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Old 05-07-01, 04:44 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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For my 500th post, I wish to dedicate it to cyclists everywhere who want to be respected by motorists and law enforcement. As I have stated before, I believe a cyclist should enjoy and use the road with the same convenience, safety and pleasure as all
motorists. Actually, there is no way a motorist can ever enjoy the road as much as a cyclist!

Please read the following e-mail exchange between Mr. John Allen, a well known bicycle accident expert witness and cycling advocate, and I:

Dear Mr. Allen,

I have become aware of a case (a friend in Tucson, Arizona) of a cyclist who was struck by a car from behind while making a left turn. According to the cyclist,
he was positioned in the left part of his lane on a two-way street, waiting for an oncoming car to pass. An impatient motorist struck his wheel from behind, sending my friend into the lane of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, all he got was road rash.

But now, the authorities are going to blame my friend
for impeding traffic and endangering himself and others.
What can he do? I have already advised him not to try to handle this on his own without expert counsel.

You can read more about this incident and even ask questions at this website, under the heading, "Open Discussion and Off-Topic," thread entitled, "My weekend."

www.bikeforums.com

Thank you for your time,

Peter Hylan Clark
Stone Mountain, GA


Mr. Allen's quick response:

The first thing I suggest is that he get in touch with someone in the Arizona bicycling community who can suggest resources and how to mount a defense -- Richard Corbett and Yvonne Morrison are Effective cycling instructors. Richard C. Moeur is with the Pheonix traffic department and is an expert on bicycling issues. Richard Moeur's e-mail is RCMoeur@aol.com (sorry, I don't have e-mail addresses for the others and am not absolutely sure they still live in Arizona, though they probably do. If they do, they are probably in the Phoenix area).

This is a serious case of blaming the victim. The police are shockingly wrong. They should have ticketed the motorist, not the bicyclist. It is legal to make a left turn on a bicycle as a vehicle operator, and it is illegal to smash into someone who is standing in the road no matter what that person may be doing, but even more illegal when that person is legally waiting to make a turn. If the police do not drop the charges when confronted with reason, then the case ought to be pusued in order to force the issue of their doing their duty of enforcing the law, and learning enough about bicycling to handle bicycling incidents correctly.

Incidents like this one happen all too often, because the police don't know any bicycling other than their children's, and want to "protect" bicyclists as if we are all children. If we don't instruct the police in how to change this, nobody will.

John S. Allen

Last edited by LittleBigMan; 05-07-01 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 05-07-01, 04:54 PM   #2
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Great 500th post Pete.

Even though Badger's ticket was dropped, I still find it upsetting that he was ticketed in the first place.

I hope the idiot who hit him gets caught and punished severely. Badger was very lucky that there were no oncoming cars.

The way I see it, the person who struck Badger used their vehicle as a weapon.

Okay, I'm done ranting.
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Old 05-07-01, 05:13 PM   #3
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Excellent post....especially being your 500th post!! I applaud you. Motorist out there have no respect for cyclist or anybody on a bike...motorcycle included. I've had numerous friends get hit and injured by motorist's and nothing has come out of it, its a shame. Not sure if its the "uneducated" police that assume we the cyclist our in fault or or what. Painted bike lanes is a start but if I can get pulled over by Chicago's Finest..for rolling through a stop-sign and issued a warning, then themany jokers out there that can seriously harm another and get NOTHING is ludicrous!!! So in lume of this I have a funny story to tell about a motorist.

So there I was out on my nightly ride, minding my own business. It was the end of the ride so I was cruising along at a nice pace. There was a car full of teenagers heading towards me in the other lane of traffic. I noticed two had their heads out the window yelling something at me regarding my cycling shorts. I turned around said thank-you when they turned around they hit some construction horses and into a parked car. I really hope none of them were hurt, I finished my ride. I must admit, deep inside I felt a little revenge has be taken for all the cyclist out there that have been heckled by motorist's.

Just keep riding and stay safe out there.
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Old 05-07-01, 05:17 PM   #4
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Way to go Pete! That's great of you to contact John Allen on Badger's behalf, but really for all of us.

Another good example of the way we can stick together, and use the internet, through this excellent forum, for our collective good.

Great to hear the ticket was dropped.
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Old 05-07-01, 08:38 PM   #5
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Originally posted by aerobat
Another good example of the way we can stick together, and use the internet, through this excellent forum, for our collective good.
Yes! And this isn't way unusual, either: I think the people that slam the Internet as a bad influence, have never had any contact with it. My four years' experience of it has been overwhelmingly positive.
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Old 05-08-01, 02:13 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Ba-Dg-Er
Too bad Arizona laws are so leniant that even if I had died in the accident the driver, if caught, would only have to pay a small fine.
One wonders why murder is considered to be a lesser crime with a car than if a gun is used...

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Old 05-08-01, 08:53 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Chris L


One wonders why murder is considered to be a lesser crime with a car than if a gun is used...

Chris
Maybe it's on account of extenuating circumstances: with a gun, you generally aren't distracted by a cell-phone in the other hand.
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Old 05-08-01, 03:21 PM   #8
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Originally posted by JonR

Maybe it's on account of extenuating circumstances: with a gun, you generally aren't distracted by a cell-phone in the other hand.
Believe it or not, that in itself is illegal here in Queensland.

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Old 05-08-01, 04:35 PM   #9
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So driving while talking on a cellular phone is illegal in Australia? I applaud that. There are way too many people here weaving all over the road because they are talking on the cellular instead of paying attention to where they are going.
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Old 05-08-01, 05:47 PM   #10
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And I'm dubious of the laws that forbid using handsets while driving, but allow the use of "hands-free" attachments.

I don't think it's the tying up of one hand that's the problem, so much as the basic fact of carrying on a phone conversation, which is different from a person-to-person (physically present) conversation with another passenger. Maybe a different brain skill is involved?

After all, with a stick shift your right hand is often removed from the steering wheel. And I believe one-armed persons can legally drive, with the proper equipment.

I know I feel different when I talk on the phone, compared to talking face-to-face with somebody. In fact, I don't like to talk on the phone.... I prefer email!
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