Share the Road

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Comments

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    The question is similar to the one:
    Q: How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?

    A: it does not matter if you call the tail a leg, it is still a tail. Dogs have four legs.

    The classification of a bicycle is that it is a bicycle. It's not a car. It's not a ped. It's not a writing desk. It's not an albatross. Nor a dog.

    Then why did you ask?


  • KarlLB wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So what's your answer to the question:
    Are bicycles slower cars or faster pedestrians?

    If you see what I'm getting at.
    Rationally, they are faster pedestrians. Thinking of them as vehicles, whilst technically true, is a category error in understanding how they interact with motor vehicles. Some cyclists wish to interact with vehicles on an equal basis, but that is not based on practical assessment. The idea that all it takes is for motorists to understand is itself a failure to understand how people operate.
    It is ALWAYS going to be more dangerous for cyclists to mix with motorised traffic.

    In cities, they go about the same speed as othet vehicles. Much faster than pedestrians. Your conclusion is thus bizarre.

    Cyclists may travel at the same speed as cars and therefore faster than most pedestrians but they are just as vulnerable as pedestrians. Most pedestrians only use the road when they need to cross it or there is no footpath or pavement.

    Some of the time I'm a pedestrian, the rest I'm a passenger in a car or on a bus. Cycles on the pavement are a nuisance but I can understand why they do so. It's the less-lethal option.
  • So what's your answer to the question:
    Are bicycles slower cars or faster pedestrians?

    If you see what I'm getting at.

    Neither. They are a third thing.

    But if you have to have one or the other, then the best answer is "both". Fast cyclists are more like cars (assuming we're talking about 20-30 mph stop-start urban traffic), and slow cyclists are more like pedestrians.
  • So what's your answer to the question:
    Are bicycles slower cars or faster pedestrians?

    If you see what I'm getting at.

    Neither. They are a third thing.

    But if you have to have one or the other, then the best answer is "both". Fast cyclists are more like cars (assuming we're talking about 20-30 mph stop-start urban traffic), and slow cyclists are more like pedestrians.

    We have a winner.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    In cities, they go about the same speed as othet vehicles. Much faster than pedestrians. Your conclusion is thus bizarre.
    In parts of cities they go at the same speed. In other parts they go slower and at times they might go faster.
    But they are always vulnerable, as LC mentioned.
    And they move differently to cars. Different acceleration and movement characteristics meaning you have a small object moving differently to drivers. Motorcyclists share part of this problem.
  • In town my bike is faster than my car. That's why I use it, largely. Until this realisation dawned, I defaulted to the car for all trips. It's also MUCH easier to park.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    And they move differently to cars. Different acceleration and movement characteristics meaning you have a small object moving differently to drivers. Motorcyclists share part of this problem.
    I hate to point out the flaw in your logic ... actually, no I don't hate to do it.

    There are significant differences in movement characteristics between cars. Sometimes that's down to car design - a Porsche 911 will behave differently from a people carrier. Often it will be down to the component between the steering wheel and the drivers seat. Do you want to segregate vans from small cars, the proverbial "little old lady" from the "boy racer"? When I'm in my wee car with a truck tailgating me, or an SUV cutting me up, I may not be as vulnerable as a cyclist ... but the vulnerability differential wouldn't be that dissimilar to a wee car like mine cutting up a bike. The options seem to me to either carry the traffic segregation scheme to it's logical conclusion and have separate lanes for pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorbikes, small cars, larger cars, trucks ... with subdivisions proliferating. Or, we recognise that we need to share our roads - for all of us to share the roads.

  • In slow city traffic, the conditions where bicycles can keep up, a Porsche doesn't confer any major differences to a van. A slightly better ability to nose over into a suddenly open spot in the lane adjacent, but pretty much just another people mover. A cyclist, however, can travel in the space between the slow or stopped cars. A cyclist quickly cross over to another lane where no car could. A cyclist can appear where they were not in the time between looking in the wing mirror and looking back at the empty space one wishes to turn into.
    Or, we recognise that we need to share our roads - for all of us to share the roads.
    :brickwall: No. It is not the need to recognise that everyone share the road. Most motorists do understand this. Perhaps not all with a complete understanding if they do not also ride. But understanding with full and complete knowledge and empathy doesn't change that people do not suddenly gain greater powers of observation.
    What you want is something that the human brain is not capable of handling.
  • If someone is incapable of checking their mirrors before a manoeuvre then they have no right to have passed their test ("Mirrors, signal, manoeuvre" being drummed into all student drivers ... and if there's been a period of time before being able to take the turn check mirrors and blind spots again), failure to observe where other road users are before turning is one of those things that leads to failing the driving test. That goes for pedestrians on the pavement too - because if you're turning into a road they have the priority. Why should the rules of the road be changed to allow for drivers to behave in a manner that would have lead to a failure in their driving test? Especially if in so doing you further inconvenience and endanger other road users (who, for example, may cross a road knowing they have the right of way only to find a jerk in a tin box coming at them because they failed to take a second to look before turning).
  • Alright, I think I'm not going to bother anymore. You think you are stating things that are reasonable, but they are not reality. It is not possible to pay attention to everything all the time. The best humans can do is try, but the best can fail and there will be failures. Unless you can figure a way to evolve human brains to modern city traffic.
  • You don't need to pay attention to everything. Just the important things. Sitting in traffic going nowhere there's no reason why you can't concentrate on bikes and pedestrians around you - you don't need to be staring at the car in front or the traffic lights as though that will make them change. When travelling at the usual city stop-start walking pace you do need to pay attention to the car in front as they're likely to stop suddenly - but there's still time, especially when you are stopped, for a good look around and being aware of hazards. Hazard awareness is another one of those things you're supposed to be good at to pass the driving test. If you're doing a steady 20mph+ then the hazards coming from behind are less common (won't be pedestrians or pedal cycles, but could be a motorbike), and much less likely to come up on you quickly, so you can spend more time concentrating on traffic ahead.

    Of course, if human brains are incapable of processing the information they receive when driving in modern city traffic then perhaps the answer is for us to stop driving in modern city traffic. Either use public transport, or force drivers to adopt driving assistance devices (eg: to take up some of the work of monitoring traffic, or even take over some driving functions), or even get on a bike.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    ffs, no one's saying there won't be failures. But the perfection you appear to seek is the enemy of the merely good. On a day when, apparently, you can kill someone on a zebra crossing and not go to gaol, we can simply strive to do better.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Alright, I think I'm not going to bother anymore. You think you are stating things that are reasonable, but they are not reality. It is not possible to pay attention to everything all the time. The best humans can do is try, but the best can fail and there will be failures. Unless you can figure a way to evolve human brains to modern city traffic.

    Sounds to me, if you be correct, that we must evolve city traffic to what human brains can cope with. If that doesn't include driving two ton lumps of metal safely, we have to start with them. Not the people they threaten.
  • Alright actual last post on this futile tangent.
    I’ve said from early on that vehicles piloted by humans are not the answer.
    All you three appear to want to hear is More Bikes! More Bikes! More Bikes!
  • Well, more that those who wish to use their bikes are able to do so without having yet more barriers put in their path (sometimes literally) by those who worship the automobile.
  • There's at least three conversations going on here at the same time, and the same people are part of each, and they all think it's a single conversation.
  • Oh, I think we're still working around the original point. Ranting about jerks who don't share the road, and in particular by their selfish behaviour endanger other road users. It's just that the more recent posts have related to those who endanger vulnerable road users - pedestrians and cyclists. With some proposing that rather than address poor and dangerous driving we should segregate vulnerable users from them - which doesn't help keep other car drivers safe from these idiots, indeed may be encouraging their bad driving.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    ffs, no one's saying there won't be failures. But the perfection you appear to seek is the enemy of the merely good. On a day when, apparently, you can kill someone on a zebra crossing and not go to gaol, we can simply strive to do better.

    I came close to that myself yesterday. There are roadworks outside the office so the pedestrian controlled crossing over a dual carriageway has been replaced by a temporary set, about thirty yards up the road, which is also pedestrian controlled. The traffic on my side stopped, the traffic on the kerbside of the far side too and as I got to the middle I realised that a vehicle the in lane just in front of me (three feet perhaps?) had no intention of stopping. I don't think the driver saw me. To be honest I don't think the driver saw much at all.
  • It is frighteningly easy to be killed by a motor vehicle, and frighteningly easy to kill someone whilst driving one. A moment's inattention is all it takes.

    This is a major reason why drivers who kill rarely receive significant punishment : judges and juries know that it could easily be them in the dock.

    Maybe the proper response to this slaughter is to severely restrict the numbers of these death machines, and the speed at which they travel, in urban areas? However, as previously remarked, we seem to regard it as a price worth paying.
  • Rocinante wrote: »
    It is frighteningly easy to be killed by a motor vehicle, and frighteningly easy to kill someone whilst driving one. A moment's inattention is all it takes.

    People suck at risk assessment for relatively rare risks. In the US, something on the scale of 0.01% of people are killed each year in traffic accidents. That's right in the range that people are horrible at thinking about.

    Also, people tend to think they are much better drivers than they are.

    I think this means that severe punishments for killing someone in a road accident are unlikely to deter inattention & bad driving much, because of the tendency of people to think that the bad drivers are other people.


  • Perhaps rather than just severe punishments for killing someone (though causing death by dangerous driving - which should include inattention - should carry severe penalties), since these would be very rarely administered, we should look at more frequent penalties for dangerous actions which don't actually result in harm. Fines and penalty points issued much more often for speeding, jumping red lights, failure to stop at Stop signs or giving way to other road users who have priority, using mobile phones etc. With the increasing prevalence of dashcams and body cams carried by members of the public it wouldn't even necessarily require installation of many more cameras (though I guess it would be difficult to prove speed without the data from a calibrated camera). And, yes, apply those equally - to motor vehicle drivers, cyclists and even pedestrians. A bit more difficult to show someone failed to adequately check their mirrors and blind spots (unless they turn into someone, "I didn't see him" being evidence of failure to observe where other road users are). Something which would address many of our failure-to-share-the-road issues, not just the particular issues with the safety of vulnerable road users.

    I suggested earlier a requirement for drivers to have refresher driving lessons and a retest. It was dismissed as impractical - though all it would require is recruitment of more driving instructors and examiners, and an additional cost to drivers to pay for these lessons and test. As an alternative, why not random retests of drivers? If someone isn't confident that if they were stopped on the way to work and asked to sit the driving test that they'd pass then that would say a lot about the quality of their driving.
  • I'm certainly in favour of more and better enforcement, and of ongoing testing/ training of drivers, but both are very bureaucratic and expensive. The fundamental problem on our roads is that there are too many cars on them.

    I loved Marvin's idea up thread of making all urban roads one-way for motor vehicles, then dedicating the other half of the roads to public transport, walking and cycling. Blanket 20 mph limits, and congestion charges. Make driving so inconvenient and expensive that other transport modes become much more attractive.

    I realise that this only works in towns, but since they are the source of most of the deaths, injuries and pollution, let's solve the big problem first.
  • Rocinante wrote: »
    I loved Marvin's idea up thread of making all urban roads one-way for motor vehicles, then dedicating the other half of the roads to public transport, walking and cycling. Blanket 20 mph limits, and congestion charges. Make driving so inconvenient and expensive that other transport modes become much more attractive.
    I think it was my suggestion for one-way roads for motor traffic.

    In residential areas I can see no reason why a 20mph limit couldn't be universal - many residential areas already have 20mph limits anyway, on many more it would be impractical to go more than 20mph (or, very dangerous). These roads often present hazards more frequently - narrow roads due to parked cars limiting visibility, rarely straight for any distance, pedestrians on pavements that are a) narrower and b) closer to the road, lots of side roads which traffic pull in and out of without traffic lights, road users pulling into/out of drive ways and parking spots, parked cars with people accessing them ...

    Also for many commercial areas - shopping areas, business parks etc - the same mix of increased hazards and restricted roadways would exist (though you're less likely to have children running out of their homes to play football on the local green space).

    Other urban roads wouldn't need a 20mph limit - though putting in such a limit in specific locations/times should be easier. A dual carriageway with a 20mph limit would strike most people as stupid, and would only be observed with a lot of bureaucratic ticket issuing. [confession] My only ticket was on a dual carriageway with wide grass verge between the road and pavement, a road I wasn't familiar with and followed the (relatively light) traffic flow doing a bit over 30mph with upto 40mph at times, not really registering that the cars in front were slowing to a bit over 30 in a few places before speeding upto 40 again. Signage wasn't great (yes, I know - urban area, street lights) and I went through at a steady 35, even past the camera that got me as it was a 30 limit. [/confession] Put in 20 limits on such a road and they would only be approximately observed where the cameras are - and, it's probably safer to go through at a steady slightly faster speed than keep on slowing and accelerating (less polluting too).

    Making driving less convenient and more expensive will only work if there are viable alternatives put into place. More public transport, and less expensive too, taking people close to where they want to be. Probably linked to park and ride schemes located at the edge of town or adjacent to exits from trunk roads. Greater provision of inexpensive bike rental (so you can drive to a park'n'ride and then take a bike from there - or from a train station a couple of miles from work). Make it possible for the roads to be shared - used by a (reduced number of) cars, buses, bikes, pedestrians.

  • Making driving less convenient and more expensive will only work if there are viable alternatives put into place. More public transport, and less expensive too, taking people close to where they want to be. Probably linked to park and ride schemes located at the edge of town or adjacent to exits from trunk roads. Greater provision of inexpensive bike rental (so you can drive to a park'n'ride and then take a bike from there - or from a train station a couple of miles from work). Make it possible for the roads to be shared - used by a (reduced number of) cars, buses, bikes, pedestrians.

    This reminds me of leftist comedian Mark Steel's suggestion that "Public transport should be paid for by those that do not use it". A fuel levy for private motor vehicles could fund loss-making public transport, particularly rural routes which might get one bus a week now if they are lucky and reinvigorate other services. I doubt the tax base will run dry; after all we still have thriving fee-paid health and education where free-to-use equivalents exist.
  • The difficulty is the dysfunctional fiscal system in the UK - fees and taxes paid by motorists go to central government, funding for public transport mostly comes from local government. How to funnel additional revenue from a boost in duty on petrol and diesel through central government to local government earmarked for public transport?

    I suppose local government could boost local business rates for fuel stations, with that increased cost passed onto fuel costs, and then that extra funnelled to local public transport needs.
  • Added to which, subsidy of public transport (especially in rural areas) would be a big boost to the economy - so investment in public transport would have rapid returns even without an additional revenue stream to support it. Not that the current government believes in investing to boost the economy, with a preference for cutting investment to strangle the economy in the name of "austerity".

    A recent survey of rural Scotland showed that unaffordable bus fares have resulted in almost a third of young people not continuing in education, and half of young people having to turn down a job offer because the wage wouldn't cover the bus fare ... and that's without the question of whether there's a bus at all.
  • Can I summarize a bit?
    1. Most cyclists don't go through stop signs, ride on sidewalks/pavements, nor ride the wrong way on one streets because they are evil law-breakers
    2. Most drivers who go over the speed limit. Drivers do it because the roads are designed for cars to go fast, so they go fast
    ; neither are . Cyclists go through stop signs because they are there to make cars go slow, not to stop bikes. Delivery people and cyclists salmon or go on the sidewalk because having to go four times as far around 10 blocks is ridiculous.

    They do it because these systems were designed for cars. Fix the design so that it works for people and you won't have these problems or these deaths and injuries.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Alright actual last post on this futile tangent.
    I’ve said from early on that vehicles piloted by humans are not the answer.
    All you three appear to want to hear is More Bikes! More Bikes! More Bikes!

    The answer is not cars whether human or robot controlled. They take up far to much space on the road and when parked. Car sharing which is the promise of self driving autos is better because it means less cars. But not the answer.
  • Boogie wrote: »

    Banning cycling from heavily used pedestrian areas where the pedestrians are stopping and starting and gawping at the local architecture seems pretty sensible to me. The ban covers times of the day which won't affect most commuters and which I suppose sees most tourists. The cyclist interviewed agreed that at times he gets off and walks anyway.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The Rogue wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »

    Banning cycling from heavily used pedestrian areas where the pedestrians are stopping and starting and gawping at the local architecture seems pretty sensible to me. The ban covers times of the day which won't affect most commuters and which I suppose sees most tourists. The cyclist interviewed agreed that at times he gets off and walks anyway.

    I think the issue is that motor vehicles are still allowed, subject to getting a permit, which cyclists cannot do. That seems perverse - if vehicles in the area are dangerous, why only completely ban the least dangerous of them?
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Because ministers and senior government officials shouldn't have to mix with the proles?
  • There was a Radio 4 programme on this evening, Jonathan Izard The man I killed - his experience of accidentally killing a pedestrian then deciding to get to know him, talk to the people who had been affected. He killed the man who was crossing a busy road in bad conditions; as driver he was not prosecuted. Izard also interviewed a number of other people living with the responsibility of killing others in car accidents. He came over as a caring man, but what I found chilling was the way pedestrians being killed is seen as fault free for the drivers.
  • I get the phenomenology of Jonathon Izard. He is living the the knowledge he killed someone. Sure he has PTSD. But it isn't enough as you note. His suffering isn't the point.

    What the piece should be about is the deceased man's family. But the producers of the piece probably thought the angle they chose would be more connectable with the audience. What I want to know is what the road looked like, did it have a ped path along side, was the dead guy crossing? The driver really is blame. He was checking his lights, and probably as is usual, going the speed the limit or a bit more, which was probably too fast for the road and environmental conditions. Do people sue for wrongful death in the UK? In some places in Canada, we have no fault auto injury insurance so while you can sue, insurance company subrogates anything you obtain, i.e., gets to reimburse their costs first before you get anything. I'd want this man never to drive again.
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    The man who died, Michael Rawson, was crossing the road, not at a crossing, not wearing the high-vis jacket his home had strongly suggested he wore. I am not sure I heard this, or just got the impression, but possibly from the bus stop to his old peoples' home. The visibility was bad because it was dark, poor weather. There was some confusion caused by a driver coming from the opposite direction flashing his lights. Jonathan Izard flashed back and didn't see the pedestrian in the middle of the road. It could have been seen as an all clear to cross by the pedestrian. There was an inquest a year later and Jonathan Izard was found not at fault.

    It wasn't in the programme, but in those situations it has been known for inquests to insist on pedestrian crossings and traffic calming in the area of something like this, a place where people cross from the bus stop to the old peoples' home.
  • Are peds supposed to wear high vis clothing there?
    Is there an offence of driving too fast for road conditions there?
    I wonder about the road and whether there was marked crossing anywhere near, and how far out of his way the ped may have had to walk to cross at one.

    I have to cross a 4 lane road every day on bicycle where the nearest ped crossing is 1/4 mile away. Twice a week I cross a busy (6 land road) and rail tracks that if I went to a legal marked crossing, I'd be more than 1/2 mile out of my way (total of more than 1 mile), and then into additional roads where there is no pedestrian nor bicycle safe travel ways. So I cross illegally and use safer routes once across.

    On a parallel, we have some 16,000 cars hitting animals on highways in my province each year (1 million population, so it is a lot per capita). Some 400 or 500 people are injured, and maybe a half dozen drivers and passengers are seriously injured or killed, another half dozen killed (you generally die if you hit a moose because your car takes its legs out and the 1-2000 lb animal comes through the windshield. Your car is heavily damaged if you hit a deer and they may also join you through the windshield but they're a lot smaller. Your car just bloodied and scraped if you hit a porcupine or something that size). The animals are almost always dead or need to be killed at the scene. The driver stories are almost always the same: driving the speed limit, didn't see the animals. The point is that you cannot travel the speed limit in some conditions and cannot be complacent. The driver is almost always at fault if they hit an animal re the insurance rating.
  • The driver is almost always at fault if they hit an animal re the insurance rating.

    "Fault" has nothing to do with insurance ratings. Insurers care about the probability that it will happen again, and about who is going to pay for the present damage. Deer don't carry insurance or have money, so your insurer can't get the deer to pay for repairs to your car. If you hit a deer, it is likely that you have an above-average risk of deer collisions (perhaps you do a lot of driving at dusk in areas frequented by deer). So your rate is going up, even if the deer leaped over a fence and landed on your parked car.

    Crossings are a useful safety measure, but in the UK, one is not required to cross at a crossing. In general, pedestrians may cross the street at whatever location they find convenient. Crossings do, AFAIK, change the allocation of blame in an accident. If a car strikes a pedestrian in a crossing, the car is automatically at fault. If a car strikes a pedestrian crossing the road away from a crossing, fault needs to be determined. Pedestrians who cross roads at night in dark clothing around blind corners are likely to be found at fault.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The driver is almost always at fault if they hit an animal re the insurance rating.

    "Fault" has nothing to do with insurance ratings. Insurers care about the probability that it will happen again, and about who is going to pay for the present damage. Deer don't carry insurance or have money, so your insurer can't get the deer to pay for repairs to your car. If you hit a deer, it is likely that you have an above-average risk of deer collisions (perhaps you do a lot of driving at dusk in areas frequented by deer). So your rate is going up, even if the deer leaped over a fence and landed on your parked car.

    Crossings are a useful safety measure, but in the UK, one is not required to cross at a crossing. In general, pedestrians may cross the street at whatever location they find convenient. Crossings do, AFAIK, change the allocation of blame in an accident. If a car strikes a pedestrian in a crossing, the car is automatically at fault. If a car strikes a pedestrian crossing the road away from a crossing, fault needs to be determined. Pedestrians who cross roads at night in dark clothing around blind corners are likely to be found at fault.

    Which is a problem. Don't cars have headlights partly for seeing this sort of thing? Blind corners are never an excuse for anything - you are (or should be by law) required to drive at a speed at which you can stop in the space you can see to be clear - not hope is clear or think is probably clear.
  • I think it works differently in our socialized insurance system. Auto insurance here is part of the vehicle registration, mandatory and run as a non-profit corporation by government (Crown corporation). It does make basic auto insurance cheaper than many places. If you have an at-fault collision in this province, you automatically pay the "deductable" which is the first $700 cost, unless you bought a supplementary optional additional insurance package. So that's where the costs start. You get points assessed against you and you pay higher premiums plus additional penalty amounts depending on what happened. Link. If you have any claim against the insurance at all, it always goes up the next year here. I remember well when we had children driving our vehicles.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    edited April 2018
    KarlLB wrote:
    I think the issue is that motor vehicles are still allowed, subject to getting a permit, which cyclists cannot do. That seems perverse - if vehicles in the area are dangerous, why only completely ban the least dangerous of them?
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    Because ministers and senior government officials shouldn't have to mix with the proles?

    Oh, dear... yet another Jef?

    I'm just back from a few days in the District of Columbia, where, in the course of walking a city that's well-designed for pedestrians, I almost got taken out by a cyclist speeding down a sidewalk (he came around a corner and apparently didn't see me until it was almost too late) and, later, another man who was rocketing down a sidewalk on a rollerboard and could probably not have stopped without injuring himself.

    Not everyone can ride a bicycle. Some people and objects will always have to be transported in motor vehicles. That's just reality.

    Like @lilbuddha, I'm starting to despair of having a reasoned conversation with some people on this board. The answer really is for everyone to obey the law (no, stop signs are not designed to slow down cyclists; they're there for safety, so that no one gets hit) and not to look on each other as the enemy. Riding a bicycle is a good thing in many ways, but it doesn't make you better than others.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Sigh. Everyone knows that some people and objects will always have to be transported in motor vehicles. Just in the same way that everyone knows that some people who don't need to be transported in motor vehicles will insist that they do, and those people will be the rich and/or important ones.

    And yes, the answer really is for everyone to obey the law. The discussion we're attempting to have is why bikes and pedestrians have to fit in with a law that's mostly designed around the convenience for motor vehicles, and whether or not we can do things differently. For pretty much 9 pages, that's been the constant refrain. If you haven't picked that up, no wonder you're finding reasoned conversation difficult.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Which is a problem. Don't cars have headlights partly for seeing this sort of thing? Blind corners are never an excuse for anything - you are (or should be by law) required to drive at a speed at which you can stop in the space you can see to be clear - not hope is clear or think is probably clear.

    Yes, they should. And they do indeed have a duty of care to ensure that they can come to a halt within the distance they can see to be clear. But pedestrians also have a duty of care not to camouflage themselves as roadway. Hitting someone on a crossing is a strict liability offence. If you hit someone outwith a crossing, then the degree to which the car driver and the pedestrian have taken reasonable precautions are both relevant.

    If, to take a stupid example, a pedestrian is crouched behind a piece of street furniture, and leaps out in front of a car, the car is not at fault.




  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Which is a problem. Don't cars have headlights partly for seeing this sort of thing? Blind corners are never an excuse for anything - you are (or should be by law) required to drive at a speed at which you can stop in the space you can see to be clear - not hope is clear or think is probably clear.

    Yes, they should. And they do indeed have a duty of care to ensure that they can come to a halt within the distance they can see to be clear. But pedestrians also have a duty of care not to camouflage themselves as roadway. Hitting someone on a crossing is a strict liability offence. If you hit someone outwith a crossing, then the degree to which the car driver and the pedestrian have taken reasonable precautions are both relevant.

    If, to take a stupid example, a pedestrian is crouched behind a piece of street furniture, and leaps out in front of a car, the car is not at fault.




    The pedestrian does not introduce the danger into the situation; the driver does. Therefore it us the driver's responsibility not to hit people, not pedestrians' not to be hit.

    Crouching behind bushes and jumping out on cars isn't something that generally happens; crossing the road in the dark does and drivers cannot assume it won't happen, because it will. No-one expects the sheep on our moors with unfenced roads to prance about in luminous paint and carry torches.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    ...And yes, the answer really is for everyone to obey the law. The discussion we're attempting to have is why bikes and pedestrians have to fit in with a law that's mostly designed around the convenience for motor vehicles, and whether or not we can do things differently. For pretty much 9 pages, that's been the constant refrain. If you haven't picked that up, no wonder you're finding reasoned conversation difficult.

    No, I'm constantly reading here about why cyclists shouldn't have to worry about stop signs and why motorists are inferior to cyclists because they drive about in "tin boxes." That's not reasoned discussion. It's us-against-them.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    The pedestrian does not introduce the danger into the situation; the driver does. Therefore it us the driver's responsibility not to hit people, not pedestrians' not to be hit. ...

    In fact, pedestrians do introduce danger into the situation on a regular basis, by crossing in the middle of the street, wearing dark clothes while walking along the road at night, and other infractions against common sense.

    "For all have sinned and fall short," as St. Paul puts it. It would be nice if some people would admit that they're not blameless in the share-the-road wars.

  • edited April 2018
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    The answer really is for everyone to obey the law (no, stop signs are not designed to slow down cyclists; they're there for safety, so that no one gets hit) and not to look on each other as the enemy. Riding a bicycle is a good thing in many ways, but it doesn't make you better than others.
    It's not about being better. Nor is it about cyclists ignoring stop signs. Rather it is about signs for cars not being the same as signs for bicycles. Thus, cyclists should have stop signs as yield signs. We don't make pedestrians stop at stop signs. It is about laws for bicycles should apply to bicycles. Laws for cars should apply to cars. Bicycles ≠ cars ≠ pedestrians. Read on please.

    Let's try again with some information. This came up today on my RSS feed about cycling:Colorado House Passes Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.
    The bill is a little convoluted. It would not “allow bicyclists to ride through stop signs,”.... The idea behind the safety stop is to bring the law into alignment with reasonable cyclist behavior.... at intersections with stop signs, cyclists should slow “to a reasonable speed” and yield to anyone with the right of way before proceeding.

    This is the point. It is not reasonable for cyclists to come to full stops at signs for cars. The signs are not intended for bicycles. For a car driver, a stop sign is a minor inconvenience, merely requiring the driver to shift a foot from accelerator to brake. A cyclist who rolls through a stop at 5 mph needs 25 percent less energy to get back to 10 mph than does a cyclist who comes to a complete stop (link is PDF). It isn't trivial when cyclists have fully stop repeatedly. Cyclists know that cars are the source of most of the danger they experience on the road. A good place to start is to take cyclist worries seriously, and not presume a car road system is right for bicycles.

    Your concerns as a pedestrian are noted. In situations of many pedestrians and many bicycles, it is dangerous for them to mix on the same pathways. It is also difficult for peds to see bicycles sometimes on mixed traffic roadways, i.e., line of parked cars, no marked bicycle lane and then several lanes of cars. The cyclist will legitimately monitor the cars because they can kill and seriously injure, while also trying to avoid car doors openning, sometimes the signal monitoring means a pedestrian or a door gets hit. I agree with the PDF I linked: traffic engineers should ride bicycles, and I'd add that they also should walk through infrastructure they design.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    The pedestrian does not introduce the danger into the situation; the driver does. Therefore it us the driver's responsibility not to hit people, not pedestrians' not to be hit.

    Actually, it is everybody's responsibility to take reasonable actions to avoid a collision. For a pedestrian, that would include looking to see that the way was clear before stepping out into the road (and if you can't see both ways, you're not in a sensible place to cross the road). For a driver, it would certainly include not driving too fast around blind corners, and would also include things like not assuming that the crowd of people spilling out of the pub are going to behave in a sober and rational way.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    No, I'm constantly reading here about why cyclists shouldn't have to worry about stop signs and why motorists are inferior to cyclists because they drive about in "tin boxes." That's not reasoned discussion. It's us-against-them.

    No Prophet (amongst others) has dealt with the Stop signs thing before. The 'tin boxes' thing? On foot or on bike (assuming I haven't got headphones on, or my face jammed into my phone screen, and why would I, I'm not an idiot) I have much better awareness of everything that happens around me than I do when I'm in a car - cars that have built-in blind spots, that have no speed limiter, that often boast about the in-car entertainment console. That's simply a fact. Driving styles can mitigate the degree of isolation from the environment - constantly checking blind spots, making certain of speed limits and obeying them, not cranking up the EDM to 120dB or arguing with your partner over the hands-free phone - but (again, as has been previously mentioned) with great power comes great responsibility. Cars are simply more dangerous than bikes, both to bikes and to pedestrians.

    I drive more than I bike these days. It's not like I have a particular vested interest in making driving more difficult. But I actually do care about my community and the people living in it, and I'm willing to make sacrifices to make their lives better.
  • I've been using the "tin box" terminology. Because:
    a) it's a very common term to describe cars
    b) it's quite descriptive - OK, the material of a car isn't tin, and only approximately box shaped - but, it's a protective structure around the driver (and passengers, if any) that reduces the effect of accidents on people inside that tin box
    c) as Doc Tor said, it's descriptive of the isolation from the environment that a car provides
    d) this is Hell, so reasoned discussion isn't top of the list of how I respond
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    KarlLB wrote: »
    The pedestrian does not introduce the danger into the situation; the driver does. Therefore it us the driver's responsibility not to hit people, not pedestrians' not to be hit.

    Actually, it is everybody's responsibility to take reasonable actions to avoid a collision. For a pedestrian, that would include looking to see that the way was clear before stepping out into the road (and if you can't see both ways, you're not in a sensible place to cross the road). For a driver, it would certainly include not driving too fast around blind corners, and would also include things like not assuming that the crowd of people spilling out of the pub are going to behave in a sober and rational way.

    Aye, but "reasonable" is an important word. The person who brings the two tonnes of fast moving metal into the equation is the one who is making the situation dangerous. Roads are not dangerous. The motor vehicles on them are. Therefore the primary responsibility belongs to them.

    Just think how much more carefully people would drive if they knew that "I was only doing the speed limit and they stepped out in front of me" wasn't an automatic get out of jail free card. Could you have seen the pedestrian on the pavement? Why did you not consider the possibility they would step out and moderate your speed? At the moment we let people think they have the automatic right to ignore potential dangers like these if they can somehow find a way to blame the dead person on the road.

    Incidentally, I don't want particularly to trade "nearly hit by" stories, but in the hour it took me to ride home last night I had about six close passes. That's pretty normal. The speed limit along the worst offending stretch is 40 but average speed is about 60. The police refuse to police it (I've asked them to) because there aren't enough people killed there to justify it. So it's a lawless free for all. Approximately 90% of the motorists on that stretch are breaking the law. When I drive along it at the speed limit I get flashing lights, tailgating and aggressive overtaking.
  • Though, failing to indicate the pedestrians near the road would be a fail in the hazard assessment part of the driving test (maybe a contribution to a fail). So, that shouldn't be a get out of jail free card. If you aren't paying attention to potential hazards to the extent that you wouldn't easily pass the driving test then you are at fault.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    My husband hit a teenager on the road, she stepped out from behind a bus. He was doing well under the speed limit and swerved. Luckily it was safe to swerve and luckily she only broke her leg. Her parents sent my husband a ‘thank you’ letter for reacting so well and so quickly.

    Everyone on the road has responsibilities to keep themselves and others safe. But no one should be making assumptions either - that people can or hear you or see you or that people aren’t going to do unpredictable things.

    My husband was very shaken up and it was absolutely not his fault.

    A friend of mine witnessed a child knocked down and was first on the scene, she did CPR on the child but she knew he was dead. His parents were there so she continued until the paramedics came, even ‘tho it was futile. The young man, the driver, was screaming. When my friend told me about it I felt for him just as much as for the parents. His life will never be the same, once again, through no fault of his own.

    Another friend is a nurse, she saw two motorbikes racing as she drove down the road - they were doing at least 70 in a 30. Then she came on the accident - also first on the scene and realising neither the motorcyclist nor the pedestrian he’d hit were alive.

    I’m very much in favour of more regulation. I’d have speed cameras absolutely everywhere - and huge fines. But more education is needed too for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
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