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Bicycles (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 3 years ago | (#36752386)

I can't see how any of this is likely to improve things for bicyclists, but I sure would like a transponder to carry in my pocket that warns distracted drivers that I'm in the vicinity.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752450)

If you want to improve things for cyclists maybe you guys could obey the traffic laws for once instead of biking through stop signs and red lights?

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752482)

You forgot about passing on the right, on the shoulder. Their favorite maneuver, and it's two moving violations in a single blow.

Re:Bicycles (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 3 years ago | (#36752634)

You forgot about passing on the right, on the shoulder. Their favorite maneuver, and it's two moving violations in a single blow.

It depends on where you live. Where I live, bicycles are allowed to pass on the right.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752738)

You forgot about passing on the right, on the shoulder. Their favorite maneuver, and it's two moving violations in a single blow.

It depends on where you live. Where I live, bicycles are allowed to pass on the right.

I actually think that is most places. Cyclists are supposed to be riding on the shoulder and if traffic is slow enough for them to be passing you, well you're in a traffic jam and they do not have to pull out into traffic to get around you. They are supposed to remain on the shoulder and out of traffic.

Re:Bicycles (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 years ago | (#36752926)

Cyclists are supposed to be riding on the shoulder and if traffic is slow enough for them to be passing you, well you're in a traffic jam and they do not have to pull out into traffic to get around you.

There is no such law that says cyclists should ride on the shoulder. Maybe you mean the bike lane?

Even then, there are some good and legal reasons [ca.gov] to venture out of the bike lane, such as when the bike lane is full of debris, or when preparing to make a left turn, or to avoid being on the right side of right-turning traffic. And the requirement to ride in the bike lane only applies as long as the bicyclist is traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic [ca.gov] .

Re:Bicycles (1)

SatanClauz (741416) | about 3 years ago | (#36753502)

I almost flattened a guy when he decided to go straight between two turn lanes on his bike. Luckily, I pride myself in being aware of my surroundings when i'm behind the wheel and he got to keep his ability to walk that day. Riding between cars because traffic is backed up is dumb to begin with, but compound that with going straight between two turn lanes? .....

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752944)

The vast majority of the time, the bicycle forms a rolling roadblock that takes forever to pass safely, then when you get caught at the next red light because of having to drive so slowly behind the bicycle, they pass all the cars they've been slowing down on the right up to the red light and cause another roadblock. Bicycles passing on the right is the cause of a lot of the traffic jams. Then they wonder why people give them the finger after 5 repetitions of the traffic problem they cause.

I now pull into the shoulder at red lights after I pass a bicycle to block them from passing on the right to break the repeated idiocy.

Re:Bicycles (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 3 years ago | (#36753054)

I actually think that is most places. Cyclists are supposed to be riding on the shoulder and if traffic is slow enough for them to be passing you, well you're in a traffic jam and they do not have to pull out into traffic to get around you. They are supposed to remain on the shoulder and out of traffic.

That also varies by state. Virginia law says the cyclist should ride as far to the right as is safely practicable. It also allows the cyclist to ride in the middle of the lane if it's not wide enough for a motor vehicle to pass in the lane.

It would be nice if the people posting anti-cyclist comments would actually read the laws pertaining to them, but I guess that's too much to ask of /. readers.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Vancorps (746090) | about 3 years ago | (#36753572)

I think the argument is that the rules of the road regarding motor vehicles is pretty much the same from place to place but biking laws are very different from state to state.

In addition, you pretty stated the real problem. People who drive cars or motorcycles know the rules of the road, they do not know about cycling laws because they don't bike through the streets and they don't have to subscribe to the same rules that cars or motorbikes do. Can you blame people for getting frustrated when a cyclist can do things to cause major congestion while the same actions with a motor would get you ticketed?

Personally I think this idea that biking on a sidewalk is dangerous is utterly stupid compared to the danger of biking in the road. That was one major overreaction to what I'm sure was a tragic event for someone.

Re:Bicycles (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 3 years ago | (#36754288)

I think the argument is that the rules of the road regarding motor vehicles is pretty much the same from place to place but biking laws are very different from state to state.

I'll concede that there are fewer variations between states for motor vehicles than there are for bicycles, but on the whole, the laws are fairly consistent for both types of vehicle. Stay on the right side of the road, stop for stop signs and red lights, use lights when it's dark, etc. Don't drive on the sidewalk.

In addition, you pretty stated the real problem. People who drive cars or motorcycles know the rules of the road, they do not know about cycling laws because they don't bike through the streets and they don't have to subscribe to the same rules that cars or motorbikes do. Can you blame people for getting frustrated when a cyclist can do things to cause major congestion while the same actions with a motor would get you ticketed?

The population at large doesn't know that cyclists should follow the same rules as cars because they haven't been taught anything about bicycling. In the U.S., "bike safety" pretty much consists of: 1) don't get run over by cars; and 2) wear your helmet. It's kind of like abstinence-only sex education.

Personally I think this idea that biking on a sidewalk is dangerous is utterly stupid compared to the danger of biking in the road. That was one major overreaction to what I'm sure was a tragic event for someone.

Biking on sidewalks is something like twice as dangerous as biking on the road in a lawful manner. The basic reason is that the cyclist isn't seen as traffic by drivers on the road, and every intersection or driveway becomes a road that he must enter. In the more than 60,000 miles that I've ridden, I've only had one collision with a motor vehicle, when the motorist coming in from a side street failed to yield. That would have happened even if I had been riding the sidewalk. In my bike club, bike-car collisions are much rarer than single-bike accidents or bike-bike accidents.

Re:Bicycles (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#36754866)

2) wear your helmet.

It isn't law that you have to wear a helmet on a bicycle is it??

I never wore one as a kid...no such thing really that I recall when growing up and riding bicycles.

I see lots of them now..but was assuming it was voluntary.

Re:Bicycles (1)

daedae (1089329) | about 3 years ago | (#36754048)

They've actually started posting signs around Charlottesville to alert both bicyclists and drivers when a cyclist can use the full lane.

Re:Bicycles (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#36753084)

Cyclists are supposed to be riding on the shoulder and if traffic is slow enough for them to be passing you, well you're in a traffic jam and they do not have to pull out into traffic to get around you.

If I remember correctly, the most common cause of cyclist deaths in London is people who think that passing a bus or truck on the left as said bus or truck is trying to turn left is a really neat idea.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753130)

Where do you live that that is not allowed?

Re:Bicycles (3, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 years ago | (#36752620)

If you want to improve things for cyclists maybe you guys could obey the traffic laws for once instead of biking through stop signs and red lights?

When a bicyclist obeys the law, unfortunately nobody ever remembers it. How often do you remember a motorist who obeys the law?

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752968)

How often do you remember a motorist who obeys the law?

Where I live, it's uncommon enough that I do remember it.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753156)

If I ever see a car drive on a sidewalk in order to get around traffic and blow a red light, I'm pretty sure I'll remember it. I see bicycles do this at least once a week.

Re:Bicycles (2)

Anguirel (58085) | about 3 years ago | (#36754084)

If I ever see a car drive on a sidewalk in order to get around traffic and blow a red light, I'm pretty sure I'll remember it. I see bicycles do this at least once a week.

And I see cars violate the speed limit, blow red lights, accelerate into yellow lights, ignore lane markings, fail to signal turns, signal turns they never make, signal turns or lane changes they just made, tailgate, and otherwise drive recklessly hundreds of times a day. I can look out my window here at work and [i]see it right now[/i]. If you only see a cyclist violating the law once a week, they're doing far better than the average motorist.

Re:Bicycles (1)

operagost (62405) | about 3 years ago | (#36754410)

I only see a bicyclist about once a week, period. And about once a month, that guy is running red lights, making illegal turns, using pedestrian ROWs without dismounting, etc.

Re:Bicycles (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#36754902)

These days...roads ARE meant for motorized vehicles....I mean, you rarely see horse's and carriages on paved road ways these days....they just aren't good for todays modern traffic needs, and neither are bicycles.

If you can pedal > than 30mph consistantly, you really should have no right to be on a modern roadway with motorized vehicles.

The difference in speed is a killer.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 3 years ago | (#36753896)

Well you're not supposed to be rewarded or remembered for doing the things you're supposed to do. Even more emphatically when is the law.

When there are many exceptions that it becomes the rule, it means that the people is not following the regulations as they should, they are not properly enforced or ignorance is taking over.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752632)

Or maybe get a bike rack for your car so you don't have to ride in the middle of a lane of traffic during rush hour to get to the miles of nice bike trails that exist for you to ride on.

Also stop wearing those retarded matching spandex outfits. Seriously. You look ridiculous. Everyone laughs at you.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Anguirel (58085) | about 3 years ago | (#36754108)

Or maybe get a bike rack for your car so you don't have to ride in the middle of a lane of traffic during rush hour to get to the miles of nice bike trails that exist for you to ride on.

And what if they are commuting to and from work by bike, not heading out to trails?

Re:Bicycles (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 years ago | (#36754928)

And what if they are commuting to and from work by bike, not heading out to trails?

Then get a car or ride a bus....and quit holding up traffic while the rest of us in/on proper motorized vehicles can get to where we're supposed to be ON TIME, rather than stuck behind bicycles that can't keep up.

Re:Bicycles (2)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 3 years ago | (#36752760)

If you want to improve things for cyclists maybe you guys could obey the traffic laws for once instead of biking through stop signs and red lights?

That's a red herring. I obey traffic laws, and I know plenty of other cyclists who do so as well. Distracted drivers, however -- just like drunks -- make no distinction between scofflaws and law-abiding people.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36752820)

That's a red herring.

How so? On a daily basis I see multiple bikers violating traffic laws that would cost me 100s of dollars.

I obey traffic laws, and I know plenty of other cyclists who do so as well.

Yes, because you and the other cyclists you know clearly make up the entirety of all cyclists in the entire world. Oh wait...

Distracted drivers, however -- just like drunks -- make no distinction between scofflaws and law-abiding people.

Yeah, as opposed to the bikers who drive around with headphones on and are just as unaware of their surroundings as a distracted driver?

Re:Bicycles (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 3 years ago | (#36752938)

I see multiple drivers violating trafic laws every day. Therefore all drivers always violate trafic laws? Or is it only not a red hearing when you apply the same logic to bikers?

Re:Bicycles (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36752972)

I never bicycle, but a distract biker is only a danger to himself vs a distracted driver who is a danger to everyone on the road.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | about 3 years ago | (#36753140)

A distracted biker can be a danger to drivers around them, if the driver has to swerve or slam on his brakes to avoid killing the biker. Or are you saying we shouldn't risk other cars at the expense of one distracted biker?

I don't mean to take one side of the argument or another, but this is a point that I didn't see made. Yes, bikers violate traffic laws. Yes, so do drivers. Not all bikers are bad, not all drivers are bad. The danger possible with a car is potentially greater than a bike, but not always. Butterfly effect, man.

Re:Bicycles (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#36753172)

I never bicycle, but a distract biker is only a danger to himself vs a distracted driver who is a danger to everyone on the road.

Yeah, right.

Back in the real world, the number of pedestrians killed per passenger mile by cyclists in the UK is about the same as the number killed by motorists; I've no idea about US statistics. Just because a cyclist isn't likely to kill someone in a car, that doesn't mean they're not going to kill a pedestrian.

I have fond memories of the cyclist who, just before I left the UK, barely missed me as I stepped out of a store in a 'pedestrianised' area where they were blasting along at 20mph or so with a kid sitting on their handlebars. Had they hit me, there's a good chance that I or the kid or both might have at least spent some time in hospital.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36754520)

I'd like to have something more than your word on this, I've never seen anything at all with regards to this.
Just so you know, ask many cyclist, a 20mph crash has almost no chance of killing you, if it did then the speed limit for residentional areas would not be 20mph.
It was only this week end someone on the tour de France was hit off his bike at around 26mph into a barbed wired fence, got up and continued to finished the section. O' that was after a few front flips.

AC

Re:Bicycles (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 3 years ago | (#36754292)

Absolutely not. A biker has the capacity to cause an accident, which is a danger to EVERYONE involved. Yeah, the guy in the car is going to be a lot better off than the guy on the bike, but it doesn't mean the guy in the car is going to suffer no injuries whatsoever.

Also, a distracted cyclists forces a driver to make a choice: hit and kill the cyclist or hit and injure people in an adjacent car but spare the guy on the bike. It's obviously far better to rear-end a slow moving car in the next lane than slam into a cyclist at full speed. Overall the number and severity of the injuries are reduced, but not even close to eliminated.

Don't for a fucking second think that a cyclist playing around in the street isn't a danger to other people.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753396)

Yes, because you and the other cyclists you know clearly make up the entirety of all cyclists in the entire world. Oh wait...

Just like all the cyclists you see make up the entirety of all cyclists in the entire world? Oh wait...

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36754376)

I see, we should ban deaf people from driving and cycling.
Because you need your ears in a car?
Eyes are OK from within a cage where your view of the outside world is limited and you need mirrors to see it, yet someone on a bicycle is the one at fault for not being to hear, you sir, are a troll.

AC

Re:Bicycles (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#36753138)

It's not entirely unreasonable. I've noticed that cyclists seem to regularly ignore the laws when convenient. I'm not sure who gave them the idea that they can ride in the street just because they want to. But, they're only provisionally allowed to if they're going to follow the normal traffic laws. Which means that if they can't keep up with traffic that they can't be in the street.

It's just too much of a hazard to drivers to be stuck behind a cyclist that's going well under the speed limit. Worse is trying to get around them safely.

Re:Bicycles (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 3 years ago | (#36753188)

Don't know about your laws, but where I am it's perfectly legal for a bike to be on the street, other than major highways. You are no speed minimums here, so they're just another vehicle. In fact there's a campaign now for bikes to ride in the center of the lane to force cars to actually change lanes to pass because of the number of cyclists killed by drivers who don't know where there car is and try to pass without changing lanes.

Re:Bicycles (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#36753300)

In fact there's a campaign now for bikes to ride in the center of the lane to force cars to actually change lanes to pass because of the number of cyclists killed by drivers who don't know where there car is and try to pass without changing lanes.

I'm sure that will really work well in rush hour and really, really make drivers love cyclists.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Anguirel (58085) | about 3 years ago | (#36754190)

It's not entirely unreasonable. I've noticed that cyclists seem to regularly ignore the laws when convenient. I'm not sure who gave them the idea that they can ride in the street just because they want to. But, they're only provisionally allowed to if they're going to follow the normal traffic laws. Which means that if they can't keep up with traffic that they can't be in the street.

It's just too much of a hazard to drivers to be stuck behind a cyclist that's going well under the speed limit. Worse is trying to get around them safely.

The speed limit is an upper bound, not a lower bound. All vehicles on the road are permitted to travel under that limit, unless there is also a posted minimum. It's no different than a person driving an old Model T in the street, or someone with a Horse-Drawn Carriage. Public Roadways are for public use.

If you're so upset about their presence, here's a great idea that will make everyone happy: lobby your local city council to add bike lanes and commute bike trails so they can get out of your way. It would make them happy to be out of the street and the exhaust, and you happy since they can't slow you down.

Off Topic-Bicycles (1)

einstein4pres (226130) | about 3 years ago | (#36752850)

Well, that varies by cyclist, as you can imagine. Some cyclists obey the law, just as some drivers do. I can't control what other cyclists do, just like you can't control what other motorists do.

There's a lot of confusion between both cyclists and motorists about how to treat cyclists. Laws vary a lot by state (and city). And a lot of people (on both sides) just don't seem to understand that bicycles are vehicles and should obey the laws of vehicles on the road. And be on the road, not the sidewalk (by law in many jurisdictions)

I stop at stop signs and yield to traffic with right of way, and occupy the lane when it's necessary for safety (and get over to the right if not).

I do not stop completely at stop signs if no one is around and I have good sight lines. Bicycles are much slower, have much better visibility than cars (higher, no near-field distractions) and therefore get a much better view of intersection. And they've got a lot more skin in the game if they make a mistake. Coming to a complete stop with a bicycle is almost never necessary for safety reasons. Idaho allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs [bicyclelaw.com] .

Probably 70% of drivers incorrectly yield to me when I approach a 4-way stop, though. Even after I come to a full stop, and put my foot on the pavement, they'll sit there and wait for me to go. Not to mention the aggressive, unsafe overtaking and other problems that drivers seem to have sharing the road with cyclists.

Re:Off Topic-Bicycles (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 3 years ago | (#36754314)

I very rarely find a good middle ground with cars. Either they're too scared to go past me even when I'm stopped on the side of the road with one foot on the curb, or they want to blow past me straight away, no matter what else is happening around them.

From my observations, most bicyclists obey the law about as much as most car drivers: which is not very much.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | about 3 years ago | (#36752928)

Yeah - the last town I lived in (small college type) rather seriously enforced all of the pedestrian and cyclist laws. You could bike in the center of your lane (like a cyclist is supposed to do) and cars behind would respect your space, speed, and not try to pass. You'd even be ticketed for trying the sidewalk (and definitely for stop sign/light violations & etc...).

Pedestrians could cross at a cross walk completely blind and be perfectly safe (even at jogging speeds - you have the right away after all, why should you bother looking at every "cross-street" to see if the guy with the stop sign is really going to stop?). If you tried taking the bike through a cross walk for the right-of-way, you had better have hopped off and walked it though.

Where I live now, biking in the lane, even at the speed limit, is more or less suicide. Cars will run you off the road with the assumption that you're going to slow them down. I haven't pulled my bike out in a few years for any serious means of transportation. If I want to go riding and not die it's got to start with a bike rack and using the car to get somewhere else. For people in the area who don't have the cash for a car, but can manage a bike, it's no wonder why they ignore the law and take to the sidewalks and such. Same thing for red lights - if it's visibly clear - you get across before some idiot making a right turn after the light goes green clips the back wheel off of you (since you have to ride on the shoulder not to get mowed down, obviously you would have been safer in the center of the lane where you're legally supposed to be if the laws were actually enforced).

Re:Bicycles (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#36753158)

Around here if you're not keeping up with traffic you're not allowed on the street. And with good reason, impeding the flow of traffic is dangerous for everybody involved. It's even worse when it's a cyclist as they require even more attention from drivers when they're doing that.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 years ago | (#36753278)

Around here if you're not keeping up with traffic you're not allowed on the street.

Then you must not live in an area with farm vehicles.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 3 years ago | (#36754470)

There's generally a special exception for farm and construction vehicles just about everywhere in the country. When in the street they're required to have an orange reflective triangle on the back of the vehicle.

I have you covered on that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752942)

I ride on the sidewalk, as to not break any road laws!

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753038)

In my area, the problem is more cyclists who hop two-lane roads with 45mph speed limits and take up the lane going 10mph. If there is even moderate traffic they render the road basically impassible. I'm all for treating cyclists equally, and if a car got decided to consume the only lane with no intention of going even a quarter the speed of the flow of traffic, then I would be justified in honking at them. In some jurisdictions this would earn you a reckless driving charge in a car.

Motorists in my area don't like sharing the road with cyclists because the cyclists in my area don't share the road in return.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 years ago | (#36753214)

In my area, the problem is more cyclists who hop two-lane roads with 45mph speed limits and take up the lane going 10mph.

That's perfectly legal in certain situations. For example, if there's no traffic, or if the lane is a "substandard width lane [ca.gov] ."

I'm all for treating cyclists equally, and if a car got decided to consume the only lane with no intention of going even a quarter the speed of the flow of traffic, then I would be justified in honking at them.

In what state is it legal to honk at someone just because they inconvenienced you? Not in California [ca.gov] .

Re:Bicycles (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 3 years ago | (#36753330)

Bicycles should not be on the same road with trucks. Neither should motorcycles. It is insane. Frankly, even cars is a little insane--drive a tractor trailer for a while, you'll see. But there's just no sense in smaller vehicles sharing the same road. We really should have a fundamentally different transportation design.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 3 years ago | (#36754022)

Once we get 5 (trucks, cars, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians) sets of dedicated roads leading to all locations, fine. Problem is that is impossible, and we are currently serve less than 50% of locations with 2 sets (vehicles and pedestrians) in any but the most dense cities.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Pope (17780) | about 3 years ago | (#36754118)

Motorbikes are perfectly safe on highways with big rigs, the rider just has to give a wider berth when passing to not get caught in the dirty air. My 31 year old 400cc Honda keeps up fine on the highways up to 120km/h, it's right in the power band. But as with cars, it's the unsafe morons who make it hell for everyone around them.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 3 years ago | (#36754832)

They are perfectly safe assuming there are no problems--the problem is that the margin for error is so small, and that if there is an accident there is hardly any protection for the driver or passenger. I know someone who suffered major injuries from a relatively slow speed injury between a car and motorcycle, when he was stopped at a red light. It was not his fault--but a car would have made all the difference.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753500)

I've started doing just that.

I take the whole lane, and ride so that no cars can get past me. I stop at the intersections, and I get my speed up SLOWLY.

I mostly do this to piss off drivers that don't understand what it is like to ride a bike.

Re:Bicycles (1)

yodleboy (982200) | about 3 years ago | (#36753612)

while we're on anecdotes... i've been hit by cars 5 times while cycling. 3 of them were drivers rolling through stop signs, even though I had gotten there first, stopped, and then gone on. 1 was an impatient lady that didn't seem to realize her light was still red and gunned it into the intersection. the last was a bozo that decided to back up at a light. into me... and let's see what about the thrown objects? firecrackers, cans, bottles. And the people that would rather clip you than dare to put a tire on or over the center line and give you some room. I could go on and on and on about the hostile asshat drivers I've dealt with over the years while I tend to obey the traffic laws like a good boy. I'd love for these tools to be on the other side someday.

Now, have i rolled through a stop sign intersection or turned on red when the sign clearly admonishes me for doing so? Sure, but I think the difference is I am very aware of my surroundings when i do so and if there's a vehicle around, i just stop. The consequences for me NOT seeing a car are just too severe. Drivers on the other hand forget they are driving 2000lb missiles and roll on through, oblivious to anything in the world.

The upside is all this drama has made me the most defensive driver on the planet. I'm convinced that people are really about to hit me for no reason at any moment lol.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36754344)

Now, have i rolled through a stop sign intersection or turned on red when the sign clearly admonishes me for doing so? Sure, but I think the difference is I am very aware of my surroundings when i do so and if there's a vehicle around, i just stop..

Do you stop for pedestrians as well? As a pedestrian, if I'm crossing the road (at a pedestrian crossing with a green man) and a bike is coming, I cannot continue because 90% of the time the bike just goes straight through and I've been almost hit several times when they've continued on from behind stopped cars while i've been attempting to cross the road. Please stop doing this. Stop signs are not just for cars but also to allow pedestrians to cross.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 3 years ago | (#36754566)

"Sure, but I think the difference is I am very aware of my surroundings"

I hear this argument all too often. "I'm a cyclist and I hate drivers for breaking the law, but it's OK for me to break the law because I'm a better cyclist than they are a driver". Your argument rests solely on your flawed belief that you're better than everyone else.

"The consequences for me NOT seeing a car are just too severe"
You imply that the consequences for a driver failing to see another car are negligible. Do you seriously believe that drivers always walk away from car v. car collisions?

Motorists (1)

bigtrike (904535) | about 3 years ago | (#36754180)

Motorists obeying traffic laws would be a great start. Not even the cops here actually stop at stop signs. Turn signal use is infrequent, as is stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Everyone talks on their cell phone while driving too, which is illegal here.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#36752488)

I know what will. required prison time and $100,000 in fines for killing a bicyclist with a car. THAT will make people aware of bicyclists.

But then I also want it to cover motorcycles and pedestrians as well.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Normal Dan (1053064) | about 3 years ago | (#36752518)

So the person who ran over the cyclist is now in prison and can't tell people to watch out for bicycles. When he gets out he'll be a poor felon, why should anyone listen to what he has to say?

Re:Bicycles (1)

BlastfireRS (2205212) | about 3 years ago | (#36752542)

A bit excessive, don't you think? All of that on top of, say, a manslaughter charge is a little rough for an accident.

Re:Bicycles (2)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 3 years ago | (#36752572)

Yeah, because until now the worst thing about killing people has been cleaning the blood off of the car.
You think people do this on purpose?

Re:Bicycles (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | about 3 years ago | (#36753370)

Yes, I do.

Accidents are accidents, I wont hold one against you, as long as you make up for your mistake.

Murdering someone because you are not paying attention to your surrounding while your operating a 2 ton reinforced steel cage on shared roadway is not an accident. Unintentional maybe, but if you can't keep your car from running over peds and bikes, get yourself a scooter.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Vancorps (746090) | about 3 years ago | (#36753882)

No offence, but you clearly haven't thought your cunning plan all the way through.

First off, there are many conditions that can cause an accident, not paying attention is one of them but is certainly not the only one. Where I grew up black ice in the winter was a huge issue and is beyond your control because you can't see it all the time and when it comes to a car and a biker even 15 mph is enough to seriously injure or kill someone. I've even had birds dive bomb right into my windshield making me swerve unintentionally. Animals entering the roadways often cause cars to swerve as well and heaven help the cyclist in that situation. It would most certainly be an accident.

In addition to that there is also the fact that cars can and do break down sometimes in unpredictable ways such as tire blow-outs or loss of power brakes or any number of scenarios. Being thrown in jail because the mechanic failed to put enough brake fluid in your car would definitely suck, nevermind if you happened to sneeze at the wrong time.

I'm all for drivers paying better attention to the road but draconian laws aren't going to make it happen. Better driver education goes a much longer way and doesn't crowd our prison system even further.

Re:Bicycles (1)

operagost (62405) | about 3 years ago | (#36754596)

Please look up the dictionary definition of "accident" and stop redefining words based on your own beliefs.

Re:Bicycles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752600)

As long as there is a $100,000 fine per rider when 3 or 4 of them in their little hats and leotards ride side by side in traffic lanes rather than single file in designated lanes.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 3 years ago | (#36752736)

I know what will. required prison time and $100,000 in fines for killing a bicyclist with a car. THAT will make people aware of bicyclists.

Fine, as long as bicyclists get fined 1000x what a car does for running through red lights, stop signs and violating other traffic laws.

Re:Bicycles (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | about 3 years ago | (#36753414)

OK, but to make this fair we will have to remove all A/C and weather-proofing from the automobiles.

Or you stop with bullshit about making shit fair. A bicyclist running a stop light, (which technically he can't even trigger because he doesn't give off a large enough magnetic field to trigger the light,) isn't likely to kill someone, even if he causes an accident. A car doing the same will. The laws are designed to reflect this.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Pope (17780) | about 3 years ago | (#36753968)

A bicyclist running a stop light, (which technically he can't even trigger because he doesn't give off a large enough magnetic field to trigger the light,) isn't likely to kill someone, even if he causes an accident. .

Granted, 100% of my cycling these days is within city limits, but I’ve yet to come across an actual stop light that didn’t have a pedestrian crossing button as well. Roll over, push the walk button, light changes sooner, go across.

Re:Bicycles (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 3 years ago | (#36754634)

Where I live (and I suspect most places) there are laws that allow the cyclist to treat a red light as a stop sign for exactly this reason. The key phrase here is "STOP SIGN". As in, you still have to stop, look both ways, etc. before proceeding through.

Most cyclists argue "I can ride through without stopping because I can't trigger the sensor", which is ridiculous.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752784)

As long as cyclist that don't have a license will get fines and points, they don't run red lights and they carry insurance for when the scratch cars as they ride through the middle of stationary traffic.

As a cyclist I know that most of them are dicks and often deserve what they get!

Re:Bicycles (1)

breakfastpirate (925130) | about 3 years ago | (#36752796)

The problem with this is that not everyone who hops on a bicycle cares about traffic laws. I consider myself a semi-avid cyclist and I ride with traffic quite regularly. I usually don't run into too many issues besides the occasional person honking at me or shouting something, but I follow every traffic law and make sure to give right of way when required. On the other hand I see a lot of bicycles doing stupid things like riding on the wrong side of the road, not stopping for red lights, darting into traffic, riding at night with no lights/reflectors whatsoever, etc. Should I go to prison and have my life ruined because one of these idiots did something insane? I'm all for cyclists' rights, but it goes both ways.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752808)

Considering the vast majority of times I've seen near misses with a cyclist (including mine, lucky I've never seen a hit) involved the cyclist performing vastly illegal maneuvers or should-be-illegal road design (bike paths that don't merge back into a road before a right turn at an intersection--back when most everyone did their driving tests no such thing existed and there was not even a suggestion to consider traffic going straight to your right when you're making a right turn) it seems to me that in most cases the cyclist would be at fault and therefore responsible for repairing the car they dented.

My personal near-miss incident involved it being 11 at night and a cyclist dressed in all black with no lights on their bike, and only the reflectors it came with deciding to drive against traffic from the lane I was turning right into. Definitely, any cop worth his salt would immediately put the cyclist at fault.

Another favourite illegal maneuver is riding a bike through a crosswalk. It's illegal, because very few people are running at 30 km/h when they cross the road, so someone in a car only looks far enough down the sidewalk to ensure he's not going to hit people walking.

I won't even get into the lack of signalling cyclists do (I know many in cars don't do it often enough, but they certainly do it more often than cyclists) or how few cyclists pull over when they are hogging an entire lane to let hordes of traffic pass by (a requirement in some places).

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753724)

Most road cyclists I see are suicidal:
* night riding without lights (illegal here)
* riding on the wrong side of the road, often in a pack
* blowing through stop signs at full speed

At times I feel like I am the only bicyclist that does follow the rules of the road. I can't remember the last time I have seen another cyclist use arm signals to indicate turns.

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752956)

Better idea: 200 points [imdb.com]

Re:Bicycles (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 3 years ago | (#36754572)

I can say I'm aware of bicyclists in my area they travel in packs 3 or 4 abreast and generally impede traffic. They do not stop at stop signs and generally think they own the road. I'm not talking about residential streets where you expect children riding bikes or even kicks playing street hockey etc but through roads with 50 mph speed limits.

Why do you expect to be better under the law? You choose to drive a flimsy unsafe vehicle. If there is an accident it's an accident you pay for the damage you caused via your insurance. If it's malicious that's different.

Re:Bicycles (2, Interesting)

liquidweaver (1988660) | about 3 years ago | (#36752732)

I think it says a lot when you get a bunch of anti-cyclist comments posting AC. It's kind of like biking responsibly in real life. You obey traffic signals, ride as far over to the right in the lane as possible allowing cars to safely pass, signaling at turns, etc. Yet still, in a week of commuting, you still get 2-3 anonymous assholes who fly by a foot to your left, screaming at you to get off their road. Strangely, it seems like this happens mostly during traffic when cars are averaging ~20mph anyways and you aren't actually slowing them down at all.

I commuted about 9 miles to work for almost 8 months but gave up on it for these reasons. In the US cycling is social acceptable for children and recreationally for adults. These aren't all rednecks in trucks, either. I remember an instance where a Prius intentionally ran me off the road, cursing at me. In the spur of the moment, I yelled back, "My vehicle is greener!".

Re:Bicycles (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | about 3 years ago | (#36752902)

Yet still, in a week of commuting, you still get 2-3 anonymous assholes who fly by a foot to your left, screaming at you to get off their road.

I seem to get an anonymous asshole like that about once every month or so -- and yes, it's always some driver whom I haven't impeded for more than 30 seconds, if at all. If I were driving, he'd be fuming for a lot longer than that because I drive the speed limit and my car takes up the entire lane, not 2-3 feet of it.

I hope you'll try cycle commuting again. Check to see if there's a local bike club that can offer suggestions about routing. And always, always write down tag numbers of harassing motorists and phone them in to police. Some departments follow up with a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle, and I know that the town where I live keeps every single complaint on file.

Re:Bicycles (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | about 3 years ago | (#36753088)

Yeah - it was very disheartening. Maybe I will. I have heard it makes a major difference geographically, too. I live in St. Louis, so I can only speak for here. Once a month would be a lot more tolerable.

Re:Bicycles (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | about 3 years ago | (#36753446)

Perfect response.

Re:Bicycles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752772)

haha bicyclist are faget worse than Michael Jackson. real man drive a vagina with his penis, honk honk

Re:Bicycles (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | about 3 years ago | (#36752862)

Well ultimately it's a step in the right direction. As cars become more automated and the technology is expanded, newer technology will be produced that will increase safety for everyone, including those who cycle. We need to remember that we both play equal parts in accidents, cyclists and drivers a like. Many cyclists run red lights, never give right away to cars that have it, etc. These cause accidents. I get the impression that some cyclists are quite arrogant and think cars should yield to them. Let's face it, cars are made out of metal and other components that are much stonger than squishy humans. Although drivers need to be careful too as to not injure or kill someone, ultimately you need to be aware to protect yourself, as /you/ will be the one who dies, regardless of who is right or wrong. If cyclists obeyed the same rules as car drivers did, it would reduce the amount of accidents. It doesn't make sense from a safety standard to have drivers follow two sets of rules, ones for other cars and how they move, and then bikers who don't feel they should have to stop at lights, signal and so fourth. It adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to it. Don't feel too singled out either, people still get into accidents with other cars too. Hence the word accidents. We're not perfect, none of us are. But when cars can drive themselves on the other hand ;)

Re:Bicycles (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#36753042)

It can alert other drivers, it can alert you when there is a car approaching you from behind, heck it can inform you that you should pull over for a bit as you are really holding up traffic. But really lets fix one problem at a time. First lets get Car Safety up, then we can go back on to bike safety... However most of that means just giving a bikers lane

Re:Bicycles (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 3 years ago | (#36753944)

Bike lanes are really a very poor answer. They are too narrow, if you take a fall, you fall right in the middle of traffic, and people open car doors right in front of you. (They don't make the roads any wider just by putting in those lanes. Some times they take out a lane of parking, but that has other bad effects.)

What's really needed is separate grade. How to do it, though, is not clear. But at minimum the bike lane should be closer to the edge than the lane of parked cars.

Remember, lots of the people cycling are quite young. 9 isn't unusual. (Yeah, lots are older, too, but that's a separate matter.) You really don't want them risking falling down into traffic. (Adults can use their judgment. I decided the streets were too dangerous at around 30. This was difficult, as I don't drive. I don't consider my eyesight good enough to handle fast traffic. I'm *REALLY* wanting automated cars to show up soon. And bus service is, frankly, quite a poor substitute.)

Re:Bicycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753182)

Sometimes it's safer to run the stop sign on a bike than to be sitting at it when some driver looking at traffic for a whole and not what's in front of him comes to that sign! Don't even be at a corner when a driver makes a running right on red again watching traffic and not what's in front of him. There is a Y intersection I never stop at, I've been tapped from behind there and saw a big yellow schoolbus get hit, the driver said he didn't see it!
A neighbors daughter ran into the back of his truck when he stopped for a deer, she was busy texting. They had pulled out of the driveway together so it's not like she didn't know he was ahead of her. If she had this DOT device she would probably have turned it off because it's distracting!

Everyone stops for me (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 3 years ago | (#36752420)

Because I am awesome. So this new thing does not apply to me and other awesome people like me, and not like Bill that schmuck.

Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752566)

One of the last bastions of natural population control falls. This will lead to massive overpopulation, then starvation, disease, and crime.

Wireless drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752744)

Anyone else think of device drivers (software) after reading the headline?

Let's see where... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36752822)

Missouri, Florida, Virginia, Texas and California.

With the exception of Minneapolis, they're avoiding places that actually get snow. As a New Yorker (*NOT* New York City, but upstate, where the snow goes) I'm not sure why they would do so.

Re:Let's see where... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#36753232)

It's a first step, eventually they'll need to get that tested in those areas as well. But there's a large number of drivers in areas that don't get snow, or get it regularly. Which makes for an excellent place to get the gear working for times when it isn't snowing. Then, after they've got that down, they can finish the snow stuff.

But, at any rate, even without perfecting it on snow it's still beneficial during the parts of the year when there isn't any.

Having seen the way my relatives drive in the snow, if they tried to drive like that around here, they'd be in the ditch within a block. Fortunately, we don't get snow that often.

avoid... roadway problems and other hazards. (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#36753008)

Does this include police checkpoints? For some reason, I doubt it... But I thought I'd ask anyway

Anonyomous hacks Santa Monica Freeway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753082)

All it will take to end this idea is the first time some script-kiddies decide they want to play in traffic.

excellent news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753238)

Arcos will be pleased.

on step closer (1)

krgallagher (743575) | about 3 years ago | (#36753252)

Looks like we are one step closer to flying cars. We won't get flying cars until cars can fly themselves.

Can someone show this article? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | about 3 years ago | (#36753292)

...to the cop when they get pulled over for texting while driving?

In Europe they're doing it right (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#36753308)

Make driving a bigger pain in the ass [nytimes.com] than it already is..

And the sidebar within the Slashdot linked article on the Seven advanced car technologies the government wants now does not say anything about driverless vehicles. That's what the priority should be. I mean. if reducing the risk of accidents is what you're after...

Re:In Europe they're doing it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36753982)

The title of the article is "Across Europe, Irking Drivers Is Urban Policy", for others who would like to google it.

Hacking the Driving network... (1)

Rogue974 (657982) | about 3 years ago | (#36753636)

I have one big fear with this kind of thing. If the cars do start driving themselves and taking directions from the other vehicles and lights around them, how do they design it so that it is not hackable. We have had many articles talking about industrial controls systems that are getting viruses and make things vulnerable, what about a car.

How do they secure someone from hacking into a vehicle, or from just injecting false inputs by broadcasting them, and causing accidents? Have they considered that? Are the car computers going to take the signals as inputs and then have it's own sensors to independently verify the information it is seeing and that make decisions? Are the cars just going to use information to know when they need to override control and stop the vehicle? If we ever get to cars driving themselves, is there a risk that the car will just be told to accelerate and then turn into a brick wall?

It is a bit scary to think of all the possible exploits for this sort of thing and how they are going to keep people safe.

As an aggressive driver (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | about 3 years ago | (#36753926)

I respond aggressively. I have a fun, fast car. I drive it just like that. No accidents and never pulled over, in almost 10 years.
I never ride passenger, unless I am exhausted, because I find driving to be enjoyable, and I don't trust other drivers (including my own friends).

Automated cars are slowly, but surely going to be taking the fun out of driving. Not very dissimilar, the "green" movement is doing the same, with lower HP cars, and tiny gas sipping engines.

And don't even get me started on the "auto-pull-over/handcuff" option the 5-0 will have...

Re:As an aggressive driver (1)

Vancorps (746090) | about 3 years ago | (#36754676)

As a fellow driver of a fun and fast car I can say that private track and road courses will always be available. I have way more fun on the private courses here in AZ. It's also nice because you don't have to worry about cops thinking that you're going too fast.

It will be a long time before cars driving themselves will become the status quo, you've got nothing to worry about.

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