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  • RocinanteRocinante Shipmate
    edited September 2018
    sionisais wrote: »
    The "cyclists lobby" isn't anything like as influential: indeed cyclists are regarded as a bit eccentric by many, even though some do take absurd risks and show no road sense whatsoever.

    This statement makes no sense even as an en passant gratuitous insult. Surely taking risks and having no sense would make cyclists seem more eccentric, not less?

    I agree that cyclists, at the moment, in the UK, are a classic "out group" who are not "people like us" and whose views can safely be disregarded.
    Yet, one incident of a cyclist hitting a pedestrian who steps into the road gets lots of media attention and the dozens (at least) of incidents where motorists killed pedestrians, cyclists and other road users that day are ignored - even the hit and run. So we get calls for tougher laws to crack down on dangerous cyclists (even when in this case there's no evidence that he was a dangerous cyclist - indeed the CCTV seems to show he was at no fault before the accident, though at fault in leaving the scene), but where is the outrage on the pages of the Sun about motorists?

    Since most copies of The Scum seem to spend most of their lives on the dashboards of white vans, I think we can assume that they won't do anything to piss off their core readership.

    A pedestrian being killed by a bicycle is a "man bites dog" story - so rare that it's automatically newsworthy. A pedestrian being killed by a car is so commonplace that it will not make the national news. Unless there are multiple fatalities or some particularly tragic aspect (e.g. children killed by joyriders) it will be an article in the local news at best. Hence people's perception that they are in less danger from motorists, despite the fact that many of them take absurd risks and have no road sense whatsoever. See
    https://bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-norfolk-45515656/van-launched-into-the-air-during-attleborough-crash
    for a particularly bizarre piece of motoring lunacy (or just google "Audis in houses".)
  • Rocinante wrote: »
    sionisais wrote: »
    The "cyclists lobby" isn't anything like as influential: indeed cyclists are regarded as a bit eccentric by many, even though some do take absurd risks and show no road sense whatsoever.

    This statement makes no sense even as an en passant gratuitous insult. Surely taking risks and having no sense would make cyclists seem more eccentric, not less?

    I agree that cyclists, at the moment, in the UK, are a classic "out group" who are not "people like us" and whose views can safely be disregarded.

    Pleased to see you can keep a balanced view thanks to a chip on both shoulders.
  • What to actually address the point, even in Hell? Following up one ad hominem with another isn't really cutting it.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    sionisais wrote: »
    Pleased to see you can keep a balanced view thanks to a chip on both shoulders.

    I fear that Rocinante has chosen to emulate the hind end of his namesake, at least on this topic.

  • Granted I don't get out much, but a week walking around Cardiff suggests that there are a lot of people who think traffic lights do not apply to them.

    I've seen motorbikes drive down the wrong side of a road and then straight across a busy junction, I saw a group of six horses-and-carts totally disregard the traffic lights and avoid getting hit by a whisker (no idea why this group was in the centre of the city or why they think they can drive like this). I've seen lots of cars jumping lights and - it seems - almost every cyclist who works for a food app just ploughs on regardless. Of the cyclists, I saw one very nearly get taken out by a bus having jumped a light and another miss a pedestrian on a crossing by a whisker.

    I'm only surprised there aren't more fatal accidents.
  • I blame our fairly recent adoption of continental 'cafe culture'. It's a well-known fact that in places where people sit out in the street drinking coffee (and having had substantial choice in its manner of preparation), driving standards are greatly diminished compared to those places where cups of strong tea are served with a limited selection of stale cake, indoors in establishments with condensation on the windows and ketchup served in red plastic containers shaped like tomatoes.

    IOW, we are becoming Italian. After Brexit, it is to be hoped that the government will be freed from current EU restrictions on the promotion of the Proper Greasy Spoon.
  • Italy's odd. From my limited experience, in Milan using a pedestrian crossing is suicidal as drivers completely ignore them. In Sorrento, I found that while on the surface it seems pretty lawless drivers were very good at deferring to vulnerable road users and despite narrow streets and bends and hills it all sort of worked. However, the "go round a bend as fast as the car can actually maintain traction" approach results in a pretty appalling rural death rate, so I'm told.
  • I've not been to Italy but in parts of the Middle East road traffic norms are customarily ignored. I've seen traffic lights changing and nobody taking any notice at all.

    Of course in the Indian subcontinent, there are basically no traffic norms at all.

    I once observed a manouver in India where a vehicle overtook about six other lanes of traffic - including elephants, tuk-tuks etc - even though this forced it several lanes into the oncoming traffic.

    I'm sure there are lots of accidents. Apparently in some places, like in parts of China, nobody even stops to help after an accident because of the previlance of scams and fights.

    :tired_face:
  • If traffic norms are customarily ignored then they aren't norms. /pedant
  • I dunno, is something a norm when everyone does it or when there is written evidence of how they are supposed to behave?
  • mr cheesy wrote: »
    I dunno, is something a norm when everyone does it or when there is written evidence of how they are supposed to behave?

    The norm is that everyone follows the (written or unwritten) norms, unless the norm in that culture is not to follow the (written or unwritten) norms.
  • mr cheesy wrote: »
    ...
    I'm only surprised there aren't more fatal accidents.

    But when there is a fatal accident, I'll bet there's a car involved. Or a motorcycle.

    Look, stupid people are everywhere. They can and do waaaaay more damage when they operate a motor vehicle, compared to when they walk, cycle, motorcycle*, or drive a horse and wagon. The same is true of smart people. It's that simple. Not sure why this is even an argument, but even smart people can totally suck at risk assessment.

    *motorcyclists regularly kill themselves with no help from anyone or injury to anyone else, God bless them.
  • Some interesting [concerning?] US stats:
    By a long shot, Florida is the deadliest place to ride a bicycle. From 2007 to 2016, there were 6.2 bicyclist deaths for every 100,000 people in Florida, far higher than the nearest runners-up: Louisiana (3.9 deaths per 100,000), Arizona (3.5 deaths per 100,000) and South Carolina (3.2 deaths per 100,000). Breaking that out by metro areas, Florida’s cities are the most dangerous for cyclists of the 50 largest metro areas in America, with the top four deadliest metros for cyclists coming in as Tampa/St. Petersburg (7.0 bicyclist deaths per 100,000 people), Jacksonville (6.0 deaths per 100,000), Orlando (5.8 deaths per 100,000) and Miami (5.4 deaths per 100,000), with Sacramento, California coming in as the worst non-Floridian city with 4.8 cyclist deaths per 100,000.

    WSJ, via Numlock
  • edited September 2018
    Self driving cars won't work says Apple cofounder.

    Link. "Artificial intelligence in cars is trained to spot everything that is normal on the roads, not something abnormal." and unlikely to safe on roads unless everything but cars is excluded.

    Notwithstanding that Elon Musk appears be on a collision course with himself these days.
  • Rocinante wrote: »
    What to actually address the point, even in Hell? Following up one ad hominem with another isn't really cutting it.

    Is this thread strictly about cyclists or can I legitimately pick up Rocinante here for using gender-specific Latin?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Here's an interesting article about a simple technique that saves the lives of cyclists: The "Dutch reach."
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    My favourite thing about The Dutch Reach is how much it sounds like a Dutch Rudder.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    What's a "Dutch Rudder," or dare I ask?
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Google that at your own risk.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Thank you,RooK.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    There's always the Dutch Oven...
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    It's been a while for this topic, but I thought this article - concerning a hit-and-run accident - was worth sharing. It helps to explain why there are so few statistics for this sort of thing.

  • Yes. I don't think anyone has any objection to better statistics, in the same way that no one has any objection to safer roads for cycles.
  • I was wiped out (on my pushbike) with a car door by an exiting car passenger the other afternoon. I was rather sore for a few days.

    Deciding to go very hi-viz, I've been cycling around since in a dirty luminous site jacket someone found in the road. On bumping into someone I've not seen for years, he was embarrassed to be half-way through telling me to f*ck off (thinking I was about to hassle him for money) before we became re-acquainted. It's been an odd couple of weeks.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Yes. I don't think anyone has any objection to better statistics, in the same way that no one has any objection to safer roads for cycles.
    ...or, I hope, safer routes for pedestrians.


  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    You know what I hate most right now? Those goddamn scooters. On the sidewalk, in the road - either way they scare the crap out of me. On the sidewalk I'm afraid they're going to hit me. In the road I'm terrified I'm going to run one down. Sundown is right about 5 pm where I live right now, which means the light is at best iffy when people are commuting home on the dang things, and people on scooters are so fucking hard to see because they're so small -- all you really see is a person's body moving through traffic. Gah.

    And people just drop them willy-nilly on the sidewalk. I have a friend who is legally blind who has more than once tripped and fallen over one because someone just left it lying across the sidewalk.
  • People are dicks part1020457434
  • Stop shovelling snow into the street. Just don't do it. Illegal and dangerous.

    @mark_in_manchester God knows why simple transportation must require body armour and being lit up like a Christmas tree.
  • @mark_in_manchester God knows why simple transportation must require body armour and being lit up like a Christmas tree.

    It turns out that matte, dark coloured objects are actually quite hard to see on a dark night.
  • I was driving on rural roads in Ireland over New Year - one pedestrian-in-the-road (no pavements (sidewalks) out there) was saved by the incidentally-retro-reflective trade mark on his otherwise matte-black jacket. I agree, we all need to be sensible. (I've now washed the luminous site jacket. I still look like a vagrant - maybe it will be better if I save up and get my teeth fixed).
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I nearly knocked a cyclist off the other day. It was night on a dark road with little or no lighting on the street itself, but lots of lights just off the road at a nearby hospital. Many of them were low level walkway lights on posts, or similar.

    I was parked on the side of the road facing the direction of oncoming traffic. I looked behind before I pulled across to the correct side of the road, but simply didn't see him.

    In retrospect, I think he was cycling straight towards me so there was minimum profile and little or no transverse movement of his light to attract my attention, and to separate it from the other small stationary lights in the hospital grounds, and he was wearing dark clothing.

    The first I knew was when I heard him shouting. He was alarmed and annoyed, and I was embarrassed, and sorry to have frightened him and put him in danger.

    I shall try and look more carefully in future and it has made me think that in this dark season of the year I must be more hi-vis than I have been when cycling. I will dig out the yellow reflective gilet left over from my motorcycling days.
  • I took this series of photographs to demonstrate the differences between dark, bright and reflective clothing and the visibility of cyclists. All shots were taken within 2 minutes of each other on the same pretty dank evening, all had bike lights on. It convinced me to wear fluorescent, hi-vis clothing: my cycling waterproof looks like the one that is actually visible and I wear a hi-vis waistcoat in better conditions, plus the hi-vis strips as cycle clips on my ankles.
  • I gave all my loved ones bike lights with an elastic strap that can be attached to practically anything - a purse strap, zipper pull, etc. Because I walk everywhere, I have all sorts of reflective bands and lights to accessorize my outfits.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    @Curiosity killed - flickr is telling me I need to login to see your pictures.
  • Sorry - should be OK now.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    :+1:
  • Then there's this guy. The penalty is ridiculous. That's deliberate dangerous driving with intent to assault and causing injury.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Agreed. If you use your vehicle as a weapon to intentionally inflict harm on a person, you should not be allowed to use vehicles in public places any more. End of.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Thank God his BMW was forfeited. I hope it was a late model so that he lost a lot. The only difference between Nodder and Suge Knight was a fact that the victim didn't die.
  • If he deliberately drove his car at the cyclist it was assault and/or attempted murder.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Yes, of course it was. But this is the kind of shit cyclists have to put up with every day, knowing that the law doesn't give a shit about your safety.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    There are two problems - firstly the bar for attempted murder is a specific intention to kill. It's actually a higher bar than murder which only requires intent to kill or cause serious injury. That would require a change in the law, but it's hard to argue someone intended murder without proving that killing was their intention.

    The second is the tendency to treat any offence committed whilst driving as a driving offence rather than an offence against the person. That's a police/courts issue.
  • To my mind aiming a car at someone is pretty clear evidence of a specific intention to kill. I'm well aware that the police/courts/law don't agree with me. Going for a driving offence is easier and more likely to get a prosecution so that's what they do.

    It's crap but what can we do?
  • If, instead, he'd pulled a cricket bat from the back of his car and used that to beat the cyclist then he'd have faced significant charges. GBH with intent could carry a life sentence, without intent upto 5 years. Why should a cricket bat be counted as a weapon, but not a car?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The Rogue wrote: »
    To my mind aiming a car at someone is pretty clear evidence of a specific intention to kill. I'm well aware that the police/courts/law don't agree with me. Going for a driving offence is easier and more likely to get a prosecution so that's what they do.

    It's crap but what can we do?

    Amazingly people do drive at other people intending to injure, scare or intimidate. Proving the intention was specifically to kill is very difficult.

    The main point where I think change should and can be achieved is in the use of motoring charges instead of assault, GBH etc.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    The injuries as described were not serious enough to found a charge of causing Grievous Bodily Harm. Even with a charge of causing Actual Bodily Harm, the injuries and circumstances put the offence at the low end of the sentencing range - a ‘Category 3’ offence with a sentencing range from a Band A fine (25-75% of ‘relevant weekly wage’) to a High level community order (150-300 hours of unpaid work, a 60-day activity requirement, a 12-month exclusion order, or a curfew requirement of 12 hours per day for 4-6 months).

    The sentencing options are pretty similar to those for the Dangerous Driving charge, except that Dangerous Driving also allows the defendant’s licence to be removed, and a retest required.

    I’m not saying that the defendant’s action was not horrific, just that if he had got out of his car and assaulted the cyclist with a weapon so as to cause a similar level of injury the sentence would have been about the same. The moral (?) is if you use your car to commit an assault you can expect to be banned from driving as well as the other parts of your sentence.

    I wonder if the injuries amounted to GBH whether the prosecutor would have gone for GBH and Dangerous Driving
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    While I agree with you regarding the level of injury, and the sentence for that (there are several aggravating factors which I would have thought would have maxed out the guidelines - assault with a weapon, premeditation, targeting a vulnerable victim, intending to (or at least negligent as to) cause more damage than was suffered), if I was the victim, I'd want a review of the sentence. Especially the part where the criminal is allowed to apply to get his licence back.

    Nope. Never.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I think that while the cyclist is clearly vulnerable in relation to the driver, he was not vulnerable in the sense of being (e.g.) elderly or disabled, which is I think, what the law intends.

    Also I don’t think the court would find this was premeditation in the way that, say, lying in wait for him the next day would have been.

    Life disqualification is not AFAICT an available sentence, although an extended retest to obtain a new licence again should have been (maybe was) required.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Life disqualification is not AFAICT an available sentence, although an extended retest to obtain a new licence again should have been (maybe was) required.

    The problem with this man, and people like him, is not a lack of driving ability but a lack of anger management. I don't think an extended retest helps to determine whether he's sorted his problem out or not.

    I'd suggest mandatory satisfactory completion of some kind of anger management course if I thought it would be worth more than the paper it was written on.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    I’m not saying that the defendant’s action was not horrific, just that if he had got out of his car and assaulted the cyclist with a weapon so as to cause a similar level of injury the sentence would have been about the same.
    If the weapon he'd used was a gun and he fired at the guy's head, but missed and caused a flesh wound to the shoulder? Is he then guilty of just a minor offense, or is the fact that he used a weapon that could have easily caused greater harm reason to press for a more serious offense? (leaving aside the fact that have a gun in the car would be a serious crime in itself). Is there nothing in the law to differentiate a few cuts and bruises from (say) a few punches thrown (where it would be unusual for much more serious injury to be inflicted), and very similar injuries caused by a weapon (cricket bat, gun or car) where it's only a matter of luck that the injuries were so slight? Is it just the harm caused that's considered, or is there also a consideration of how much more serious the harm could have been?
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