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AG: Aunt Granny's Advice, or How to become an elderly cyclist:



 
 
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  #761  
Old January 27th 18, 06:42 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,137
Default AG: Bummed


Friday, 26 January 2018, was a lovely sunny warm day, and I finally
wash-in-bleached the bin of dish towels and cleaning rags and dried
them in the sun. Not a prolonged stay in the sun because it was also
windy, and even rags shouldn't be blown into rags.

The day was rather spoiled when the morning paper arrived that
evening. The City of Warsaw is going to put a two-way "cycle track"
between the parked cars and the sidewalk on the south side of the
downtown end of Market Street.

And I thought that putting in a wide sidewalk on this end of the
street and calling it a bikeway was bad! At least nothing will need
to be ripped out when they find out what a dangerous idea that was.`

'course, they may never find out that it's dangerous -- I haven't seen
any riders on the "bikeway" so far: no riders, no crashes.

On the other hand, ever since the "improvement" I've only crossed
Market, never ridden along it. There could have been a bicycle I
didn't see or didn't notice.


--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/









Ads
  #762  
Old February 1st 18, 01:15 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,137
Default AG: Winter training


When I saw that yesterday and Friday were predicted to be usable-road
days, I thought I'd take a "dump tour" (about eleven miles) on
Tuesday, and if that went well, go to the Friday Specials at Duck Down
and Above (about twenty miles).

But come Tuesday morning, I didn't feel like sorting and packing a
pannier of Goodwill stuff, and I did want a few things at Aldi, so I
turned left instead of right when I left the emergency room, about
five miles. (This also meant crossing US 30 twice at an intersection
that would be mentioned as particularly dangerous in that evening's
paper.)

On the way home, when I stopped at the first bench to put my mittens
back on and make sure my shirts were zipped all the way up, I was glad
I'd shortened the ride. I'm well enough to resume training, and I'm
well enough to ride in the cold -- indeed, vaso-motor rhinitis
normalizes my cough -- but I'm NOT well enough to train in biting
cold.

Not even when thoroughly warm from the neck down. The small amount of
leakage around my scarf bothered me a *lot*.

Friday is still looking good, but I've already dumped the plastic bags
and the magazines, and I still don't feel like sorting out Goodwill
stuff.

I need ten yards of elastic, but that's only 1.7 miles from Winona
Lake, and it's too cold to ride around the south end of the lake to
come home. That route is boring when it's *warm*!

--------------------------

This recovery reminds me of the day I unpacked my Ed Kearny light with
delight -- no more four-o'clock curfew!

And then I learned: riding in the dark is pleasant, if the road has a
fog line. Riding in the cold is a simple matter of dressing
appropriately. I was more-or-less accustomed to coming home tired.

But riding the dark when I'm tired and icicles are hanging on my
fenders . . . .

At least the days are getting longer.

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/




  #763  
Old February 4th 18, 01:07 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,137
Default AG: Dead Right


(In appropriate jurisdictions, replace "right" with "left".)

There are various and sundry laws in different jurisdictions about
passing another vehicle on the right.

What the law says doesn't matter. What matters is that

WHEN YOU PASS A VEHICLE ON ITS RIGHT
YOU ARE BETTING YOUR LIFE THAT IT WON'T TURN RIGHT.

You don't want to make that bet unless you are sure that you will win.

--
Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/




  #764  
Old February 4th 18, 02:55 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,967
Default AG: Dead Right

On Sat, 03 Feb 2018 21:07:10 -0400, Joy Beeson
wrote:


(In appropriate jurisdictions, replace "right" with "left".)

There are various and sundry laws in different jurisdictions about
passing another vehicle on the right.

What the law says doesn't matter. What matters is that

WHEN YOU PASS A VEHICLE ON ITS RIGHT
YOU ARE BETTING YOUR LIFE THAT IT WON'T TURN RIGHT.

You don't want to make that bet unless you are sure that you will win.


Essentially you are talking about "Self Preservation:, described by
Google as "Self-preservation is a behavior that ensures the survival
of an organism. It is almost universal among living organisms.

The description goes on to say, The desire for self-preservation has
led to countless laws and regulations surrounding a culture of safety
in Western society.[10] Seat belt laws, speed limits, texting
regulations, and the "stranger danger" campaign should all be familiar
examples of societal guides and regulations to enhance survival, and
these laws are heavily supported due to the animal need we possess for
self-preservation.

" Self-preservation is also thought by some to be the basis of
rational and logical thought and behavior".
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #765  
Old February 4th 18, 02:49 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,161
Default AG: Dead Right

On 2/3/2018 9:55 PM, John B. wrote:
On Sat, 03 Feb 2018 21:07:10 -0400, Joy Beeson
wrote:


(In appropriate jurisdictions, replace "right" with "left".)

There are various and sundry laws in different jurisdictions about
passing another vehicle on the right.

What the law says doesn't matter. What matters is that

WHEN YOU PASS A VEHICLE ON ITS RIGHT
YOU ARE BETTING YOUR LIFE THAT IT WON'T TURN RIGHT.

You don't want to make that bet unless you are sure that you will win.


Essentially you are talking about "Self Preservation:, described by
Google as "Self-preservation is a behavior that ensures the survival
of an organism. It is almost universal among living organisms.

The description goes on to say, The desire for self-preservation has
led to countless laws and regulations surrounding a culture of safety
in Western society.[10] Seat belt laws, speed limits, texting
regulations, and the "stranger danger" campaign should all be familiar
examples of societal guides and regulations to enhance survival, and
these laws are heavily supported due to the animal need we possess for
self-preservation.

" Self-preservation is also thought by some to be the basis of
rational and logical thought and behavior".


But there are complications. Rather frequently, I encounter people who
have deluded ideas about dangers. On one hand, the people Joy is
addressing have no idea that they are putting themselves at risk.

On the other hand, and ever more common, there are people who imagine
that certain safe or even beneficial activities are dangerous. Those
people will (for example) never ride a bicycle at all, because they
think bicycling is very, very dangerous. As a consequence, they are much
more likely to die of a variety of ailments triggered by being
sedentary. (Refusing to ride without a magic plastic hat is a variation
on this theme.)

I've come across a man - educated, recently elected judge - who said he
would never walk in a forest while wearing earplugs, because there is
such a high risk of a tree falling on a person. (Seriously!)

There are millions of kids who are told to NEVER talk to strangers. Or
never walk to school.

There are countless people who will never fly in a commercial airline.

And on the third hand, there are the clueless who's deluded
self-preservation leads them to do things that put them at much, much
greater risk. Every wrong-way bicyclist is convinced that he's far
safer than those riding properly. The same is true for sidewalk riders,
despite copious research proving them wrong. And of course, there are
plenty of bike lanes to the right of potential right-turning vehicles.
Those lanes actively delude people into thinking they're safe.

Ignorance is a tough opponent.

--
- Frank Krygowski
  #766  
Old February 5th 18, 02:31 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,967
Default AG: Dead Right

On Sun, 4 Feb 2018 09:49:25 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 2/3/2018 9:55 PM, John B. wrote:
On Sat, 03 Feb 2018 21:07:10 -0400, Joy Beeson
wrote:


(In appropriate jurisdictions, replace "right" with "left".)

There are various and sundry laws in different jurisdictions about
passing another vehicle on the right.

What the law says doesn't matter. What matters is that

WHEN YOU PASS A VEHICLE ON ITS RIGHT
YOU ARE BETTING YOUR LIFE THAT IT WON'T TURN RIGHT.

You don't want to make that bet unless you are sure that you will win.


Essentially you are talking about "Self Preservation:, described by
Google as "Self-preservation is a behavior that ensures the survival
of an organism. It is almost universal among living organisms.

The description goes on to say, The desire for self-preservation has
led to countless laws and regulations surrounding a culture of safety
in Western society.[10] Seat belt laws, speed limits, texting
regulations, and the "stranger danger" campaign should all be familiar
examples of societal guides and regulations to enhance survival, and
these laws are heavily supported due to the animal need we possess for
self-preservation.

" Self-preservation is also thought by some to be the basis of
rational and logical thought and behavior".


But there are complications. Rather frequently, I encounter people who
have deluded ideas about dangers. On one hand, the people Joy is
addressing have no idea that they are putting themselves at risk.

On the other hand, and ever more common, there are people who imagine
that certain safe or even beneficial activities are dangerous. Those
people will (for example) never ride a bicycle at all, because they
think bicycling is very, very dangerous. As a consequence, they are much
more likely to die of a variety of ailments triggered by being
sedentary. (Refusing to ride without a magic plastic hat is a variation
on this theme.)

I've come across a man - educated, recently elected judge - who said he
would never walk in a forest while wearing earplugs, because there is
such a high risk of a tree falling on a person. (Seriously!)

It's easy for an old country boy (like me) to walk around muttering
"damned fool", but the problem is much deeper then that. It is
basically lack of knowledge, I was going to write "ignorance" but
decided that was a bid argumentative.

Re trees falling down, I've spend a considerable amount of time
walking about in forested areas and I am aware that trees very rarely
fall down... well, except in hurricanes and typhoons :-) but
apparently the judge doesn't have that experience.

Of course, to put a different slant on the story it is equally
accurate to state that the average poster here is incompetent to
discuss the legal system and its derivatives as used in the U.S. and
its various states. Witness how many times when a bicycle and an auto
come in violent contact the cry "Off with his head echoes through the
realm. If one attempts to interject a little reality, like, "is there
any evidence what took place? Any witnesses? Can a case be made? There
is an immediate outcry, generally in the vein of "bicycle got hit it
must be the auto's fault. No other possibility exists.

There are millions of kids who are told to NEVER talk to strangers. Or
never walk to school.


Well, one can only comment that as children did walk to school when I
was a student with no ill effects and if it is now unsafe then the
only possible assumption that y'all must have evolved a society, in
the past 50 years, or so, where children are unsafe.

(Which certainly makes more sense then an oak tree falling on your
head :-)

There are countless people who will never fly in a commercial airline.

And on the third hand, there are the clueless who's deluded
self-preservation leads them to do things that put them at much, much
greater risk. Every wrong-way bicyclist is convinced that he's far
safer than those riding properly. The same is true for sidewalk riders,
despite copious research proving them wrong. And of course, there are
plenty of bike lanes to the right of potential right-turning vehicles.
Those lanes actively delude people into thinking they're safe.

Ignorance is a tough opponent.


The interesting thing is that although the cyclist is often found to
be at fault - breaking traffic rules, drunk, etc., no one seems to
admit that it is very possible that the major problem with the
question of bicycle safety is the people that ride them. Nope, we
argue that all we have to do is build another MUP and everybody will
be safe as safe can be.

Reality is a terrible thing to have to face.
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #767  
Old February 5th 18, 04:46 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,161
Default AG: Dead Right

On 2/4/2018 9:31 PM, John B. wrote:

Of course, to put a different slant on the story it is equally
accurate to state that the average poster here is incompetent to
discuss the legal system and its derivatives as used in the U.S. and
its various states. Witness how many times when a bicycle and an auto
come in violent contact the cry "Off with his head echoes through the
realm. If one attempts to interject a little reality, like, "is there
any evidence what took place? Any witnesses? Can a case be made? There
is an immediate outcry, generally in the vein of "bicycle got hit it
must be the auto's fault. No other possibility exists.

....

The interesting thing is that although the cyclist is often found to
be at fault - breaking traffic rules, drunk, etc., no one seems to
admit that it is very possible that the major problem with the
question of bicycle safety is the people that ride them. Nope, we
argue that all we have to do is build another MUP and everybody will
be safe as safe can be.

Reality is a terrible thing to have to face.


"Paint & Path" advocates are skilled at _not_ facing reality.

But regarding the "off with his head" cries about motorists that kill or
seriously injure bicyclists: I think the most common complaint is that
the current U.S. system absolves drivers far, far too easily. There are
countless examples of drivers who merely say "I didn't see the
bicyclist" and thereby let off the hook. If a cyclist had legal
equipment (IOW, legal lights and reflectors at night; you shouldn't need
anything special to ride in daylight) then that statement should be
taken as an confession of guilt. When you drive, it's your JOB to see
where you're going; and that's true even if it's dark, if the sun is too
bright, if it's foggy - whatever.

And it's not only "I didn't see him." No matter the details of a
car-bike crash, the default assumption is that the motorist is a fine
person who just made a mistake. Unless he was drunk, drugged or 20 mph
over the speed limit, even if convicted the motorist who kills a cyclist
or pedestrian will pay just a couple hundred dollars and do some
community service. That's wrong, in my view.

I'm in favor of changing the default assumptions. Let's assume that the
person operating the obviously more deadly piece of machinery must
exercise as much care as, say, a person carrying a loaded AR-15 into a
shopping mall. Or an operator of a fork lift or an overhead crane in a
busy factory. If one of those people hurts someone, the assumption is
that _they_ screwed up. Their license was supposed to demonstrate
sufficient training, and their training was supposed to prevent hurting
an innocent victim, even if the victim made a mistake.

If a bicyclist truly did something unavoidable - say, riding no-lights
facing traffic on a dark night, or blasting through a stop sign directly
in front of a moving car - then the motorist should be allowed to defend
himself. But in other cases - "I didn't see him" or "He swerved in front
of me" - the motorist should be assumed guilty.

And I'm not asking for prison time. But I firmly believe those motorists
should never, ever be allowed to operate a motor vehicle again. Legally,
perhaps make that a condition of their parole. And if they are found to
violate that parole condition, then yes, they do go to prison.

- Frank Krygowski
  #768  
Old February 6th 18, 12:50 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
JQ
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 25
Default AG: Dead Right

On 2/5/2018 11:46 AM, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 2/4/2018 9:31 PM, John B. wrote:

Of course, to put a different slant on the story it is equally
accurate to state that the average poster here is incompetent to
discuss the legal system and its derivatives as used in the U.S. and
its various states. Witness how many times when a bicycle and an auto
come in violent contact the cry "Off with his head echoes through the
realm. If one attempts to interject a little reality, like, "is there
any evidence what took place? Any witnesses? Can a case be made? There
is an immediate outcry, generally in the vein of "bicycle got hit it
must be the auto's fault. No other possibility exists.

...

The interesting thing is that although the cyclist is often found to
be at fault - breaking traffic rules, drunk, etc., no one seems to
admit that it is very possible that the major problem with the
question of bicycle safety is the people that ride them. Nope, we
argue that all we have to do is build another MUP and everybody will
be safe as safe can be.

Reality is a terrible thing to have to face.


"Paint & Path" advocates are skilled at _not_ facing reality.

But regarding the "off with his head" cries about motorists that kill
or seriously injure bicyclists: I think the most common complaint is
that the current U.S. system absolves drivers far, far too easily.
There are countless examples of drivers who merely say "I didn't see
the bicyclist" and thereby let off the hook. If a cyclist had legal
equipment (IOW, legal lights and reflectors at night; you shouldn't
need anything special to ride in daylight) then that statement should
be taken as an confession of guilt. When you drive, it's your JOB to
see where you're going; and that's true even if it's dark, if the sun
is too bright, if it's foggy - whatever.

And it's not only "I didn't see him."Â* No matter the details of a
car-bike crash, the default assumption is that the motorist is a fine
person who just made a mistake. Unless he was drunk, drugged or 20 mph
over the speed limit, even if convicted the motorist who kills a
cyclist or pedestrian will pay just a couple hundred dollars and do
some community service. That's wrong, in my view.

I'm in favor of changing the default assumptions. Let's assume that
the person operating the obviously more deadly piece of machinery must
exercise as much care as, say, a person carrying a loaded AR-15 into a
shopping mall. Or an operator of a fork lift or an overhead crane in a
busy factory. If one of those people hurts someone, the assumption is
that _they_ screwed up. Their license was supposed to demonstrate
sufficient training, and their training was supposed to prevent
hurting an innocent victim, even if the victim made a mistake.

If a bicyclist truly did something unavoidable - say, riding no-lights
facing traffic on a dark night, or blasting through a stop sign
directly in front of a moving car - then the motorist should be
allowed to defend himself. But in other cases - "I didn't see him" or
"He swerved in front of me" - the motorist should be assumed guilty.

And I'm not asking for prison time. But I firmly believe those
motorists should never, ever be allowed to operate a motor vehicle
again. Legally, perhaps make that a condition of their parole. And if
they are found to violate that parole condition, then yes, they do go
to prison.

- Frank Krygowski


That will never happen, in the USA it's all about making money... if a
driver loses his license he is not able to pay taxes and will go on
public assistance taking money out of the system. I was hit 2 years ago
and nearly killed, was in hospital for 9 weeks. I was legally riding on
the shoulder of the road. I had front and rear very bright blinking
lights and wearing very visible clothing. The driver was the middle car
of 5 riding the shoulder. The only thing that happened to him was a $169
ticket for not staying in lane. Damage to his car from hitting me was
covered... I have $750,000.00 plus medical bills and rising. Plus I
haven't been able to work unless you consider $10.00 per hour job
substitute teaching for the localÂ* school system when I am up to it. I
am very blessed to be alive so I make the best of it and have made great
improvements to get back to as normal as possible. All this to say, I am
but one of millions of cyclist that have been hit and the laws has not
changed to our favor when hit and it never will. We ride at our own risk
whether it is on the road or off road, the best we can do is limit our
exposure as much as possible and ride with joy in our hearts and a smile
on our face! One more note if the driver was forced to pay "all" our
medical bills, losses caused by the accident and financial support as
needed the driver would be much more careful. As it is now insurance
only pays so much then you are left on your own for the rest and the car
driver is let off free except for the minor traffic violation.

--
Ride fast, ride hard, ride for health and enjoyment... Coach JQ Dancing
on the edge

---
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
https://www.avast.com/antivirus

  #769  
Old February 6th 18, 02:11 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,967
Default AG: Dead Right

rOn Mon, 5 Feb 2018 11:46:52 -0500, Frank Krygowski
wrote:

On 2/4/2018 9:31 PM, John B. wrote:

Of course, to put a different slant on the story it is equally
accurate to state that the average poster here is incompetent to
discuss the legal system and its derivatives as used in the U.S. and
its various states. Witness how many times when a bicycle and an auto
come in violent contact the cry "Off with his head echoes through the
realm. If one attempts to interject a little reality, like, "is there
any evidence what took place? Any witnesses? Can a case be made? There
is an immediate outcry, generally in the vein of "bicycle got hit it
must be the auto's fault. No other possibility exists.

...

The interesting thing is that although the cyclist is often found to
be at fault - breaking traffic rules, drunk, etc., no one seems to
admit that it is very possible that the major problem with the
question of bicycle safety is the people that ride them. Nope, we
argue that all we have to do is build another MUP and everybody will
be safe as safe can be.

Reality is a terrible thing to have to face.


"Paint & Path" advocates are skilled at _not_ facing reality.

But regarding the "off with his head" cries about motorists that kill or
seriously injure bicyclists: I think the most common complaint is that
the current U.S. system absolves drivers far, far too easily. There are
countless examples of drivers who merely say "I didn't see the
bicyclist" and thereby let off the hook. If a cyclist had legal
equipment (IOW, legal lights and reflectors at night; you shouldn't need
anything special to ride in daylight) then that statement should be
taken as an confession of guilt. When you drive, it's your JOB to see
where you're going; and that's true even if it's dark, if the sun is too
bright, if it's foggy - whatever.

And it's not only "I didn't see him." No matter the details of a
car-bike crash, the default assumption is that the motorist is a fine
person who just made a mistake. Unless he was drunk, drugged or 20 mph
over the speed limit, even if convicted the motorist who kills a cyclist
or pedestrian will pay just a couple hundred dollars and do some
community service. That's wrong, in my view.


But doesn't this echo the current U.S. attitude that evil doers are a
victim of their environment, or some other nambi-pambi excuse? After
all, it couldn't have been his fault. If the 7-11 hadn't had all that
money they wouldn't have gotten robbed.

I'm in favor of changing the default assumptions. Let's assume that the
person operating the obviously more deadly piece of machinery must
exercise as much care as, say, a person carrying a loaded AR-15 into a
shopping mall. Or an operator of a fork lift or an overhead crane in a
busy factory. If one of those people hurts someone, the assumption is
that _they_ screwed up. Their license was supposed to demonstrate
sufficient training, and their training was supposed to prevent hurting
an innocent victim, even if the victim made a mistake.


But aren't you the one I had a discussion about executing murderers or
some similar subject. As I remember you felt it was cruel and should
stop.

Isn't that kind treatment toward those who made a mistake or perhaps
didn't notice the cyclist simply an extension of that thinking.

I would take a rather jaundiced view to your comment "even if the
victim made a mistake" as making the mistake of not noticing the red
light and swooping our into 8 lanes of traffic may not be an innocent
act that should be ignored.

If a bicyclist truly did something unavoidable - say, riding no-lights
facing traffic on a dark night, or blasting through a stop sign directly
in front of a moving car - then the motorist should be allowed to defend
himself. But in other cases - "I didn't see him" or "He swerved in front
of me" - the motorist should be assumed guilty.

And I'm not asking for prison time. But I firmly believe those motorists
should never, ever be allowed to operate a motor vehicle again. Legally,
perhaps make that a condition of their parole. And if they are found to
violate that parole condition, then yes, they do go to prison.

- Frank Krygowski



But Frank, those poor bedeviled motorists work 60 miles from their
home and loss of a driver's license means loss of a job.


Not that long ago killing someone fell under a very few
classifications - murder, manslaughter, etc, and in nearly all cases
resulted in prison time or worse. Now, from what I read here, auto
"accidents" result in 24 hours of community duty and a 60 dollar fine.

My own feeling is that the U.S. has lost sight of the fact that
basically penalties are not, in essence, simply punishment for being a
bad person but historically have been intended as a deterrent and that
a legal system was intended to protect society from individuals, not
individuals from society.

Imagine if the penalty for a motor vehicle "accident" were changed to
execution of the individual at fault. Do you think it would have an
effect on the numbers of "Accidents".

I enclose accidents in quotes as, at least since 1931, when W.H.
Heinrich developed the so-called domino theory, 88% of all accidents
have been considered as being caused by unsafe acts of people, 10% by
unsafe actions and 2% by acts of God.

I find it strange that Industrial Safety still uses those figures
while Traffic Safety apparently ignores them.
--
Cheers,

John B.

  #770  
Old February 6th 18, 02:15 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
John B.[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,967
Default AG: Dead Right

On Mon, 5 Feb 2018 19:50:34 -0500, JQ wrote:

On 2/5/2018 11:46 AM, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 2/4/2018 9:31 PM, John B. wrote:

Of course, to put a different slant on the story it is equally
accurate to state that the average poster here is incompetent to
discuss the legal system and its derivatives as used in the U.S. and
its various states. Witness how many times when a bicycle and an auto
come in violent contact the cry "Off with his head echoes through the
realm. If one attempts to interject a little reality, like, "is there
any evidence what took place? Any witnesses? Can a case be made? There
is an immediate outcry, generally in the vein of "bicycle got hit it
must be the auto's fault. No other possibility exists.

...

The interesting thing is that although the cyclist is often found to
be at fault - breaking traffic rules, drunk, etc., no one seems to
admit that it is very possible that the major problem with the
question of bicycle safety is the people that ride them. Nope, we
argue that all we have to do is build another MUP and everybody will
be safe as safe can be.

Reality is a terrible thing to have to face.


"Paint & Path" advocates are skilled at _not_ facing reality.

But regarding the "off with his head" cries about motorists that kill
or seriously injure bicyclists: I think the most common complaint is
that the current U.S. system absolves drivers far, far too easily.
There are countless examples of drivers who merely say "I didn't see
the bicyclist" and thereby let off the hook. If a cyclist had legal
equipment (IOW, legal lights and reflectors at night; you shouldn't
need anything special to ride in daylight) then that statement should
be taken as an confession of guilt. When you drive, it's your JOB to
see where you're going; and that's true even if it's dark, if the sun
is too bright, if it's foggy - whatever.

And it's not only "I didn't see him."* No matter the details of a
car-bike crash, the default assumption is that the motorist is a fine
person who just made a mistake. Unless he was drunk, drugged or 20 mph
over the speed limit, even if convicted the motorist who kills a
cyclist or pedestrian will pay just a couple hundred dollars and do
some community service. That's wrong, in my view.

I'm in favor of changing the default assumptions. Let's assume that
the person operating the obviously more deadly piece of machinery must
exercise as much care as, say, a person carrying a loaded AR-15 into a
shopping mall. Or an operator of a fork lift or an overhead crane in a
busy factory. If one of those people hurts someone, the assumption is
that _they_ screwed up. Their license was supposed to demonstrate
sufficient training, and their training was supposed to prevent
hurting an innocent victim, even if the victim made a mistake.

If a bicyclist truly did something unavoidable - say, riding no-lights
facing traffic on a dark night, or blasting through a stop sign
directly in front of a moving car - then the motorist should be
allowed to defend himself. But in other cases - "I didn't see him" or
"He swerved in front of me" - the motorist should be assumed guilty.

And I'm not asking for prison time. But I firmly believe those
motorists should never, ever be allowed to operate a motor vehicle
again. Legally, perhaps make that a condition of their parole. And if
they are found to violate that parole condition, then yes, they do go
to prison.

- Frank Krygowski


That will never happen, in the USA it's all about making money... if a
driver loses his license he is not able to pay taxes and will go on
public assistance taking money out of the system. I was hit 2 years ago
and nearly killed, was in hospital for 9 weeks. I was legally riding on
the shoulder of the road. I had front and rear very bright blinking
lights and wearing very visible clothing. The driver was the middle car
of 5 riding the shoulder. The only thing that happened to him was a $169
ticket for not staying in lane. Damage to his car from hitting me was
covered... I have $750,000.00 plus medical bills and rising. Plus I
haven't been able to work unless you consider $10.00 per hour job
substitute teaching for the local* school system when I am up to it. I
am very blessed to be alive so I make the best of it and have made great
improvements to get back to as normal as possible. All this to say, I am
but one of millions of cyclist that have been hit and the laws has not
changed to our favor when hit and it never will. We ride at our own risk
whether it is on the road or off road, the best we can do is limit our
exposure as much as possible and ride with joy in our hearts and a smile
on our face!


One more note if the driver was forced to pay "all" our
medical bills, losses caused by the accident and financial support as
needed the driver would be much more careful. As it is now insurance
only pays so much then you are left on your own for the rest and the car
driver is let off free except for the minor traffic violation.


I described, in another post, how the system works in Thailand where,
in simple terms, the largest vehicle is deemed, subject to evidence to
the contrary, to be at fault and responsible for all costs.

It certainly makes a difference in how traffic acts here :-)
--
Cheers,

John B.

 




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