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Is It Okay to Kill a Cyclist?

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Is It Okay to Kill a Cyclist?

Old 11-10-13, 04:54 AM
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shyonelung
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Is It Okay to Kill a Cyclist?

So asks this opinion piece in Sundays New York Times. The answer appears to be yes. Lots of good points here, paramount why drivers who kill or maim cyclists and who remain at the scene, end up with citations only sometimes and almost never get prosecuted. This is a major league bull-shiit cause by a car-obssessed nation who has been led to believe that the very act of riding a bicycle carries risks that make it dangerous and riding on "automobile" roads means cyclsist are taking on an "inherent" risk that carries with it the responsibility to understand you will most likely get hit. The larger message of course: cyclists go home and stay off of our roads.

The article's author plays into this irrational fear of cycling in his opening paragraphs, where he explains why he has decided to become an indoor rider, eshewing the roads around his city (San Francisco) becasue they are so unsafe as to have caused many accidents, some of them to people he or his friends know first-hand. I'm not judging the safety of riding in SF but I'd like to see some real numbers: like how many cyclist accidents are there as a percentage of cyclist o the road. How many are casued by driver's fault (this story says it's over half but I'd like to know how much exactly for a better comparison. Then let's look at the numbers of drivers/cars on the road and compare that to the number of accidents. I'm sure percendtage wise, the cycling deaths are lower by far.

I believe progress between cyclists and cars won't be made without a concerted effort to education motorists and cyclists about the rules of the road. I've dicovered with most people that if you explain to them that the laws allows cyclists on the roads and sometims in their lanes, there is less antagonism toward them. Around here in Northern California wine coutnry, cyclists are part of the scenary and over time, drivers have adjusted. Just last week,I had a truck with trailer patiently wait for me to get through a road-side construction before finding a moment to drive by. Another waited on a blind hill while five of us climbed to a point where we could stop to let him through. It works, it seems, if people understand it. I'm wondering if "Share the Road" might not be the best nesssage anymore because frankly, it's not the cyclists road -- it's the drvers' -- so how can we be required to share what's really not ours. The new campaign should be about introducing cyclists as another form of vehicle with full rights and repsonsibilites on the road. Becuase bikes are slower, `it doesn't make them intruders. Couple this with some really strong traiing and, god help us, better road signs, warning drivers about things like they are about to cross a marked cycling route so they should pay extra special attention to look both ways before entering the new roadway. Why not license cyclists along with drivers and give both sturdy, practical tests and/or show them a video explaining the rules of the road and explaining how it should be applied. Those are my thoughts FWIW The New York Times has a pay wall so I reprinted the entire story for our educational purposes.

.

Last edited by 10 Wheels; 11-10-13 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Copyright Violation
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Old 11-10-13, 05:21 AM
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Old 11-10-13, 05:25 AM
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i nearly got hit 3 times yesterday's ride and twice on today's. F car drivers.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:33 AM
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It will take major efforts in the education of motorists, especially young motorists. I think the US DOT should provide grant money to start a campaign to educate folks.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:43 AM
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I don't necessarily agree 100% but he does make some valid points.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:44 AM
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No summonses will be issued.
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Old 11-10-13, 05:45 AM
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Educate motorists? Try educating police first! Over here bikes are allowed on the sidewalk so I often have cops telling me to get onto the sidewalk. Go F yourself, officer.
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Old 11-10-13, 06:06 AM
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No offense but could not read that lengthy post. Just way too much for a forum thread. But your subject line says most of what I need. Yes.....it is a shame.
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Old 11-10-13, 06:48 AM
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Op, I understand the sentiment, but why is this not in A&S?
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Old 11-10-13, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
Op, I understand the sentiment, but why is this not in A&S?
I believe your wish shall be granted, once the mods wake up.
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Old 11-10-13, 07:06 AM
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The middle section of the article raises good questions regarding how auto-bike accidents are handled by police and the judicial system.

But the lead in and conclusion suck. This guy goes on one bike ride in how many years and tries to come across as an expert. I'll give him a new anecdote to use: I've ridden over 3000 miles this year and have seen only two bike accidents neither of which were caused by cars. But anecdotes like that won't help his biased point of view so they aren't to be included in the article.
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Old 11-10-13, 07:25 AM
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coasting +1

I agree 100%. Not only do we need to educate the police, we need to educate the courts. Even when the police issue a ticket, it is the courts that give the murdering car driver a slap on the wrist.

Here in Lincoln, a judges wife mowed down a cyclist waiting for traffic to pass to make a left turn. The city att wouldnt even bring the case into court.
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Old 11-10-13, 07:34 AM
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As with many arguments there are two sides to this one. You don't need to pass an intelligence test to drive a car or ride a bicycle. But driving a car poses a threat to life and limb that dwarfs that of a bicycle. Were I a judge I would use simple math to dole out punishments to offenders. A bike weighs 20 pounds, a car 2,000 pounds. So the punishment for a car related offense would be 100 times that of a bicycle. Of course it's true that bike riders are responsible to operate in a manner to promote safety but that does not cover all scenarios. In my city there was this guy years ago who was mentally and physical challenged who rode a bike right down main street every day. One day a huge dump truck got behind him at a stop light so close that the driver could not actually see him. As the light changed the truck driver forgot about him and drove right over him killing him and crushing his skull so both his eyes were bulging out like some kind of space alien. The city council then swung into action and banned large trucks from using main street. The truck driver was not prosecuted. It didn't help much as the carnage has continued. Some judges may be using the mathematical formula already but in reverse. Remember when a slave was valued as 3/5 of a human? Well a cyclist may be valued as 1/100 of a human. I never ride my bike on main street.

Last edited by Ray9; 11-10-13 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 11-10-13, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
Op, I understand the sentiment, but why is this not in A&S?
Do you know How to Use The Report Button?
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Old 11-10-13, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I believe your wish shall be granted, once the mods wake up.
Do you Know How to USE The Report Button?
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Old 11-10-13, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
As with many arguments there are two sides to this one. You don't need to pass an intelligence test to drive a car or ride a bicycle. But driving a car poses a threat to life and limb that dwarfs that of a bicycle. Were I a judge I would use simple math to dole out punishments to offenders. A bike weighs 20 pounds, a car 2,000 pounds. So the punishment for a car related offense would be 100 times that of a bicycle. Of course it's true that bike riders are responsible to operate in a manner to promote safety but that does not cover all scenarios. In my city there was this guy years ago who was mentally and physical challenged who rode a bike right down main street every day. One day a huge dump truck got behind him at a stop light so close that the driver could not actually see him. As the light changed the truck driver forgot about him and drove right over him killing him and crushing his skull so both his eyes were bulging out like some kind of space alien. The city council then swung into action and banned large trucks from using main street. The truck driver was not prosecuted. It didn't help much as the carnage has continued. Some judges may be using the mathematical formula already but in reverse. Remember when a slave was valued as 3/5 of a human? Well a cyclist may be valued as 1/100 of a human. I never ride my bike on main street.
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Old 11-10-13, 08:18 AM
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Old 11-10-13, 09:09 AM
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This reminds me of years ago when I was 18-19 and considering getting a crotch rocket, then I saw friend after friend after friend injured on their motorcycles due to cars. One friend even ended up with a broken neck. So I decided to pass on that shiney new crotch rocket. I also stay off the streets whenever possible on my bike.
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Old 11-10-13, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Do you Know How to USE The Report Button?
Instead of getting all excited, maybe have a talk with the IT gurus and turn the teenee weenee report post symbol into something a little larger that can be seen better, damn fonts keep getting smaller every year I get older.
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Old 11-10-13, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Do you Know How to USE The Report Button?
No.
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
People here don't get it.
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Old 11-10-13, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Do you know How to Use The Report Button?
Actually, I do not. Do I get to say why I reported something if I hit the little triangle? I wasn't trying to offend the OP, as I know she is new to cycling and to the forum, so I was trying to nicely forewarn her. Was that poor etiquette? I do not believe that I was sarcastic or insulting in my comment.
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Old 11-10-13, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Instead of getting all excited, maybe have a talk with the IT gurus and turn the teenee weenee report post symbol into something a little larger that can be seen better, damn fonts keep getting smaller every year I get older.
No one on Bike Forums can get me excited.
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Old 11-10-13, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
Actually, I do not. Do I get to say why I reported something if I hit the little triangle? I wasn't trying to offend the OP, as I know she is new to cycling and to the forum, so I was trying to nicely forewarn her. Was that poor etiquette? I do not believe that I was sarcastic or insulting in my comment.
Quit messing with female members and use The Report Button.

I can handle the female members.
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Old 11-10-13, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
No one on Bike Forums can get me excited.
My bad, in mistaking the LARGE BLUE FONT as excitement, when you were actually being helpful in aiding us BF members with bad eye sight to see you post more clearly.
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Old 11-10-13, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
Actually, I do not. Do I get to say why I reported something if I hit the little triangle?
Yep.
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Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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