A Cyclist's Life is Worth £45

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by rocko, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. rocko

    rocko New Member

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  2. heathb

    heathb New Member

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    It's common knowledge that when it comes to navigating the roads a cyclist is assumed at fault no matter what caused the accident. I've talked to cops that take the attitude that you decided to ride the roads and because of that it was you're choice to take the risk.

    This all comes down to the motorists annoyance at having to slow down. They just don't understand this concept. They'd rather lay on the horn and run you off the road than to slow their arrival time by a mere 20 seconds. Don't get me wrong there are very curtious drivers that are cool to us, but there are more than a few people driving very big vehicles that don't want to be bothered. The sad thing is I've seen what happens to someone when they cause an accident and kill a cyclist. Trust me it's emotionally devestating and something that a person can never forget. Seems stupid that people can't grasp that dead is dead and we all deserve to be respected even if it causes us a slight inconveinance. The picture of those four cyclists that were killed and especially that little girl really should be apart of all drivers ed courses and posted at all dmv's.

    Over the years I've been run off the highways too many times to count, I've had a basket ball thrown out of a car that hit me in the back by a group of guys that thought it would be fun to see what would happen. I've had just about every thing thown at me come to think of it. The one thing that makes me really upset is when someone is passing a car in front of me and they see me but they speed by me at 70-80 miles/hr inches from me even though there's no shoulder and no where else for me to go but in the ditch. I broke my thumb about 2 months ago because of that.

    Most of the people that know me think I've got a death wish because I spend everyday on these dangerous highways, but if people would us common sense and little respect it wouldn't be nearly so stressful for most people. I think this might be the reason that I have to ride lone wolf so much because people are scared to death to do what we do.
     
  3. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    A driver of a car which skidded on black ice and ploughed into a group of cyclists killing four of them, has been fined for having defective tyres.

    Its not as if he wanted to kill them... Black Ice is baaaaaad...

    Had he had 4 legal tyres, he still would have killed them, but not fined a cent (or pence?) and your thread title would have been "A Cyclist's Life is Worth £0"...

     
  4. friedmikey

    friedmikey New Member

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    What happened to those four was tragic, no doubt about it. But c'mon, be realistic. Accidents happen, unfortunately. That's what this sounds like to me - a very unfortunate accident. Nothing that I read in that article you linked suggested that the driver did anything intentional or negligent that led to their deaths. In fact, the article states in four different places that the tires were not a contributing factor.
     
  5. brad g

    brad g New Member

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    I don't believe that this was a careless or negligent driver, it was a tragedy caused by black ice, not the first time I've heard of it. Anyone who has driven over black ice knows what happens-you, the driver, are now just a passenger because no matter what you do, the car is not going to respond. I know that a lot of people think that cyclists are a nuisance and take unnecessary chances. I had my first close call today with a vw beetle nearly clipping me on the state highway that runs in front of my house. There were no cars oncoming, this person just did not want to yield any of the road to me. That's the kind of driver that should be prosecuted if they hurt or kill someone. This guy driving the corolla and losing control on black ice can't be held at fault because the circumstances took control of his car from him.
     
  6. heathb

    heathb New Member

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    Well yes this was an accident, but you have to get it into drivers heads that they need to slow down when coming into sight of a cyclist. Of course then you have the idiots that refuse to be bothered and will try to pass the car in front of them and into your path.

    The bottom line is motorists can do a much better job of trying to keep us safe.

    The impatience of the average driver these days is appalling. Many of these people would just as well take the risk of killing a cyclist(s) then to be two seconds late getting home.

    I'm not buying the excuse of black ice. If you see a cyclist then look to see if you can slow down, if you can then do it, it's as simple as that. It seems many older people that know how fragile life is are far more respectful about their speeds. High School/College kids and truck drivers tend to be the worst in my area.
     
  7. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    I didn't know there was a law that said drivers have to slow down at the sight of cyclists...

    If there was black ice, which there had to be or the driver would have gone to jail, he still would have gone out of control and its just bad luck that the riders were there.

    Several months ago, here is Aus, a dozen or more pedestrians were walking down a road after attending a party and a guy drove past them and wanted to show off and smoke up his tyres or fishtale up the road... He went out of control and drove over nearly all of them. Killing 3 or more and mushing up the rest. He was only young too. As much as people might hate him for killing people, that was not his intention...
     
  8. heathb

    heathb New Member

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    Dude you can't be a cyclist. I ride seven days a week and will cover 600+ miles a week when I'm not racing. If you spent that much time on the roads then you'd have no sympathy for motorists who do stupid things and should be held accountable even when it was an accident.

    Clearly the guy that ran over those pedestrians should be locked up for life. I don't really care to understand his motives. He was reckless and he killed, case closed. It seems very rare that anyone ever holds a motorist accountable for taking a pedestrians life, maybe if harsher sentencing was dulled out than people would start paying a little more attention.
     
  9. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    I don't cover huge miles but I do ride 5 days a week to work n back in traffic on major roads and on weekends if it aint bucketing rain.

    You clearly have issues and are not worth carrying on this conversation with.
     
  10. brad g

    brad g New Member

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    Car drivers can definitely be a lot more considerate around pedestrians and cyclists. They can also be more alert to motorcycles as well. But it seems that isn't the case very often. I haven't ever been confronted by any drivers that intentionally want to harm or kill anyone, but they also don't want to be inconvienced by our presence either. If more people were also cyclists, they would understand the problem from our side as well. I wish that every road had a bike lane, or a paved shoulder, but good luck convincing the government of that. I'm not saying that nothing should be done to the black ice guy, or that he couldn't have done something different, but I wasn't there and can't make the assumption that he was in the wrong. For all I know, he may have been trying to slow his car down when he hit the black ice and that's what caused him to begin skidding. I'm just saying that it didn't sound like he was doing anything unsafe or negligent. Since I'm new to road biking, I don't have a wealth of experiences in which to draw examples from, but I have been nearly hit by someone for no reason other than they didn't feel the need to share the road with me. Accidents do happen and people do get hurt, it's not always clear who the blame, if anyone, should fall on. I haven't ever been involved in a vehicle related accident where someone was injured or killed, but I know if I were the driver of a car that lost control and hit someone that it would leave me devastated. That's reason enough for me to remain alert at all times and not take unnecessary risks that put people in harm's way.
     
  11. heathb

    heathb New Member

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    Finally someone that has some common sense.

    Yes drivers are becoming less and less alert. You also hit the nail on the head when you mentioned motorcyclists as they are getting frustrated as well.

    I don't know how many times I've had to turn into the traffic because some airhead talking on a cell phone wants to merge and didn't stop to see me coming, I hear the same complaint from those that ride motorcycles as well. Matter of fact I'd like to see the use of cell phones outlawed in cars except in the case of emergency personal or doctors and surgery nurses and the like that need to be on call. Statistics point to an increase in accidents because of their use and there's no reason that most of these people even need them. We didn't have these over glorified walk-talkys when I was growing up and we turned out just fine.

    The problem with bike lanes and shoulders isn't that there not available, it's that they're often in horrible condition. The shoulders of most roads have tons of rocks, nails, staples, bolts, glass you name it and it makes for a stressful ride because you have to keep your eyes glued to the pavement at all times. Bike trails can work, but very few places build trails long enough to suit most serious road cyclists, we have a bike loop that's about 15 miles long and that's enough to satisfy the mountain bike crowd, but that isn't even a warm up for most of us.

    A lot of drivers tense up when they see a cyclist. They seem to forget that it's as simple as slowing down and going around. There's something in the mind of most drivers that tells them not to do this. I don't know if it's because they fear it will be fuel inefficient to brake(not likely if you're driving a semi or suv), there too lazy to be bothered and want to get home so they pop another tv dinner in the microwave, or they're just p****ed that you're on the road looking so slim and trim and their hiding their obese bodies behind tinted windows.
     
  12. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Do you mean this guy? http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,19924020-661,00.html

    Strange twist :(
     
  13. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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