Bicycle Safety and Licenses

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by [email protected], Jul 14, 2005.

  1. While riding around the past several days I've noticed some amazingly
    unsafe riding by what I assume are not serious cyclists. I saw a rider
    ride through a red light into a busy intersection while several cars
    stayed stopped at a green to keep from hitting him. I saw riders
    riding down the wrong way on a one way street against traffic. I
    routinely saw riders blast off the sidewalk through the intersection
    without looking or stopping. Further, these where the majority of the
    cyclists I saw while riding through my neighborhood.

    All of this made me think that bicycle safety statistics have almost no
    meaning to the serious cyclist. After all what does the accident rate
    of this group have to do withj the way I ride ? Alligator hunting is
    probably as relevant.

    It also made me think about why drivers get so angry with cyclists. And
    once again, these drivers' anger spill over to safe cyclists. How do
    people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?
     
    Tags:


  2. Pat

    Pat Guest

    :
    : It also made me think about why drivers get so angry with cyclists. And
    : once again, these drivers' anger spill over to safe cyclists. How do
    : people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?

    When we were in Germany, my sons were 10 and 7 years old. When a child is
    10, they have to take a bicycle riding class, get a grade, and work to get
    an official license. In Frankfurt am Main, where we were, there is a little
    "town" set up just elementary-school-age-children size and they practiced
    riding their bikes through the little streets with traffice lights, etc. It
    is against the law to ride on sidewalks there.

    We need something similar to this in the U.S. Too many people here think
    bikes are toys and there are no guidelines that apply to the use of these
    toys. I routinely see grown men riding their bikes on the sidewalks as well
    as against traffic. These, however, are not serious cyclists (you can tell
    by their bikes and their clothing). Children here in Texas behave as if
    there are no rules whatsoever when it comes to bicycles and frequently ride
    at night without lights. It's a wonder more cyclists aren't killed!


    Pat in TX
    :
     
  3. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    mcahill wrote:

    > I've noticed some amazingly unsafe riding by what I assume are not serious cyclists. I saw a rider ride through a red light into a busy intersection while several cars stayed stopped at a green ...


    I see "serious" cyclists running red lights all the time. They slow
    down to almost a track stand, and then dart across when they see a gap.
    I would say more "serious" riders do this than not.

    > It also made me think about why drivers get so angry with cyclists. And once again, these drivers' anger spill over to safe cyclists.


    I agree.

    > How do people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?


    I don't think it's practical or necessary. What's needed is
    enforcement. When scofflaw cyclists start getting traffic tickets,
    they'll think twice about running red lights.

    Art Harris
     
  4. B Paton

    B Paton Guest

    Doesn't this post belong in rec.bicycles.soc or rec.bicycles.misc ? It seems
    off-topic here since it does not concern technical issues.
    Respectfully,
    Blake
     
  5. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Just to frighten you even more : Boo!
    --
    Ron Hardin
    [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  6. Please don't have this discussion here -- it belongs in
    rec.bicycles.soc.

    Thanks,

    JT



    ****************************
    Remove "remove" to reply
    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    ****************************
     
  7. [email protected] wrote:

    > How do people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?


    No WAY!

    There is a common law right of all people to travel on the public
    roadways, going back to prehistoric times.

    When the automobile appeared on the scene, it was immediately recognized
    that this was an unprecedentedly dangerous device, so special
    requirements were created to regulate it.

    It is clearly understood that the permission to operate a motor vehicle
    on public roadways is a priviledge, not a right..

    None of this has any legal effect on everybody's right to travel the
    roads under their own power.

    Sheldon "A Right, Not A Priviledge" Brown
    Newtonville, Massachusetts
    +-------------------------------------------------+
    | Some of my mother's paintings may be seen at: |
    | http://sheldonbrown.com/joyce |
    +-------------------------------------------------+
    Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
    http://harriscyclery.com
    Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  8. yk

    yk Guest

    > stayed stopped at a green to keep from hitting him. I saw riders
    > riding down the wrong way on a one way street against traffic. I


    Why is it safer to ride to the direction of traffic rather than against ?
    If you always ride at the side of road or side walk and cross the street
    just like a pedestrian
    rather than like a car, isn't is safer if both cyclist and driver can see
    each other ?
    I am just curious of the reasoning behind the rule.
    Is this a universal rule or only in US ?
     
  9. On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 20:28:53 -0700, "yk" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >> stayed stopped at a green to keep from hitting him. I saw riders
    >> riding down the wrong way on a one way street against traffic. I

    >
    >Why is it safer to ride to the direction of traffic rather than against ?
    >If you always ride at the side of road or side walk and cross the street
    >just like a pedestrian
    >rather than like a car, isn't is safer if both cyclist and driver can see
    >each other ?
    >I am just curious of the reasoning behind the rule.
    >Is this a universal rule or only in US ?


    Dear YK,

    In many U.S. cities, the speed limit is 25-30 mph for cars.

    It might be a bad idea to have bicycles coming at them in
    the other direction at 15-30 mph as the cars turn right down
    side streets or to pull over to park--or to have the bikes
    turning left across the path of the oncoming cars.

    Even the slower bicycles need to ride on the right in the
    U.S. If you've ever come around a blind turn on a one-way
    street in a bike lane with a car next to you and met someone
    coming the wrong way in the bike lane, you'll understand.

    (An illegally double-parked car blocking the bike lane is
    one thing--someone coming at you head-on at 15 mph is quite
    another. Quick, which way do you dodge, right or left?)

    And think of the fun for parked cars trying to pull out into
    traffic. The driver looking over his shoulder is likely to
    smash head-on into a bicycle that wasn't visible a moment
    earlier.

    The same reasoning applies to motorcycles.

    Carl Fogel
     
  10. yk wrote:
    > > stayed stopped at a green to keep from hitting him. I saw riders
    > > riding down the wrong way on a one way street against traffic. I

    >
    > Why is it safer to ride to the direction of traffic rather than against ?
    > If you always ride at the side of road or side walk and cross the street
    > just like a pedestrian
    > rather than like a car, isn't is safer if both cyclist and driver can see
    > each other ?
    > I am just curious of the reasoning behind the rule.
    > Is this a universal rule or only in US ?


    I don't know if it's universal. Who knows what's happening around
    Alpha Centauri? But it's certainly the rule in all developed
    countries.

    Here's something our club passes out. I think it was adapted from a
    Bicycling magazine article:


    Ride RIGHT!

    The traffic laws in Ohio and every other state say:

    Bicyclists must ride on the RIGHT side of the road,
    WITH traffic - not against it!


    Why is this? Why NOT ride facing traffic?

    1. Drivers of cars, walkers, and other cyclists never expect to find
    you there.

    2. You can't see traffic signs or signals from the left side of the
    street.

    3. If you're riding toward the cars, you come together faster. There's
    less time to avoid a crash.

    4. If you're riding toward the cars, you'll hit much harder if there's
    a crash.

    5. When drivers of cars pull into the road (from a stop sign or
    driveway), they won't look for somebody coming the wrong way. They'll
    pull right in front of you. And it'll be your fault!

    6. If there isn't enough space for the car to pass you on the road, the
    driver can't wait until it's safe to pass. You'll get forced off the
    road into the ditch - or worse, into a head-on crash.

    7. A wrong-way bicyclist is a real problem for another bicyclist riding
    correctly. Someone has to go into the ditch or into traffic.

    8. Riding against traffic is one of the leading causes of serious
    bicycle accidents.

    9. Riding against traffic is against the law. But don't worry about
    this one. They won't arrest you unless you're alive.



    Is there any reason you SHOULD ride on the left, facing traffic?

    1. You can see the driver's look of surprise just before he hits you!


    IF YOU WANT TO KEEP AN EYE ON TRAFFIC, GET A REAR VIEW MIRROR.


    - Frank Krygowski
     
  11. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 14 Jul 2005 13:08:08 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

    > How do
    >people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?


    My feelings toward this are only slightly more charitable than my
    attitude toward current US leadership.

    Licenses do not guarantee rational behavior; if they did, it would
    work for automobiles, which my daily observations reveal is not the
    case. Your sample is probably just a randomly awful example.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  12. Dion Dock

    Dion Dock Guest

    Let us not forget that motor vehicles require licenses. I don't know where
    you live, but I routinely see the following:

    * running yellow/red lights
    * speeding
    * failure to come to a complete stop
    * turning without signal
    * weaving
    * tailgating
    * passing bicycles without leaving enough room (3' per the Oregon drivers
    manual)

    I think people hold bikes to a higher standard; maybe because they know the
    chances of a cyclist getting a ticket are much lower.

    A license would solve this how?

    -Dion

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > While riding around the past several days I've noticed some amazingly
    > unsafe riding by what I assume are not serious cyclists. I saw a rider
    > ride through a red light into a busy intersection while several cars
    > stayed stopped at a green to keep from hitting him. I saw riders
    > riding down the wrong way on a one way street against traffic. I
    > routinely saw riders blast off the sidewalk through the intersection
    > without looking or stopping. Further, these where the majority of the
    > cyclists I saw while riding through my neighborhood.
    >
    > All of this made me think that bicycle safety statistics have almost no
    > meaning to the serious cyclist. After all what does the accident rate
    > of this group have to do withj the way I ride ? Alligator hunting is
    > probably as relevant.
    >
    > It also made me think about why drivers get so angry with cyclists. And
    > once again, these drivers' anger spill over to safe cyclists. How do
    > people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?
    >
     
  13. A license could accomplish two things:

    1. A bicycle rider would have to know the laws appicable to bicycles
    in order to obtain the license.

    2. The threat of license revocation would aid in law enforcement in
    the same manner as with the automobile license.
     
  14. A license could accomplish two things:

    1. A bicycle rider would have to know the laws appicable to bicycles
    in order to obtain the license.

    2. The threat of license revocation would aid in law enforcement in
    the same manner as with the automobile license.
     
  15. The use of public roadways has been somewhat restricted since the
    advent of the automobile. I can't ride a horse or even a moped on an
    Interstate Highway. And as a pedestrian I am restricted as to where
    and how I can cross the roadway (jay walking laws).
     
  16. Diablo Scott

    Diablo Scott Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    >
    > 7. A wrong-way bicyclist is a real problem for another bicyclist riding
    > correctly. Someone has to go into the ditch or into traffic.
    >


    BING BING BING! That's my biggest gripe. All the other reasons have to
    do with the rider's own safety - you break this rule and you jeopardize
    MY safety... and that gets me hot.

    --
    My bike blog:
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/
     
  17. Oops...i clicked twice
     
  18. At least the "serious" cyclist you described looked for an opening. I
    often see people blast through without even looking.

    I agree with you that enforcement is necessary and I think the license
    could play a part in enforcement.
     
  19. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "Sheldon Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > > How do people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?

    >
    > No WAY!
    >
    > There is a common law right of all people to travel on the

    public
    > roadways, going back to prehistoric times.


    In the United States, there has always been regulation of the
    right of public access, notwithstanding the whacky arguments on
    the internet ranting against motor vehicle licenses and
    registration. Not that I think bicycle licensing is necessary.
    >
    > When the automobile appeared on the scene, it was immediately

    recognized
    > that this was an unprecedentedly dangerous device, so special
    > requirements were created to regulate it.
    >
    > It is clearly understood that the permission to operate a motor

    vehicle
    > on public roadways is a priviledge, not a right..
    >
    > None of this has any legal effect on everybody's right to

    travel the
    > roads under their own power.


    Except that states have power to regulate public safety and have
    passed laws keeping bicycles off certain roads and walks, and
    those laws are always upheld, IME. Again, not that I am for
    bicycle licensing -- I am just against whacky arguments based on
    the "common law" -- which seems to be a wish-list for people with
    agendas. The early American "common law" allowed for slavery,
    wife rape and a lot of other things that have been rejected as
    wrong. If you were hit and killed while riding a bicycle, under
    the English and American common law, there was no right to
    recover for wrongful death. It was cheapert to kill a person
    than to scratch him. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  20. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 14 Jul 2005 13:46:12 -0700, "Art Harris" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >mcahill wrote:
    >> How do people feel about licenses to ride a bike ?

    >
    >I don't think it's practical or necessary. What's needed is
    >enforcement. When scofflaw cyclists start getting traffic tickets,
    >they'll think twice about running red lights.


    OTOH, what we *really* need IMO is more cops *riding* bikes in their
    jobs. Houston has a fairly large bike squad which patrols primarily
    in the downtown area and a few others. Not too surprisingly, the fact
    that a good number of Houston cops are on bikes seems to have made the
    force as a whole more reality-driven on the subject of traffic law
    enforcement against both cyclists, and motor vehicle drivers who
    ignore bikes.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
Loading...
Loading...