aid to the mother. Sadly, it was fruitless, but he did do the right thing and stayed on the scene and attempted to render aid.

    In too many of these cases we see the driver not only denying any wrong doing, but fleeing the scene.

    At least this driver not only admitted to what he was doing, but he stayed on the scene, and didnít try and flee the scene.
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  23. #48
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Incomplete data? Or maybe worry for nothing? Whatever it is, I would REALLY like to know the truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post

    What I see with my own two eyes in the city grid are cars that actually DON’T GO when they should be going more than anything. This actually helps me on my bicycle. What else I see are lots of very low speed bumping incidents at traffic signals as a result of someone engrossed in their phone as their foot relaxes off the brake pedal. At least one a month and sometimes more. Before cell phones I never witnessed such a thing in 30+ years of city cycling. But what I am observing is not really hurting anyone so likely never gets reported.

    On the open road, state highways, and Interstate highways ESPECIALLY the straight, long stretches (like the one in the OP) I see motorists drifting all over the place. Mostly inside their lane just barely. Or driving erratic speeds on the Interstate with no traffic to speak of. I have leap-frogged many motorists who drove under the limit while yacking, and over the limit between calls. Maybe they are safer on the phone? In the old days I would have suspected alcohol. These days I blame phones and corroborate such visually. It’s hard to visually tell if the guy/girl in the next car is drunk. It’s easy to see the phone behavior.

    I agree that the jury is still out on the numbers. It just seems like common sense that if phone use is similar to drunk driving for reaction times that the numbers should go up. At least the drunks are looking through the windshield. Or maybe the war on drunk drivers is offsetting the simultaneous increase in phone use casualties?

    Do you care to hazard a guess? I really have no clue.


    Joey,

    The problem though is that there are plenty of cars out there that are equipped with bluetooth that sync up to one’s phone as soon as they turn the car on. There are also plenty of people who use a bluetooth headset. So how do you know how many people are using a cell phone while driving?

    They could be looking at something else, you know. You’re just guessing that they’re using a cell phone.
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  24. #49
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    Incomplete data? Or maybe worry for nothing? Whatever it is, I would REALLY like to know the truth.
    [SKIP]
    Do you care to hazard a guess? I really have no clue.
    I think that the people carrying on about the greatly increased risk to bicyclists from accidents caused by cell phone wielding motorists also have no clue about the truth, facts, or statistics on the issue, nor on measuring risk; and could care less as they "know" the truth must be whatever they think/say it is.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Given that the presumed % of motorists using cell phones while driving has increased significantly over the past several years, how do you explain a lack of evidence of a corresponding increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents from distracted driving or any other cause?
    What statistics do you have that there is not an increase in automotive collisions? Most of the crash data is based on motorist deaths, but if the cars themselves are more protective of the people inside (airbags), and people are driving less, and the cell phone collisions do not result in motorist deaths, what statistics are available to show any trend change?

    Do you for instance have access to insurance company collision statistics, or repair company statistics? I don't, so I can't make the judgement that there are not more collisions.

    We can simply observe motorists... and any even cursory observation will show that a substantial number of motorists are using cell phones to some extent.

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