Driving into cyclists the Emma way

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Jul 5, 2009
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Stingray34 said:
Flouro clothing doesn't help, according to this study

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/highvisibility-clothing-wont-help-cyclists-20131127-2y9jl.html

Great quote here: “It’s about remembering that we are all people. At the end of the day there are people who are aggressive on the road… whatever mode of transport they are using. Most of the people you see on bikes on the road will also drive cars at some time,”

As always, the comments section is illumanitive. Thanks everyone for the input. I have a long piece in development on this, hope to post soon. I'd love to hear more from cyclists in non-English speaking countries where the aggro is less felt. Thank you to Le Breton for your input in this regard.

Edit: and red headed dane! Sorry if I've left you out...will make amends!
I would like to see the author extend his testing to include blinky lights, even during the daytime. I think they would be more useful for being noticed.

Colors that provide the most contrast with background colors are best for being noticed, and that usually isn't fluorescent colors.

Cameras are good for seeing who is at fault and having a confrontation on tape would be good, but it's too bad they don't do anything for keeping a cyclist from getting creamed. Having lettering on your jersey that says "you're being recorded" would probably make drivers defensive and incite anger against cyclists in general.

As ironic as it sound, I find it helpful to listen to music with earbuds while riding. It's easy to pull them out when approaching a heavy traffic area. But most of the time I feel it's best not to hear startling noises like people yelling, honking, or a large truck "breaking the sound barrier" when riding into a headwind. It's easier not to react to something that you're not aware of. Ignorance is bliss. I spend very little of my riding time in heavy traffic areas, so if someone is honking, it's most likely for malicious purposes.
 
to movingtarget's article - this one's annoying "A 31-year-old Moorabbin woman was charged on Friday with failing to stop after an accident and failing to render assistance."
No charge for the actual driving itself - driving with undue care, reckless driving, endangering life, etc, etc...

42x16ss said:
The train system in Sydney is pretty good actually, but if you don't live near the line you're more or less stuffed.
that's why it's rubbish - it really doesn't service much of the city itself.

BigMac said:
Those bikelanes are actually large, if compared to most ones in Portugal.

The ones we can't even use because there are always cars parked over them. Police doesn't give a fly.
Sydney has a great idea - they take an ordinary footpath, split it in half with a white line, then put a pedestrian and bike logo on the ground with an arrow. Makes for a great mix of riders, joggers, walkers, kids, etc all jammed onto a regular footpath. But, at least the cars don't have to worry about any of those stupid cyclists in their way... :rolleyes:

Fatclimber said:
As ironic as it sound, I find it helpful to listen to music with earbuds while riding. It's easy to pull them out when approaching a heavy traffic area. But most of the time I feel it's best not to hear startling noises like people yelling, honking, or a large truck "breaking the sound barrier" when riding into a headwind. It's easier not to react to something that you're not aware of. Ignorance is bliss. I spend very little of my riding time in heavy traffic areas, so if someone is honking, it's most likely for malicious purposes.
the honking, yelling drivers aren't a concern because they know you're there. It's the tools that aren't looking or paying attention - ie; the "I didn't see him/her" crowd that are the issue.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Archibald said:
...


the honking, yelling drivers aren't a concern because they know you're there. It's the tools that aren't looking or paying attention - ie; the "I didn't see him/her" crowd that are the issue.
I disagree. As in the OP, not seeing the cyclist wasn't the issue, the driver with the ****ty attitude claiming right of way was.

A rider's reaction to a disdainful driver has a big impact on whether a situation may escalate to stupidity or not. I've ridden with guys that are quick to flip the bird or yell back, I don't see that as a good way to deal with the situation.
 
Fatclimber said:
I disagree. As in the OP, not seeing the cyclist wasn't the issue, the driver with the ****ty attitude claiming right of way was.

A rider's reaction to a disdainful driver has a big impact on whether a situation may escalate to stupidity or not. I've ridden with guys that are quick to flip the bird or yell back, I don't see that as a good way to deal with the situation.
Yeah, it's usually not. I find that the best way to deal with this is to give a cheeky little wave when I catch them at the next intersection to show how far they got ahead. Taking a photo of the rego plates with your phone shuts people up nice and fast too.

Queensland has passed a 1m minimum passing distance

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/12/a-metre-matters-but-will-it-improve-cyclist-safety/

Which is hopefully a good start, if it's made known to the general public and law enforcement. Problem is, like most road rules, there's always going to be people that just don't give a sh!t :rolleyes:
 
Feb 16, 2011
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42x16ss and fatclimber, you're both right: manifest driver aggression and casual negligence are both potential killers. Thankfully, the former is perhaps a little rarer, as its exponents need to be real head cases to act on their tendencies. Instead, they tend to spew enraged, insecure nonsense onto comments sections of online newspapers. Let's hope that's as far as it goes.

The following link has a video displaying what I take to be casual negligence from a motorist that severely injured a cyclist in Brisbane in July.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/executive-style/fitness/blogs/on-your-bike/cyclists-win-battle-for-a-metre-passing-law-20131202-2yk8s.html

This Fairfax paper blog by Michael O'Reilly is an excellent one, and neatly sums up what it's like cycling in English-speaking countries. He neatly summarises the 'cyclists should pay rego' furphy in an article linked towards the bottom. He always supplies lots of useful links in every post.

As posted earlier, Queensland has made it law for motorists to pass cyclists no closer than 1 metre on 60km/h roads, and 1.5 metres on faster roads. O'Reilly's link above examines this. As usual, the comments from non-comprehending motorists make for sombre reading. O'Reilly even notes some objections he's found, such as this one,

'"How do you give one metre clearance to a cyclist on a narrow bridge with a truck coming towards you?" was one anguished plea. Presumably, their standard practice would be to skim past the bike rider with millimetres to spare.'

The question is why do some motorists think it's justified putting a person's life in danger because they use a different mode of transport? Haven't we been through and utterly extinguished the validity of instinctual arguments such as one group is more important than another because of their creed, class, gender or colour? We generally refrain from thoughts and exclamations based on racism, sexism, homophobia and the rest, so what's this new blindspot for modes of transport?

Well, this is why a law mandating the safe passing of cyclists is so important. Naturally, they're will always be unbalanced, unreasonable people who believe it's fine to discriminate against anyone they regard as 'other.' But laws against discrimination make these people rein in their negative behaviours, at least in public where they can identified, shamed and or arrested. By enacting laws, the behaviours and mindsets change over time. I remember a time when it wasn't taboo to drink and drive. It used to be a mark of respect among certain men that they could still keep in control of their cars even though their cement was wet. This is no longer the case.

There has been a predictable outcry over the difficulty of enforcing this new law, that in inability to identify and catch offenders makes the law useless.
As O'Reilly notes, 'another question is – how will the law be enforced? Will the police be chasing after cars with rulers or laser measuring devices?

'As [Queensland Transport Minister, Scott] Emerson told ABC Radio on Friday, most people are already very sensible when it comes to road safety, but having a defined law would encourage road users to do the right thing.'

I think this is true. It's not the reform and enforcement of new laws that make the biggest difference (at least in this case, and at this stage of the game), but the changing of dynamics and a new-found consciousness that results in meaningful, sensible change, for everyone's benefit.

That's what this is about - a victory for understanding, compassion and the public good over petty, mean self-interested humbug. If you can stomach some of the comments to O'Reilly's article, you'll see just how difficult this consciousness-raising can be.

I never cease to be amazed how something so easy can be seen to be so hard.
 
Archibald said:
to movingtarget's article - this one's annoying "A 31-year-old Moorabbin woman was charged on Friday with failing to stop after an accident and failing to render assistance."
No charge for the actual driving itself - driving with undue care, reckless driving, endangering life, etc, etc...



that's why it's rubbish - it really doesn't service much of the city itself.



Sydney has a great idea - they take an ordinary footpath, split it in half with a white line, then put a pedestrian and bike logo on the ground with an arrow. Makes for a great mix of riders, joggers, walkers, kids, etc all jammed onto a regular footpath. But, at least the cars don't have to worry about any of those stupid cyclists in their way... :rolleyes:



the honking, yelling drivers aren't a concern because they know you're there. It's the tools that aren't looking or paying attention - ie; the "I didn't see him/her" crowd that are the issue.
The ones that turn right in front of you without looking. The ones that stop and park suddenly 20 metres ahead of you then fling the door open without looking. I could go on. I also found it more useful to be able to hear what was going on, you develop instincts for sounds as well. I suppose it's the sound that you don't hear that gets you ! A friend of mine almost got scalped by a truck door one day while I managed to go round it, luckily no traffic inside me. But I can also understand driver's attitudes. I saw a guy riding up the Princes Highway one day on the wrong side of the road with a surfboard under one arm.
 
True, there are some cyclists who're just idiots! Unfortunately there stupidity affects all cyclists, because there are motorist who seem to think that just because some cyclists act like they own everything it's okay to drive around knocking cyclists off their bike like it was some sort of competition.

As for the bike lanes; guess what scares me about those is the fact that they're not really seperated from the road in anyway. The way you guys describe it, it seems that only a tall brick wall (or something) would make some motorist understand that No, you're not supposed to drive/park in the bike lane.
 
Nov 10, 2009
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New scientist

In the 30 November issue of the New Scientist, page 14, one can find a short paper by Linda Geddes :
"London cyclist deaths belie a safer reality"
which shows that the recent surge in cyclists killings (six in two weeks)
goes against a marked downward trend observed since ~1994 when measured as fatalities per million cycle journeys.
 
Feb 16, 2011
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Archibald said:
this suggests that some level of aggro from motorists towards cyclists is acceptable...
somewhat of a concern
That's a very good point, well spotted.

Judges and magistrates may administer the law, but they are relatively shielded, well-numerated and well-integrated people, thus in matters outside the law, judges tend to reflect the prejudices of the mainstream (even if the mainstream culture often rejects them for being soft, in their eyes, on law and order.)

An example from the recent past is the gaffe a judge made commenting on a rape case - the infamous statement that sometimes a woman who says 'no' really means 'yes.'

This case in South Canberra reflects the embedded and more or less accepted enmity between two different kinds of road users as being natural. That's far from the case.

How many of you are old enough to remember when domestic violence was okay as long as the woman had the man's ring on her finger?

So, let's substitute some terms in the sentence Archibald astutely pointed out:

In sentencing, Magistrate Chris Bone said that while women and men do not always get along, West's behaviour was beyond the pale.
Magistrate Bone's seemingly inoffensive comment doesn't sound so nice now.
 
Jul 18, 2010
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RedheadDane said:
True, there are some cyclists who're just idiots! Unfortunately there stupidity affects all cyclists, because there are motorist who seem to think that just because some cyclists act like they own everything it's okay to drive around knocking cyclists off their bike like it was some sort of competition....
This suggests that the problem is the behaviour of cyclists, when the root of the problem is the prejudicial and bigoted attitude (and behaviour) of motorists. They see some few cyclists misbehaving and choose to paint all cyclists with that same brush. This is precisely the same phenomenon that causes some people to conclude that persons of certain races/ethnicities/religions all are deserving to be treated as subhuman because their kind always seem to show up in police crime reports.

My significant other once asked to borrow my car, but it was in the shop, so I lent her my rather enormous farm truck instead. It is so big, it has its own postal code. And two small moons. And it is rather old and abused with not a straight piece of sheet metal to be found on it, so it looks quite menacing as it rolls down the motorway. She returned quite ebullient and nattering, "When people see this thing coming, THEY GET THE HELL OUT OF YOUR WAY." And she was right. Because people fear the consequences of it hitting them. It by far is the safest vehicle I ever have owned, because it repels traffic. And if a mere Bentley limo were to ram me in it at full chat, I am not convinced the impact would be felt. Driving it makes you feel that invulnerable.

Many non-cycling motorists show no respect for we cyclists because, safely ensconced in their steel cage, they have no fear of the consequences of hitting us. Nor do they count anyone who fritters about on a bicycle costumed in skin-tight neon-coloured clothing the full measure of a human being. Neither of those conditions likely would be cured by all the world's bicyclists suddenly becoming model citizens. But a few high profile prosecutions for negligent homicide, or criminal assault with a motor vehicle, ...might. Or a national Adopt-A-Cyclist campaign, but neither seems to be very likely.
 
StyrbjornSterki said:
This suggests that the problem is the behaviour of cyclists, when the root of the problem is the prejudicial and bigoted attitude (and behaviour) of motorists. They see some few cyclists misbehaving and choose to paint all cyclists with that same brush. This is precisely the same phenomenon that causes some people to conclude that persons of certain races/ethnicities/religions all are deserving to be treated as subhuman because their kind always seem to show up in police crime reports.
It may have come across as such, but I can assure you it was not intented that way.
Guess what I meant was it's a problem that some idiotic drivers think that because some cyclists are also idiots they (the idiotic drivers) they have some sort of "right" to hit cycllists in general, regardless of how we behave.
 
Feb 16, 2011
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Vale Julian Paul, who has died a month after being the victim of a hit and run. A 31 year old woman was later found and charged for the accident.

Hopefully, his killer will now face more than the mere charges of failing to stop at an accident and failing to render assistance, especially as the driver claimed not to be aware of the accident despite Mr Paul's body smashing her windscreen to bits.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cyclist-dies-a-month-after-hitrun-20131220-2zqor.html
 
Jun 30, 2012
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Stingray34 said:
Hopefully, his killer will now face more than the mere charges of failing to stop at an accident and failing to render assistance, especially as the driver claimed not to be aware of the accident despite Mr Paul's body smashing her windscreen to bits.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cyclist-dies-a-month-after-hitrun-20131220-2zqor.html
Don't hold you breath. Murder of cyclists with cars is pretty-much legal in Australia. It's an "oopsy" at worst for the motorist. More likely though, is that the cyclist will be tried post-mortem and found guilty of damaging the car. Costs will come out of his estate.
 
Stingray34 said:
Vale Julian Paul, who has died a month after being the victim of a hit and run. A 31 year old woman was later found and charged for the accident.

Hopefully, his killer will now face more than the mere charges of failing to stop at an accident and failing to render assistance, especially as the driver claimed not to be aware of the accident despite Mr Paul's body smashing her windscreen to bits.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cyclist-dies-a-month-after-hitrun-20131220-2zqor.html
Either a consumate liar or off her head on drugs. Either way she should go to jail.
 
Feb 16, 2011
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movingtarget said:
Either a consumate liar or off her head on drugs. Either way she should go to jail.
Completely agree, but winkybiker is correct that a lot of cycling fatalities - or murders at the hands of motorists - tend to go unpunished in Australia.

We need laws that place responsibility and fault automatically at the hands of people driving big, heavy, metal killing machines in all cases.

Tempers and behaviours will be moderated when motorists know they'll go to jail if they make a mistake. It's proportional to the risk they pose to both pedestrians and cyclists.
 
Feb 16, 2011
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movingtarget said:
Depressing. It's been a bad week with the other deaths reported earlier in the week re the two young racing cyclists also killed.
It has.

I haven't ridden for 10 days because of the heat where I live. I don't do so well when it's hot (and I'm just too lazy to get up and kit up and 5.00am.)

I have to say, neither do others: driving around in the Xmas rush it's noticeable just how much the aggression, anxiety and risk-taking by motorists spikes at this time of year. Motorists are constantly speeding, honking and fighting for space at this time of year.

It's just very sad: 'tis the season for good cheer, no?
 

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