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Child Endangerment?

Old 04-10-13, 06:31 AM
  #1  
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Child Endangerment?

I live in Pennsylvania, in a suburb of Wilmington, DE. It is a formerly rural area with narrow, winding roads with little or no shoulder. Former ox cart paths have been transformed into major travel roads with little improvement except for paving. As I was driving to work ths morning, I saw a guy riding a bike on route 896, a major travel road with about 1 foot of shoulder on each side. Numerous cars are blasting by him with less than a foot of clearance. Just about the time I am silently cursing the guy for being enough of a moron to ride on that road during morning rush hour, I see that he has a passenger, a small child in a bike seat. I was appalled. Disregarding your own safety is bad enough, but the child has no say in the matter. Is he breaking any laws? If so, I will report him the next time I see him.
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Old 04-10-13, 07:25 AM
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Wait... are you serious...?
Firstly is there an alternative route for the cyclist near that particular place? And secondly is it allowed on the highway code to ride a bicycle on such a road in pennsylvania?
If there is no chance for the cyclist to ride elsewhere then it's an infrastructural problem and not really the fault of thy cyclist.

Where I come from I know a few places where the traffic very dangerous for a cyclist, but there is simply no alternative. Should you have a child with you on the bike, you would have to use that dangerous route for the law is what it is. Thankfully Finnish drivers realize driving is a priviledge, not a given and also have a fairly high regard for human life.
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Old 04-10-13, 07:29 AM
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1 foot? Plenty of shoulder. I ride with my child with sort of clearance in Seoul which has a huge volume of traffic.
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Old 04-10-13, 07:36 AM
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And if you think about cycling as a mode of transportation and not as a hobby that is a situation lot of cyclists face every day. Maybe someone will realize that bicycle specific routes are needed for safety.
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Old 04-10-13, 07:41 AM
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Numerous cars are blasting by him with less than a foot of clearance. Just about the time I am silently cursing the guy for being enough of a moron to ride on that road during morning rush hour
Assuming that he is not riding illegally on route 896.

There is a solution to the problem of numerous cars blasting by him dangerously close. When you see him, slow down and pass when it's safe to do so.
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Old 04-10-13, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
I live in Pennsylvania, in a suburb of Wilmington, DE. It is a formerly rural area with narrow, winding roads with little or no shoulder. Former ox cart paths have been transformed into major travel roads with little improvement except for paving. As I was driving to work ths morning, I saw a guy riding a bike on route 896, a major travel road with about 1 foot of shoulder on each side. Numerous cars are blasting by him with less than a foot of clearance. Just about the time I am silently cursing the guy for being enough of a moron to ride on that road during morning rush hour, I see that he has a passenger, a small child in a bike seat. I was appalled. Disregarding your own safety is bad enough, but the child has no say in the matter. Is he breaking any laws? If so, I will report him the next time I see him.
Yeah, that IS child endangerment.

You damn well should report those DRIVERS.
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Old 04-10-13, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
I live in Pennsylvania, in a suburb of Wilmington, DE. It is a formerly rural area with narrow, winding roads with little or no shoulder. Former ox cart paths have been transformed into major travel roads with little improvement except for paving. As I was driving to work ths morning, I saw a guy riding a bike on route 896, a major travel road with about 1 foot of shoulder on each side. Numerous cars are blasting by him with less than a foot of clearance. Just about the time I am silently cursing the guy for being enough of a moron to ride on that road during morning rush hour, I see that he has a passenger, a small child in a bike seat. I was appalled. Disregarding your own safety is bad enough, but the child has no say in the matter. Is he breaking any laws? If so, I will report him the next time I see him.
The question of child endangerment would depend on which government agency is looking at it. Under present Pennsylvania law the bicycle rider is required to keep to the right as far as is safe and practical. If it is not safe or practical the rider may take the lane. On a public road the bicycle has all of the rights and obligation of a motorized vehicle. Pennsylvania also has a 4 foot law. When a motorized vehicle passes a bicycle the driver of the motorized vehicle is required to give the bicycle rider at least four foot of room. Closer than 4 foot is a motor vehicle code violation. Motorists are now allowed to cross over double yellow lines to pass a bicycle providing that it is safe to do so.
So if a motorist were to hit the bicycle, violating the 4 foot law, the fault is with the motorist. But lets say that a car does hit the man with the child on the bike and the child is injured or killed. The local county children's services would look at the circumstances. They could determine that the bicyclist was showing a disregard for the safety of the child and possible press criminal charges.

My wife and I have been on the roads in your area from numerous trips to the old du Pont black powder plant. Sometimes the white line on the right of the road is on the very edge of the asphalt with a sharp drop and then a guard rail. When I looked at that I could just imagine the results of dropping a wheel into that and going over the guard rail.
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Old 04-10-13, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
I live in Pennsylvania, in a suburb of Wilmington, DE. It is a formerly rural area with narrow, winding roads with little or no shoulder. Former ox cart paths have been transformed into major travel roads with little improvement except for paving. As I was driving to work ths morning, I saw a guy riding a bike on route 896, a major travel road with about 1 foot of shoulder on each side. Numerous cars are blasting by him with less than a foot of clearance. Just about the time I am silently cursing the guy for being enough of a moron to ride on that road during morning rush hour, I see that he has a passenger, a small child in a bike seat. I was appalled. Disregarding your own safety is bad enough, but the child has no say in the matter. Is he breaking any laws? If so, I will report him the next time I see him.
Well, My first problem is, how can you live in Pennsylvania, and Delaware, at the same time. So, The proper answer to give you, would depend on what state you actually see this happening in. So please clarify?
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Old 04-10-13, 11:52 AM
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, in a perfect world that road would have a bike lane, and drivers would cheerfully slow down to 10 mph until it is safe to pass with a wide berth. We don't live in that world, we live in this one. That road will never have a bike lane in my life time. Most drivers on their way to work are focused on getting there in the least amount of time possible, and are barely aware of their surroundings. Anybody who takes their small child on a bike during morning rush hour in that environment is an irresponsible idiot, nothing more. If I can't legally stop him from endangering his child, I will be extra careful on my way to work, and will make sure that I am not the one who hits them.
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Old 04-10-13, 11:54 AM
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When do you expect someone who is probably taking their child to day care on the way to work to ride, other than when everyone is going to work?

Do you know for sure that there are alternate routes available to the cyclist from where he's coming from to where he's going? If not, what is the problem?

If cars are passing within 1 foot, the drivers need to be ticketed for unsafe passing of another legal vehicle.
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Old 04-10-13, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
Well, My first problem is, how can you live in Pennsylvania, and Delaware, at the same time. So, The proper answer to give you, would depend on what state you actually see this happening in. So please clarify?
I live in Pennsylvania, work in Delaware. The observation happened in Pennsylvania.
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Old 04-10-13, 11:59 AM
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Maybe if you lived closer to work and rode your bike more, everyone's children would be safer.
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Old 04-10-13, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
.... Anybody who takes their small child on a bike during morning rush hour in that environment is an irresponsible idiot, nothing more. If I can't legally stop him from endangering his child, I will be extra careful on my way to work, and will make sure that I am not the one who hits them.
It's probably not as dangerous for him as you believe it to be. That's nothing against you, but the reaction you'll get from many (or maybe mostly all) drivers who don't personally ride their bikes in high traffic areas. When I first started car-free cycling I perceived it as a much greater risk than I do now. The only difference is I have more experience and somewhat better judgement and skills now than I had then.

It's true that you can't alter everyone else's driving, except indirectly by slowing them down behind you when you react to the cyclist in a legal and safe manner. That's all anyone should expect of you, and hopefully it will catch on with other drivers in your area.
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Old 04-10-13, 12:41 PM
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Sounds like it was all the drivers who were, "blasting past him" that were the ones acting in a dangerous manner, not the cyclist.
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Old 04-10-13, 01:03 PM
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it's illegal to pass within 4 feet in Pennsylvania. Sounds like there needs to be some enforcement
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Old 04-10-13, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
Yeah, yeah, yeah, in a perfect world that road would have a bike lane, and drivers would cheerfully slow down to 10 mph until it is safe to pass with a wide berth. We don't live in that world, we live in this one. That road will never have a bike lane in my life time. Most drivers on their way to work are focused on getting there in the least amount of time possible, and are barely aware of their surroundings. Anybody who takes their small child on a bike during morning rush hour in that environment is an irresponsible idiot, nothing more. If I can't legally stop him from endangering his child, I will be extra careful on my way to work, and will make sure that I am not the one who hits them.
It's simple enough to call in the license plates of each driver who passes him unsafely/illegally.

Why was that not your first reaction?
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Old 04-10-13, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
I live in Pennsylvania, work in Delaware. The observation happened in Pennsylvania.
https://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms.../chapter35.pdf

Chap. 35
Sub. Chap. A
Sec. 4
Sub. Sec. (b) -No pedalcycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which the pedalcycle is designed and equipped except that an adult rider may transport a child in a pedalcycle child carrier which is securely attached to the pedalcycle or in a trailer which is towed by a pedalcycle.

Pennsylvania's 'bike passing' law, is four feet.

But, Despite the creation of the 'passing' laws, as was mentioned in another thread about the bias, that law enforcement and the judicial system continually display. Finding in favor of the motorist, and finding fault with the cyclist. Albeit indirect, this is just another example of authorities continually blaming the cyclist, even when they are in the right.

Last edited by Chris516; 04-10-13 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 04-10-13, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
It's simple enough to call in the license plates of each driver who passes him unsafely/illegally.

Why was that not your first reaction?
Calling in from a moving car? Really? You are right that is simple. Many of your BF comrades would take you to the woodshed for that traffic violation.

What would that accomplish? What action do you expect LEO to take on non-event call-ins?
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Old 04-10-13, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Calling in from a moving car? Really? You are right that is simple. Many of your BF comrades would take you to the woodshed for that traffic violation.

What would that accomplish? What action do you expect LEO to take on non-event call-ins?
Depends.

What is the fine for an illegal pass? Who get's the money? Is the caller smart enough to mention the financial incentive?
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Old 04-10-13, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
Depends.

What is the fine for an illegal pass? Who get's the money? Is the caller smart enough to mention the financial incentive?
Depends on what?
The caller would have to be pretty darn ignorant if he even dreamed he would ever collect a dime from such phone calls, and just as clever if he thinks the LEO will take any specific action on the called in "violator" based on such phone calls of non events. The best that could be hoped for is an enforcement campaign that is far more likely by writing or talking in person to the appropriate LEO or political officials.

If anyone has evidence of otherwise, inform me.
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Old 04-10-13, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Calling in from a moving car? Really? You are right that is simple. Many of your BF comrades would take you to the woodshed for that traffic violation.

What would that accomplish? What action do you expect LEO to take on non-event call-ins?
I'd expect about the same reaction/accomplishment from the original scenario the OP gleefully busies himself with:

Is he breaking any laws? If so, I will report him the next time I see him.
Since the OP is eager to report something, I say again: why not the ones who are doing the actual endangering?
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Old 04-10-13, 02:39 PM
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I agree w OP -- bad parenting
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Old 04-10-13, 02:52 PM
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Looking at the more rural sections of Rt 896 ( and the developed ones, for good measure ) in Google Street View - those shoulders are fine, and in some cases, absolutely huge.
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Old 04-10-13, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
I'd expect about the same reaction/accomplishment from the original scenario the OP gleefully busies himself with:



Since the OP is eager to report something, I say again: why not the ones who are doing the actual endangering?
I agree that drivers violating the law by driving too close are the bad buys here and should be ticketed, not the bicyclist.
Calling in the violation is a waste of time, and may be a violation itself if done from a moving vehicle.

I believe we are in agreement that the OP should mind his own darn business if he can't even figure out who is endangering whom.
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Old 04-10-13, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I agree that drivers violating the law by driving too close are the bad buys here and should be ticketed, not the bicyclist.
Calling in the violation is a waste of time, and may be a violation itself if done from a moving vehicle.

I believe we are in agreement that the OP should mind his own darn business if he can't even figure out who is endangering whom.
Well said.
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