AG: Country Roads
On Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:46:48 -0400, Frank Krygowski
On 3/27/2015 7:00 AM, John B. Slocomb wrote:
On Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:17:35 -0400, Frank Krygowski wrote:
And speaking of Escalades: It's _finally_ half-decent riding weather
here. Yesterday, riding to the hardware store on the normally busy 5
lane road (12 foot lanes, IIRC), I happened to be almost alone... except
for a white Escalade that came up behind me. Despite the open left
lane, he blared his horn in an unfriendly manner.
I stayed where I was (lane center) and waved a couple times, something
like either "Hello" or "Of course I know you're there." Then I gave
what I hope was an obviously displeased motion saying "So pass me,
dammit!" Which he did. No further trouble. And no conceding anything
on my part.
But what happens if he doesn't see you or just decides to run over
you? Country road, no traffic, pain in the arse, who's to know?
Something similar happened here in Thailand. A foreign couple
apparently riding side by side on a fairly wide two lane road were hit
and killed by a pickup truck that ran into them from the rear. The
Thai driving the pickup said that he dropped his phone and was
reaching down for it and didn't see them.
Obviously the pickup driver had to say something, he couldn't just
ignore the fact that he had run over two people and what actually
happened is anyone's guess. But the fact remains that the cyclists are
dead. Had they been riding in a single line on the side of the road
they might not be.
First, I think I lessen my chances of not being noticed (due to cell
phones or whatever) by being less prominent in the road. I've confirmed
this to my satisfaction by observing upcoming motorists in my mirror.
When I'm more leftward, they adjust much sooner by merging left.
If you're going to worry about the risk of deliberate homicide, remember
that in the U.S., cyclists fatalities from _all_ causes happen only once
in at least 10 million miles of riding; and half of those are due to
blatant cyclist mistakes. Deliberate homicide is probably once in 100
million miles or so, and those murderers can take out pedestrians in
crosswalks or on country roads, too. I'm not going to worry so much
that I travel only in a nice safe car.
No, I wasn't advocating casual homicide, I was merely using that as a
maximum measure if what might happen - driver texting, big truck
turning right, guy runs a stop light, etc.
It's like this every spring. The Escalade drivers have had a whole
winter to glory in their supposed superiority and privilege. It takes a
few weeks for them to remember that "Oh yeah, those guys have a legal
right to the road, too."
Cowering at the right just slows their learning process.
Yes, I believe in every state a cyclist has a right to use the public
highway, but does he have a right to impede other traffic?
Some states have a "five or more" law saying any slow vehicle operator
has to let a train of cars by when he can safely pull off. If he can't
safely pull off, he keeps going. And a significant court case in Ohio -
which generated a legal precedent - said that courts can't convict of
impeding without taking the capability of the vehicle into account. IOW
if you're moving at a reasonable speed for a bicycle, you're legally OK.
I mentioned the huge concrete ducts which apparently were too big as
the trucks were parked off the highway during hours of daylight, and a
look at Ohio shows:
4511.22 Slow speed.
(A) No person shall stop or operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or
street car at such an unreasonably slow speed as to impede or block
the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when stopping or
reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or to comply with law.
(B) Whenever the director of transportation or local authorities
determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation
that slow speeds on any part of a controlled-access highway,
expressway, or freeway consistently impede the normal and reasonable
movement of traffic, the director or such local authority may declare
a minimum speed limit below which no person shall operate a motor
vehicle, trackless trolley, or street car except when necessary for
safe operation or in compliance with law. No minimum speed limit
established hereunder shall be less than thirty miles per hour,
greater than fifty miles per hour, nor effective until the provisions
of section 4511.21 of the Revised Code, relating to appropriate signs,
have been fulfilled and local authorities have obtained the approval
of the director.
Arizona law states:
ARS 28-704-A reads:
A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as
to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic
except when either of the following applies:. . .
ARS 28-815 conditionally requires a bicycle to be operated as close as
practicable to the right-hand curb. "as practicable" means
sustainable, safely and for the long term.
It would appear that U.S. law, in general, does not cater to the
individual that deliberately impedes other traffic.
On a personal basis I can't see how impeding others is justified as a
matter of habit. It seems like a very selfish act.
Rather like justifying armed robbery, "because the bloke ran out of