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Cyclist accident makes waves on the Web

Old 04-06-12, 03:37 PM
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DiabloScott
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Cyclist accident makes waves on the Web

https://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upshot/c...181534779.html

The incident is making waves on the blog-o-sphere as readers weigh in on the cyclist's story. The post, which has since been removed from the forum, read in part, "The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions, so, in a nutshell, blammo."

The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports that Bucchere was a member of the mobile app strava.com, which tracks cyclist data and clocked the biker riding 35 miles per hour at the time of the incident.


Something doesn't add up there - if he's going 35mph, there's no way the light turned red in the time it took him to get to the middle of the intersection.
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Old 04-06-12, 04:13 PM
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More than likely, the light turned yellow when he was half or quarter block before entering the intersection. 35 mph heading toward that intersection is lunacy.

Last edited by knotty; 04-06-12 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 04-06-12, 08:35 PM
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Was he going 35mph at the moment he hit the pedestrian, or was that his maximum speed before he entered the intersection? Has anyone actually seen the data or 35mph must a rumor?
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Old 04-06-12, 08:42 PM
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However fast he was going, he hit and killed a pedestrian
who was, by all accounts crossing with the light in a crosswalk.

Exactly how much more discussion do you need ?

Originally Posted by one massive dickhead
so, in a nutshell, blammo.
is not a legal defense, to my knowledge. Anyone care to
correct me on this ?
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Old 04-07-12, 12:16 AM
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Ah for **** sake, what a dip****.
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Old 04-07-12, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Something doesn't add up there - if he's going 35mph, there's no way the light turned red in the time it took him to get to the middle of the intersection.
He says the light changed to yellow as he was approaching the intersection; not right when he entered it. So it's certainly possible that it changed to red while he was still somewhere in the intersection. California law prohibits vehicles and bicycles from entering the intersection on a red light, so if his account is accurate then he's not guilty of running the light.

But there should be a delay between when the light goes red and before the crosswalk traffic gets a WALK signal and that delay should be sufficient for the cyclist to clear the intersection if he was really going 35 mph (or even close to that speed). So I see a few possibilities: 1) the cyclist, contrary to his statement, actually did enter the intersection after the light turned red and is guilty of running the light, 2) the traffic signal delay is set too short and gave a WALK signal too quickly for traffic to clear the intersection, and 3) the pedestrians waiting at the crosswalk started across before getting the WALK signal, possibly after seeing that no motor vehicles were coming and not noticing the cyclist.

Note that under CVC Section 21456, pedestrians who get a WALK signal are still required to yield the right of way to vehicles that had already entered the intersection before the light turned red for them.

Last edited by prathmann; 04-07-12 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 04-07-12, 03:51 PM
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It's a very long intersection.

He could very well have entered on a yellow, turned red halfway across, and still had a long way to go before the crosswalk where the pedestrian light signaled them to walk.

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Old 04-07-12, 05:47 PM
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A local posting in A&S timed the lights and claims 4sec from yellow to red, then another 4sec for the pedestrian "walk" sign.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14068718

There's no excuse for hitting and ultimately killing a pedestrian that makes any sense.
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Old 04-07-12, 08:01 PM
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I wonder if he tried to slow down before entering the intersection and realise he wont stop and decided to accelerated through instead. Regardless, the posted speed limit is 25 mph, he will be having a lot going against him if he was doing anything above that. On top of that, I find myself needing more distant to stop from 25 mph on a bike than it is in a car. Here is where one can say that speed does indeed kill. It will be interesting to see how much of that data can be used in this case.
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Old 04-07-12, 08:20 PM
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35 is a pretty good clip, I'm sure it carried him pretty close to the outside curb. Not much time for a ped to realize that the light had changed but the intersection wasn't clear.
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Old 04-07-12, 10:27 PM
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Yes, cars stop faster than bicycles....

Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
On top of that, I find myself needing more distant to stop from 25 mph on a bike than it is in a car.
You are quite correct in this assertion.

There is a long discussion on braking in Bicycling Science

There will probably be people who read this who
will not believe it, so I take the opportunity to
painfully type out the appropriate paragraph.

Originally Posted by Bicycling Science, p245
Another conclusion from this calculation is that a deceleration
of 0.5 g is almost the maximum that can be risked by a
crouched rider on level ground before he risks going over the
handlebars. We can calculate the maximum possible deceleration
as a proportion of g........as 5.45 m/s squared.

.......drivers of cars do not have this limitation on deceleration.
If their brakes are adequate, they can theoretically brake to the
limit of tire-to-road adhesion...............They are normally capable
of a deceleration of 0.8 g, which is over 40% greater than
that of a seated bicyclist with the best possible brakes.
Usually, people who do not understand this end up following
cars too closely, and then kill themselves. Unfortunately, this
guy managed to kill someone else.
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Old 04-08-12, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
I wonder if he tried to slow down before entering the intersection and realise he wont stop and decided to accelerated through instead. Regardless, the posted speed limit is 25 mph, he will be having a lot going against him if he was doing anything above that. On top of that, I find myself needing more distant to stop from 25 mph on a bike than it is in a car. Here is where one can say that speed does indeed kill. It will be interesting to see how much of that data can be used in this case.
The speed limit is not actually posted, but rather falls under the Prima Facie speed limit. See section 2: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22352.htm
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Old 04-08-12, 04:41 PM
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Someone from San Francisco posted that the speed limit is 25 mph. The guy goes on the internet and posts he was doing 35? If the intersection is set up for 25 mph traffic, he should have a hard time of it.
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Old 04-08-12, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
Someone from San Francisco posted that the speed limit is 25 mph. The guy goes on the internet and posts he was doing 35? If the intersection is set up for 25 mph traffic, he should have a hard time of it.
The guy did not post it. He uploaded his ride to Strava and someone found it there. (Don't bother looking, the ride is gone, and forums that initially uncovered the story have been sanitized as well.)
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Old 04-08-12, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
Usually, people who do not understand this end up following
cars too closely, and then kill themselves.
That's why I only draft trucks and buses.
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Old 04-12-12, 02:08 PM
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Oh oh, video.


Video surveillance footage taken when a bicyclist ran into a 71-year-old pedestrian crossing San Francisco's Castro Street, killing the man, is raising questions about the biker's account of the crash.

The video shows Sutchi Hui of San Bruno and his wife stepping into the intersection at Castro and Market streets just as Chris Bucchere rides in from the north side, said a law enforcement source who has viewed the footage.

"The biker is going fast and looks like he is hunched down. He hits the victim dead-on. There is never a moment where he looks like he is trying to slow down," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because police are still investigating the March 29 crash.

Read more: https://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...#ixzz1rrIbYbvg
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Old 04-12-12, 05:21 PM
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He deserves all the bad things the law can throw at him.
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Old 05-23-12, 09:59 AM
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I began to rethink this yesterday when I came close to hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk during my commute to work.
I have a video camera on the bike, so you can see it here:


I am riding W on West Hedding, approaching the intersection with N San Pedro - the road is flat, it is early morning with light traffic, and I am travelling at about 15 mph. When I am about 10 yards from the intersection the light changes from green to yellow, and I slow, but continue through the intersection, when I am 3/4 through the intersection, the light turns to red, and a group of pedestrians immediately step into the crosswalk in front of me. Had I been travelling faster, the outcome could easily have been the same as with Bucchere.
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Old 05-23-12, 02:42 PM
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Rethink it again, because that pedestrian has the right of way........
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Old 05-23-12, 03:20 PM
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Sauerwald:

Someone has to say it, so I guess I will - You were in the wrong in that footage. If you were going about 15mph as you say, you should have been able to stop before entering the intersection. It sure looks that way just looking at the footage, and the math seems to bear that out. By my measurement, you had about about 2.75 seconds between the time the light went yellow and the time you crossed the limit/sidewalk line on the near side of the intersection. If my math is correct, that translates to 60 feet, give or take (and that looks about right from the footage). According to bike braking calculator I was able to find on-line (here https://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/brakes2.html), you should be able to stop in less than 10 feet going 15mph on dry concrete. That sounds kind of low to me, so double it to 20 feet to be conservative. Even factoring in extra reaction time between when the light changed and you can hit the brakes, it sure looks to me as though you had more than enough room to stop when the light turned yellow. As I understand the law, since you could have stopped, you had the legal obligation to.

Yeah, it would have been a PITA to lose that speed. And yes, the pedestrian should have looked before stepping out into the street (not because he did not have the right of way, but because he was the one who would have gotten hurt). So unless there is something I am missing here, you are the one in the wrong here. Your mistake does not even begin to reach Buccherean levels, but it was your mistake nonetheless.

I suspect about 98% of us have made pretty much this same mistake, me included. So the larger point isn't really that Sauerwald erred, but that we all need to remember that the rules of the road apply to all of us, and for a very good reason. Without the predictability that traffic laws provide, it becomes the law of the jungle out there. In that case, we all have targets on our backs, regardless of mode of transportation.
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Old 05-23-12, 03:27 PM
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Don't people look before crossing the street?
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Old 05-23-12, 04:02 PM
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did the OP who posted the video of his/her "almost accident" edit the post? if not, there is NOTHING in the post that implies anything as regards responsibility for the near accident...
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Old 05-23-12, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
Don't people look before crossing the street?
most don't and that's a problem.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Sauerwald:

As I understand the law, since you could have stopped, you had the legal obligation to.
What? Those are the instructions in the handbook, and they make sense from a safety perspective, but I don't think that's the legal obligation. If you enter the intersection before the red light then you haven't violated the red light rule. Sauerwald should've stopped, and since he (she?) didn't, he should've been extra vigilant for safety reasons, but if he was over the line when the light changed to red then he didn't infract.
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Old 05-23-12, 05:34 PM
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I went and reviewed the DMV site today as well, looking for legal confirmation of the urban legend that goes something like "you need to make it half way through under yellow" which doesn't seem to exist at CA DMV. The only thing I could find was if you enter the intersection when the light is yellow is to proceed with caution. Pedestrians are supposed to look both ways before stepping off the sidewalk at a crosswalk (which is _any_ pedestrian legal intersection, marked or not in CA). This gets murkier at traffic signals since many now have audible signals for folks with vision impairment so when "proceeding with caution" one must assume a blind person might step off the curb in your path.

As far as the braking distance calculator, I think there is a slight difference in braking distance between a flyweight roadie hill climber on a 14 pound road bike and, say, me at 200 pounds on a 30+ pound commute bike. Unless there is a weight factor, I cry BS on said calculator. That said, Sauerwald _probably_ could have made a safe and complete stop before the intersection. But, entering the intersection while the light was still yellow is legal. I have done the same thing, and likely worse (I am guessing we all have).

All that said, 35mph in/on any vehicle through a major downtown inner city intersection is certainly not "proceeding with caution" as you are required to do after entering the intersection on a yellow light.

Since I bicycle commute in Santa Cruz, don't get me started about skateboarders and longboard carrying surfers....

This is a tragic, but clearly avoidable, accident. If it were a cyclist killed by a car under the same circumstances most folks in the cycling community would want the driver crucified. We all must try to be careful and keep our wits about us.

I like the camera on the bike idea a lot and have been thinking about doing so myself just in case I become victim of the upsurge in hit-and-run car-bike collisions we are having in our area.
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