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

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Old February 6th 18, 06:21 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
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Default AG: Dead Right

On 2/5/2018 9:15 PM, John B. wrote:
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."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.

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 :-)

John B.

Sort of like my last sentence, the more financial responsibility larger
vehicle has the more careful they will be.

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

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