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Interesting blog from the Pro's Closet

Old 11-19-21, 09:08 PM
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Bald Paul
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Interesting blog from the Pro's Closet

What bike laws should all states have? | The Pro's Closet (theproscloset.com)
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Old 11-29-21, 05:33 PM
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This alone would make a huge difference...

According to Megan Hottman, known to many as The Cyclist Lawyer, the dream law would be a strict liability law, “like they have in Copenhagen, where drivers are presumed at fault in a car-bike collision and where drivers know this, so they drive extra carefully,” Hottman says. According to her, it’s the only way to create a safer environment for people on bikes, and in turn, for everyone.
Add in a bike lane bill, and maybe motorists will "get a clue."
This bill requires motorists to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist in a bike lane. It also creates a new traffic offense for failing to yield to a bicyclist or other authorized user in a bicycle lane. Failure to yield will result in a class A traffic offense and is punishable with a $70 fine and three points assessed to the driver’s license.
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Old 12-03-21, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Add in a bike lane bill, and maybe motorists will "get a clue."
I don't know, I would think that a strict liability law with some real teeth would make a stand alone bike lane bill kind of redundant. Now if you were talking about a 'bike lane creation' bill, that would be something. Around here bike lanes just appear out of nowhere, and end without warning, just as easily.
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Old 01-25-22, 03:59 PM
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Dutch and others in Europe I've talked with do not believe strict liability actually does much for safety. It's good for assuaging feelings afterwards but does little to change driver behavior before. Too many drivers have a 'it'll never happen to me' attitude about the likelihood that they'll ever cause a crash.

In the end: Concrete Enforces Better Than Paint or Paper
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Old 01-26-22, 09:12 PM
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In the US would presumed guilty go against presumed innocent in our legal system?
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Old 01-26-22, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
In the US would presumed guilty go against presumed innocent in our legal system?
In the legal system envisioned by some of our more passionate A&S "advocates" all drivers are presumed guilty of being "bad", ignorant, and/or distracted and are therefore presumed guilty of whatever offense they are accused of by a righteous bicyclist.
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Old 01-26-22, 11:32 PM
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Seems to me strict liability laws would be more of a concern for insurance companies.
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Old 01-26-22, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
In the US would presumed guilty go against presumed innocent in our legal system?
I think it would be more along the lines of rear-end collision, where the driver who rear-ends the other one is presumed to be at fault unless there are exceptional circumstances. (The idea is if you are following too closely to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, you are at fault. A similar situation would obtain with car vs. bicycle collisions. This doesn't preclude the cyclist being at fault, but assumes given normal, legal behavior, the driver has the responsibility to avoid the collision.)
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Old 01-27-22, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I think it would be more along the lines of rear-end collision, where the driver who rear-ends the other one is presumed to be at fault unless there are exceptional circumstances. (The idea is if you are following too closely to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, you are at fault. A similar situation would obtain with car vs. bicycle collisions. This doesn't preclude the cyclist being at fault, but assumes given normal, legal behavior, the driver has the responsibility to avoid the collision.)
IE: if the rear bumper is cracked up from the "accident", chances are, it's not the driver's fault. A vehicle sustaining front side, front, windshield, particles of bicycle in the vehicle's tires, you'd might be right to assume whom is at fault.
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Old 01-27-22, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
In the US would presumed guilty go against presumed innocent in our legal system?

You're confusing civil law and criminal law. Yes, a presumption of criminal guilt would likely be unconstitutional, but there's all sorts of strict liability in civil law. It just means that if you engage in X activity, and this type of harm results, you can be sued successfully even if you can show you were not negligent. Example--if you're demolishing buildings with explosives, you're going to be liable for any damages to anyone else regardless of whether or not you were sufficiently careful..
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Old 01-27-22, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
In the legal system envisioned by some of our more passionate A&S "advocates" all drivers are presumed guilty of being "bad", ignorant, and/or distracted and are therefore presumed guilty of whatever offense they are accused of by a righteous bicyclist.

Wrong, the assumption in a strict liability law is that the activity is in itself hazardous enough that there's a presumption that the activity itself requires an extremely high level of vigilance . Common carriers face strict liability for passenger harm, for example. The theory is that they knowingly take on this duty when they engage in the activity.


The assumption here would be that the operation of a massive piece of metal at varying speeds is itself such an activity. while cycling and walking is not. Given the comparative lethality to others inherent in the activity, this is an extremely reasonable allocation of liability. Cyclists do sometimes strike and kill other cyclists and pedestrians, but it's a fairly rare event, and normal rules of liability can handle them. In an automobile vs. cyclist crash, the likelihood of injury/fatality is completely asymmetrical, so it's very reasonable to assume that the cyclist already has much more incentive to avoid crashing than the driver. Thus, at a societal level, if the goal is to reduce crashes, it makes sense to impose an enhanced likelihood of civil liability on the drivers to somewhat equalize their incentives to avoid the crash.
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Old 01-27-22, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Seems to me strict liability laws would be more of a concern for insurance companies.

Yes, but if insurance rates are experience-rated (and they are), and insurance is mandatory (in most states), this directly impacts the driver.
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Old 01-27-22, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I think it would be more along the lines of rear-end collision, where the driver who rear-ends the other one is presumed to be at fault unless there are exceptional circumstances. (The idea is if you are following too closely to be able to stop in time to avoid a collision, you are at fault. A similar situation would obtain with car vs. bicycle collisions. This doesn't preclude the cyclist being at fault, but assumes given normal, legal behavior, the driver has the responsibility to avoid the collision.)

This is close--you're really describing a rebuttable presumption rather than strict liability. Strict liability would mean that all the cyclist would need to prove is that the defendant was driving and that the cyclist was struck by the defendant's vehicle. The driver could not defend on the basis that they were not negligent or that the cyclist caused the collision. If there is a weak point to this scheme, it's that it could, if poorly designed, give people an incentive to fake collisions with automobiles.
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Old 01-27-22, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Wrong, the assumption in a strict liability law is that the activity is in itself hazardous enough that there's a presumption that the activity itself requires an extremely high level of vigilance .
AND the presumption on this list by the ardent all drivers are bad "advocates" appears to be that few if any drivers ever exercise the appropriate high level of vigilance, therefore any/all reports of incidents involving a motorist and bicyclist are assumed to be the result of such driver negligence.
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Old 01-27-22, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
AND the presumption on this list by the ardent all drivers are bad "advocates" appears to be that few if any drivers ever exercise the appropriate high level of vigilance, therefore any/all reports of incidents involving a motorist and bicyclist are assumed to be the result of such driver negligence.
And?

The point I was making is that isn't a presumption that's inherent in the strict liability "legal system" that's being proposed. You can personalize the issue if you like, but that's an ad hominem argument at best.

In a strict liability system, the driver is liable for all damages to non-drivers because driving is inherently an activity that imposes high risk of injury of others. It eliminates fault from the equation and treats the comparative risks of the behavior as being the factor that determines how liability is to be distributed. Thus, a perfectly rational driver might avoid driving in high-traffic urban settings due to the enhanced risk of liability for a crash.

The point is that individualized fault is the main way this country allocates risk (and we're an outlier nation on the extent to which we do this), and there are alternatives that could be more effective at reducing high-risk behavior. I'm sure there's a lot more valid arguments against that that you could make other than "blah blah blah bf posters" if you try.
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Old 01-27-22, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
And?

The point I was making is that isn't a presumption that's inherent in the strict liability "legal system" that's being proposed. You can personalize the issue if you like, but that's an ad hominem argument at best.

In a strict liability system, the driver is liable for all damages to non-drivers because driving is inherently an activity that imposes high risk of injury of others. It eliminates fault from the equation and treats the comparative risks of the behavior as being the factor that determines how liability is to be distributed. Thus, a perfectly rational driver might avoid driving in high-traffic urban settings due to the enhanced risk of liability for a crash.

The point is that individualized fault is the main way this country allocates risk (and we're an outlier nation on the extent to which we do this), and there are alternatives that could be more effective at reducing high-risk behavior. I'm sure there's a lot more valid arguments against that that you could make other than "blah blah blah bf posters" if you try.
AND who exactly is "proposing" implementation of such a strict liability "legal system" for U.S. motorists (and presumably for bicyclists/pedestrians to skate on any finding of liability or responsibility for their actions, no matter the circumstances) on this list, or anywhere else in the U.S., other than "blah blah blah bf posters" and similar "bicycling advocacy" outliers?
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Old 01-27-22, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Wrong, the assumption in a strict liability law is that the activity is in itself hazardous enough that there's a presumption that the activity itself requires an extremely high level of vigilance . Common carriers face strict liability for passenger harm, for example. The theory is that they knowingly take on this duty when they engage in the activity.


The assumption here would be that the operation of a massive piece of metal at varying speeds is itself such an activity. while cycling and walking is not. Given the comparative lethality to others inherent in the activity, this is an extremely reasonable allocation of liability. Cyclists do sometimes strike and kill other cyclists and pedestrians, but it's a fairly rare event, and normal rules of liability can handle them. In an automobile vs. cyclist crash, the likelihood of injury/fatality is completely asymmetrical, so it's very reasonable to assume that the cyclist already has much more incentive to avoid crashing than the driver. Thus, at a societal level, if the goal is to reduce crashes, it makes sense to impose an enhanced likelihood of civil liability on the drivers to somewhat equalize their incentives to avoid the crash.
It's always interesting to hear how a lawyer thinks about the law. Obviously, it is different from how we non-lawyers think, so we often (always?) misinterpret the meaning of a law.

I would be very extremely surprised to see a strict liability law such as you describe enacted for drivers of personal vehicles in any state, in the foreseeable future. Not even California. The concept seems to directly contradict the current political climate where "freedom" means "I can do whatever the heck I want without consequences, no matter who it affects, or how". The majority of voters seem to have little to no inclination to place limits on the actions of individuals, or to hold them responsible for those actions, "for the common good". (With the notable exceptions of laws against abortion, and restricting voter access, of course.)

(BTW, good job in refusing to allow ILTB to shift the argument so he can ride his favorite hobby horse.)
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Old 01-27-22, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
AND who exactly is "proposing" implementation of such a strict liability "legal system" for U.S. motorists (and presumably for bicyclists/pedestrians to skate on any finding of liability or responsibility for their actions, no matter the circumstances) on this list, or anywhere else in the U.S., other than "blah blah blah bf posters" and similar "bicycling advocacy" outliers?
The article linked in the OP. You're not equipped to deal with the issue, so you'd rather do your usual schtick.

Enjoy your ad hominem, it's rather obvious it's all you got.
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Old 01-27-22, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The article linked in the OP. You're not equipped to deal with the issue, so you'd rather do your usual schtick.

Enjoy your ad hominem, it's rather obvious it's all you got.
Yeah, all you got is one of your comrades, The Cyclist Lawyer writing that the "strict liability law" would be a dream law. Got it. A&S "advocates" should keep on dreaming about implementation of this "dream law."
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Old 01-27-22, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
It's always interesting to hear how a lawyer thinks about the law. Obviously, it is different from how we non-lawyers think, so we often (always?) misinterpret the meaning of a law.

I would be very extremely surprised to see a strict liability law such as you describe enacted for drivers of personal vehicles in any state, in the foreseeable future. Not even California. The concept seems to directly contradict the current political climate where "freedom" means "I can do whatever the heck I want without consequences, no matter who it affects, or how". The majority of voters seem to have little to no inclination to place limits on the actions of individuals, or to hold them responsible for those actions, "for the common good". (With the notable exceptions of laws against abortion, and restricting voter access, of course.)

(BTW, good job in refusing to allow ILTB to shift the argument so he can ride his favorite hobby horse.)
Actually very few lawyers think about the issue in these terms, this is really more of an economic argument, but thanks, I find your perspective interesting as well..

I don't disagree with your political analysis, I doubt seriously we will see this in the U.S. any time soon as drivers and automobile interests generally predominate in our political system so thoroughly. I do think this being an issue of individual rights vs. being held responsible for the imposed external costs of your activities is probably a rhetorical spin that will resonate, but it's one that conveniently ignores the extent that the over-reliance on driving in big cities is impinging on people's ability to navigate the city outside of a motor vehicle safely.
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Old 01-27-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by i-like-to-bike View Post
yeah, all you got is one of your comrades, the cyclist lawyer writing that the "strict liability law" would be a dream law. Got it. A&s "advocates" should keep on dreaming about implementation of this "dream law."

zzzzzzz

See above. I don't think this is at all likely, but it's an interesting idea worth discussing. Let us know if you actually want to rather than coming up with more stupid slogans like "dream law".
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Old 01-27-22, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
zzzzzzz

See above. I don't think this is at all likely, but it's an interesting idea worth discussing. Let us know if you actually want to rather than coming up with more stupid slogans like "dream law".
I agree the use of "dream law" to describe or promote this proposal is stupid. Did YOU read the article in the OP? "According to Megan Hottman, known to many as The Cyclist Lawyer, the dream law would be a strict liability law..."
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Old 01-27-22, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I agree the use of "dream law" to describe or promote this proposal is stupid. Did YOU read the article in the OP? "According to Megan Hottman, known to many as The Cyclist Lawyer, the dream law would be a strict liability law..."

Anything but talk about the substance of the idea, right?

Look, I don't know what point you think you're making with all of the name-calling and such, but there's a lot of reasons I don't think it will happen, I'm not even advocating for it. I think it's an interesting idea and it has some sound economic rationale behind it. For some reason, you don't even want it discussed and you're taking the intellectually lazy path of attacking anyone who wants to talk about it rather than expressing what it is you actually object to. I have no idea why you're even posting on this thread except to just be disagreeable and unpleasant.

Go ahead, trash the idea, that's fair game. That would actually be interesting. Quit trying to trash people, it just makes you look weak, and it's very, very boring.
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Old 02-07-22, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
In the legal system envisioned by some of our more passionate A&S "advocates" all drivers are presumed guilty of being "bad", ignorant, and/or distracted and are therefore presumed guilty of whatever offense they are accused of by a righteous bicyclist.
And we would be right!
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Old 02-07-22, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Seems to me strict liability laws would be more of a concern for insurance companies.
a lawyer told me that every bicycler should buy medical pay insurance ... medical pay is almost like strict liability cause if a car hits you it pays up to a certain policy amount regardless of your fault or other insurance
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