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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chris Lockwood, Sep 12, 2005.
I don't remember hearing of this happening before:
well, A bike is a vehicle of sorts, they need to follow the laws just like a motorist. I'm amazed at all the cyclist I see that pay no heed to traffic laws when riding on roads.
I see nothing odd about that, although I'm sure it's fairly rare. Like mentioned in the article, a bicycle is a vehicle and should be riden as such, which means stay off the sidewalks and ride with traffic. I too see a lot of folks not riding like they should, although I have to say most of them are helmetless and typically riding against traffic.
It's also strange to many cops do not treat cyclists like they are vehicles too. I've heard of cops even stoping cyclists and telling them to ride on the sidewalk.
It wouldn't matter if he had not run a stop sign. If he was acting in a reckless manner, he can be charged with manslaughter.
Similar charges have been brought against reckless skiers.
Depending on the road, I may prefer the sidewalk. I'd rather hit a 200 lb person at a 15mph speed differential than have a 3500 lb vehicle hit me with a 15 - 50 mph speed differential.
I was involved in something similar a long time ago. I didn't kill anyone but I did get a ticket for reckless driving. In retrospect, I should have contested it because that person stepped off the curb without looking and I was too close to stop in time. But because I was driving a moving vehicle, I got hit with reckless driving.
There's not enough information to determine if the manslaughter and reckless driving charges were warranted. If it was a fluke accident those charges would be dropped. Hope the dude has a good lawyer.
getting hit from behind is one of the biggest myth in cyling, IME, I've never gotten hit from behind, but have come very close nurerous times from drivers not paying attention either turning left/right from the road I'm on or coming out of sidestreets. And definitely it is very dangerous to be cycling fast on the sidewalk for cars coming out of say driveways, etc. If it is so dangerous, as you say to get hit by a 3500lb vehicle then you simply do not give that driver the decision to pass you, take the lane which you are entitled to do in situations where you think it is dangerous for the vehicle to pass. There is defensive cycling as much as there is defensive driving. And there are idiots on both cars and bikes who ignore stop signs and the traffic laws.
Thanks for the good reading, Jay.
I'm in the "unusual but probably appropriate for the circumstances" camp on this one.
To follow up on what Jay said, when I need to pass a cyclist while driving my car, I always wait until I have the opportunity to move my car completely into the next lane over before passing. As Jay points out, the cyclist is entitled to the entire lane he's in. Drivers who pass cyclists by moving into the next lane as little as possible (or not at all ) are boogerheads. They usually do this because the next lane isn't clear, which means that two lanes must be shared by two cars and a bicycle at the same time. This is a clear recipe for disaster.
And while we're at it, what's with people who jog in the street when there's a perfectly good sidewalk ten feet away?
Did you forget the smiley? I hope so. Because I would imagine the straw-man walking on the sidewalk would rather you get hit by the car than themselves getting hit by a bicycle that shouldn't be ridden on the sidewalk.
It's not that I don't think that we need to do more to provide safe bicycle routes and such. But in our imperfect mix of roads built only for cars, and sidewalks meant only for peds, cyclists get the short end of the stick and need to be the flexible and oft imperiled party.
I try to bike safe. And given a choice, I will choose my path to minimize the perceived risks to my own person.
DaveF, agreed! I do tend to fall into the 20-30mph crowd, especially on my road bike, but typically I'm still about 16-18mph on my mountain bike which I commute on which is far too fast for being on a sidewalk. There are times I will go on the sidewalk and only because I go by the area every day and know exactly where any trouble spot is. There is a real short section of a strip mall I go by with parallel parking on the street. If I see somebody pull into the parking spot, I will cut up to the sidewalk to prevent being doored and typically this is about 6:45AM so there isn't that much pedestrian traffic there and many of the shops are closed anyway.
I should also add that the majority of any from behind or from in front cyclists getting hit are either 1)Drunk drivers or 2) during road races with racers crossing the double yellow (which is a no-no and illegal in many road races but does happen). And of course, drunk drivers are a danger to everybody on and off the road.