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"How do We Get Bikers to Obey Traffic Laws"? (Article)

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"How do We Get Bikers to Obey Traffic Laws"? (Article)

Old 10-27-09, 01:23 PM
  #51  
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traffic laws

The fond memories of " living in my private Idaho" B-52's has a new meaning.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:46 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by FunkyStickman View Post
Even cops speed, run red lights, do illegal manouvers, etc. on a regular basis there for no good reason.
Even cops speed? Do you mean especially cops speed?
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Old 10-27-09, 08:01 PM
  #53  
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the OP's guess at a fine for running a red light is a little off in my opinion. Far from $25 I'm pretty sure it's closer to $300 but I can't find the fine amount on the dmv website.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:41 PM
  #54  
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OK folks. Here's a little data for you. A month or so ago I posted the following on our local cycling club list serve. I titled it "unofficial and unscientific bike safety survey". BTW, no one replied.

"I ran into Steve today at lunch and we talked about a survey I did
recently concerning bike safety in town. Steve's helping Lois teach the
bike safety class at Cornell. I thought I'd copy the email over to the
list serve. You might wonder "Why is this guy riding along counting bikes
and cars and such". Maybe I'm just bored on my commute or something, but
actually, I've had the feeling lately that the cars are getting better but
the bikes are getting worse. I'm kind of a numbers guy and wanted to put
some #'s to my perceptions. So without further adieu...


Steve,

So here it is.

First the bicycles. I kept track of the # of bikes I saw over a 10 day
period. It was a combination of bikes I saw when commuting in from
Newfield to Cornell, bikes I saw on my usual lunchtime walk up from Wilson
Lab to the Dairy store, and bikes I saw on a couple of drives in and a
couple of errand trips by car through Ithaca. Made note of total, and of
various "offenses" committed by the bikers. I allowed only 1 dastardly
act per bike to keep an accurate percentage of "outlaw cyclists" out of
the total. Note that my "definition" of stopping at a stop sign or a right
on red was a VERY loose one. All the bike had to do to satisfy me was
slow down and look, and I counted it as a "stop". Also noted # wearing
helmets. I also counted dangerous car acts on my commutes. This would be
acts offending me personally, such as buzzing, cutting me off, verbal
abuse, etc. Lastly, I counted car "good acts", such as, but not limited
to, offering me the right of way when it was their turn, offers to give me
a ride, offers to feed me, and offers to pay my mortgage.

total # of bikes---100
riding through a pedestrian crosswalk---5
riding on sidewalk---10
riding on wrong side of road---7
blowing through a stop light---2
blowing through a stop sign---7
no signal when turning---3
cell phone while riding---1
no lights after dark---1
# of total wearing helmets---50
# of car "good acts"---5 (no offers other than right of way, tho)
# of car "bad acts"---1

So 36% of the cyclists I saw were committing some kind of traffic offense
at the time I saw them.

The 1 car "bad act" was actually kind of funny. It was an attempted
dooring where the woman seemed to teleport herself from the driver's seat
to standing outside the car as soon as the door opened, kind of like she
beamed herself out in a standing position (facing me). She was as
surprised to be nearly run over by me as I was to seeing her appear before
my eyes. Luckily, I was out far enough in the road.

Now the cars. I took a car count one morning on the way in of all the
cars I came in contact with visually (ie, both sides of the roads and the
1st couple at intersections). I repeated the count on one of my afternoon
commutes. I looked for all car infractions such as no signal, rolling
stops, cell phone use, etc.

Morning commute:
278 total cars 0, nadda, no driving offenses seen...not even cell phones
I couldn't believe it.

Afternoon commute: 756 total cars Only 4 caught using their cell phones
while driving. Nothing else seen.

A couple of observations. I saw many more cyclists when I was driving
than when I was riding (and more cars when I ride than drive). I never
would have believed I come in contact with almost 1000 cars each day I
ride. The way I see it, that's 1000 chances for drivers to decide whether
I'm riding safe or I'm a road hazard. Each day! I'm also watching my
back, cause statistically, I should probably have gotten creamed long ago!
So the percentage of actual jerks in cars has to be infinitesimally
small, though some days it seems like it's huge."


So fast forward to today. Yea, I am watching my back as I almost got hit twice today! But really, I've had very few car problems this year, but I have been nearly taken out a couple of times by bikes (now a couple of cars too). Recently, there was a local cyclist ranting on craig's list about a ticket he got the other day. Failure to observe a traffic device. He was caught going down hill at 36 or 40 mph thru a school zone. Give me a break! He should be glad to pay the ticket and be glad he didn't kill someone's kid.
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Old 10-27-09, 09:44 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by echotraveler View Post
thats too harsh bro, the one enforcing that"zero tolerance" law has to be restricted, if not many abuses will be commited, history proofes how squeezing too hard ends up in tragedy.

agreed enforcement is needed, yet enforcing most be accompanied by education of both rights and dutys...i cycle and dont want to feel militarized at all.
The jurisdiction I live in has spent millions of dollars on "education" over the years. I've seen TV ads (despite the fact that I rarely watch TV), newspaper ads, radio ads, you name it! It hasn't made any difference because people just assume that 1) all the 'education' is aimed at every other driver on the road and not them; and 2) that the police won't enforce it anyway, so it doesn't matter. Hence the problem remains, only now the government has an easy out by telling lobby groups that "hey, we tried".

So you either campaign for some serious law enforcement, or you simply accept that people will go on breaking the law whenever it suits them. Personally, I've taken the second option and simply exploit it whenever it suits me. Hence the fact that these days I no longer make posts here complaining about the many motorists who break the various traffic laws in this area.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:05 AM
  #56  
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oh well, guess this is such a deep issue... i ride my bike because i enjoy the liberty and self effort...if the state starts adding rocks in my path this 2 enjoyable factors could change, and i would enjoy far more being on a highway at 65 mph
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Old 10-28-09, 08:12 AM
  #57  
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Yeah, they've made all these darned laws. I feel so restricted. Why should I work for my money when I would enjoy far more just taking it from other people? Thanks bro, I've seen the light...gonna go rob me some old ladies!
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Old 10-28-09, 04:48 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by sesmith View Post
OK folks. Here's a little data for you. A month or so ago I posted the following on our local cycling club list serve. I titled it "unofficial and unscientific bike safety survey". BTW, no one replied.
No one replied because they're too embarrassed to admit that you were right.
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Old 10-28-09, 05:34 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
The next time I hear this complaint about motorists, I'm going to expect to see a sh*tload of evidence that they regularly break traffic laws.

If you can't produce it, then STFU and don't ever waste our time again.
Come by my office. I'll take you to the intersection a block away.

EVERY SINGLE LIGHT CYCLE there will be 3-4 cars who push the red light turning left, 2 who pull into the crosswalk before stopping at the red as well as a couple other miscellaneous infractions. On a less stop-and-go street, I will demonstrate that almost every car is exceeding the speed limit.

I know cyclists break the law, and I get pissed off when I see them do it. But I also get pissed off at motorists who break the law, and their apoligists who tell me "you have to prove to me that cars regularly break the law." Any idiot knows that they do.

In both cases, I prescribe increased enforcement. If there was a 5% chance of getting a ticket for every infraction (whether on a bike or in a car), very few people would break the laws. Since current enforcement might, generously, catch 0.05% of infractions, people feel pretty secure breaking the law most of the time.
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Old 10-28-09, 07:36 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
No one replied because they're too embarrassed to admit that you were right.
No one replied because what's the point? Vehicle operators break laws; why get all internet angry about it?
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Old 10-29-09, 07:33 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
No one replied because they're too embarrassed to admit that you were right.
No one replied because the claim that he observed almost a thousand cars and did not see a single traffic infraction is too bizarre for me to process.

I saw about 10-12 cars on the way into work today that were going my direction. All of them were speeding (when I'm riding 30kph in a 40 kph zone, I know what a 10kph overtake is supposed to look like).

None of them came to a complete stop at stop signs, even when opposing traffic was present. 3 took my rolling stops at a stopsign as an opportunity to pass me. Two of them rolled stop signs at speeds greater than I generally travel on my bike. I bypassed by a major intersection, so the only car I saw in motion when I glanced over there was a Volkswagen Passat that was running a yellow-red light while speeding.


And you know what? If it wasn't for this inane thread, I wouldn't have taken note of these things, because I don't care.

Now, last night on the way home I had a bus driver yell at me for slowing him down when I slowed for a stopsign... but that's not part of the survey period, now, is it.
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Old 10-29-09, 08:45 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
No one replied because the claim that he observed almost a thousand cars and did not see a single traffic infraction is too bizarre for me to process.

And you know what? If it wasn't for this inane thread, I wouldn't have taken note of these things, because I don't care.

Now, last night on the way home I had a bus driver yell at me for slowing him down when I slowed for a stopsign... but that's not part of the survey period, now, is it.
Me too. I was convinced before I counted them that almost ALL drivers were on their cell phones cause I see it all the time...I was wrong. Speeding is something I couldn't check on a bike. Other than that, I REALLY didn't see anything illegal with the cars.

Now I've got you counting cars...gotta love it. How are the bike riders up north, BTW?
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Old 10-30-09, 09:10 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Speeding and rolling stops are hardly the most dangerous things that any driver does.

Y'all get back to me when you see drivers regularly running red lights.
In Boston it's usually three at every turn of the light. "Y'all"

Is every counter argument going to have you change the rules?
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