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Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the don't-hit-me-bro dept.

Transportation 235

First time accepted submitter Franz Struwig writes "MAKE Magazine has a great review of a bicycle radar product — showing off some of the early prototype innards: "The latest version features a 24 GHz radar antenna — high enough to resolve more targets and small enough to fit on a bike — an ARM processor, and Bluetooth LE to communicate with the front unit. The radar creates a doppler map, and recognizes not only the vehicle, but how far away it is and how quickly it’s approaching. It communicates this to the cyclist by a system of LEDs, and to the car by increasing the rate at which the tail light blinks as the car gets closer."

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They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (1, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 months ago | (#47381145)

One of the big issues with flashing lights is that they have to avoid frequencies which set off epileptic seizures. The last thing you want is for the driver of that hunk of metal behind you to have a seizure behind the wheel, stomping on the gas and jerking to the right as they collapse in a frothing fit...

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381151)

Is there a list somewhere, or laws about that? There's a grocery store that hasn't changed a flickering neon light for months and I can barely walk into the aisle in question because of that.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381185)

Not in the od days. We used to use the old strobe light routine on chicks back in the disco days. Way before rufee's.
Any way, you will look much cooler with this than wearing those gay biker shorts. Frishnizel.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381273)

There is definitely a standard or standards relating to flash rates. I had to deal with one in a military contract back in the 90s but my memory is not good enough to identify it.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381559)

Have you asked them to change it? If you are uncomfortable letting them know you are epileptic, just tell them "it is very irritating" and "could you please have it fixed". That's what I always do.. It helps to speak with a manager.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (1)

Calinous (985536) | about 3 months ago | (#47381947)

If I remember correctly, it's forbidden in Romania to use intermittent (red) lights (that is, if you're not the police).
      I still use them on my bicycle... but they're illegal.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#47381293)

How often is that? I know an epileptic who was 20 years without a seizure, but still couldn't get her license back. Are they letting epileptics drive these days?

And what do you avoid? 8-70 Hz? More? Less? There isn't a single perfect flash to trigger it (the most reliable triggers are multi-color, which this is not, and the studies indicate that color of the monochromatic flashes matters, so red may not have the same "optimal" frequency as white, or other colors.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47381519)

Yes, epileptics can drive. It varies by state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

I know an epileptic who had his license pulled after a single vehicle accident. He was able to get them back in about a years time but needed his doc to sign off on it. The doctor is the one who pulled his license too. The state didn't even cite him for the accident but his doctor filed the paper work, told him his license was no good and by the time he was released from the hospital, the revocation letter was sitting in the mail box. He ran up a telephone pole guide wire and flipped his car on it's roof then proceeded to bang his head and everything else not restrained by the seat belt off the steering wheel and whatever else was in the way while the seizure was happening- no damage to anything but the car and himself.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#47381633)

The one I knew was in Texas. I didn't know the details, but looking at the site, they are required to be on their meds. It doesn't have an (if any) at the end, so it's possible that she didn't need any meds, and thus was ineligible to drive, or something like that. I also didn't know her when her license was revoked, so maybe it was related to some circumstances about it's loss

I also noted that India and China, as well as much of Africa don't allow any driving after a seizure.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381935)

why do you need a driving license in the land of the free - I thought that is an artifact of communist regimes in the West Europe and elsewhere?

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (1)

jarrettwold2002 (601633) | about 3 months ago | (#47381531)

It depends on the state. Typically the standard is to grant the person with epilepsy their license back after a distinct period of not having any kind of seizure that requires a licensed medial doctor to sign off on. That period is typically on the order of years. I don't know how insurance would work in that situation though. I could see a situation where someone is licensed but uninsurable.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (2)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 3 months ago | (#47381557)

It depends on the state and I do believe in some states an epileptic can get driver's license if they can document that it won't interfere with safely driving.
Contrary to popular opinion not all epilepsy is the same; epilepsy can have different triggers and affect other areas of the brain with varying degrees of severity where one person might have a photo induced seizure that only gives them a minor twitch while another person might hear certain frequencies of sound and subsequently lose all control of their body.

A history of epilepsy runs through my family; my oldest half sister has it really severe and my father is pretty sure my grandfather had it but self-medicated with drugs and alcohol.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381407)

Epileptics are typically denied driver's licenses.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy_and_driving

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381451)

Sure fella, or your fucking epileptic ass can TRY A DIFFERENT PRODUCT.

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381897)

Sure fella, or your fucking epileptic ass can TRY A DIFFERENT PRODUCT.

I think it's pretty obvious he meant an epileptic would be driving a car and get a seizure due to passing by a biker with this. Use your brain, asshole.

urban myth (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381465)

The idea that a blinking light can cause anyone to go into a seizure is an urban myth. Among other things, people who get seizures that easily aren't driving.

You have noticed that police, fire, ambulance, tow, utility, construction, etc. vehicles have flashing lights, right?

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (1, Redundant)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47381493)

One of the big issues with flashing lights is that they have to avoid frequencies which set off epileptic seizures. The last thing you want is for the driver of that hunk of metal behind you to have a seizure behind the wheel, stomping on the gas and jerking to the right as they collapse in a frothing fit...

One sure way to prevent a drive from hitting you r bicycle is to send them into a seizure. So that sounds like it would work even better!

Re:They avoid epileptic frequencies, right? (1, Troll)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 3 months ago | (#47382111)

If you've got a known medical condition that renders you suddenly incapable of safely driving a car without warning, then maybe you should let someone else drive?

two words (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381157)

Rearview Mirror

Re:two words (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#47381499)

This.

I'm a much better judge of the behavior of an overtaking vehicle than a bunch of electronics.

Perhaps some optics/mechanics to help steady the image. Other then that, its pretty straightforward tech.

Great thing if you are blind! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381167)

Otherwise, what's wrong with using the eyes?

Re:Great thing if you are blind! (1)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47381287)

Don't see how something that communicates with you via LEDs is so good if you are blind...

Re:Great thing if you are blind! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#47381315)

The eyes in the back of your head?

Re:Great thing if you are blind! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47382065)

Those of us with proper vehicles have these funny reflective things arranged so we can see what is approaching from behind, the left, and the right simply by moving our eyes. Maybe you cyclopaths should start thinking smarter rather than blaming the other guy all the time.

What about pedestrians? (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#47381169)

I always thought it'd be interesting to have an alert for pedestrians--particularly small children--who run out onto the bike path without looking because "Ooh! The Beach!"

Granted, it wouldn't work for the little moppets that run between parked SUVs, so it wouldn't be a perfect solution...

Re:What about pedestrians? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 3 months ago | (#47381939)

Granted, it wouldn't work for the little moppets that run between parked SUVs, so it wouldn't be a perfect solution...

That's why I have been proposing that for robot cars they also have cameras/sensors/radars/lidars at bumper height. It's often easier to spot (from a distance) people/animals obscured by vehicles from bumper level than it is to spot them from driver or roof level. But I'm no car or robot car engineer, so someone else will have to actually do it.

You might be able to do something like this for "kiddie" sensors mounted on bicycles/motorcycles, but given the front wheel of those vehicles is movable it's probably a bit trickier :).

pothole radar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381171)

Quebec cyclists sure seem to need it lately!

Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381177)

You're still gonna get hit! Don't fool yourselves! You are a target in the road that eyes look at and hands steer towards. You are a goner, sooner or later.

Re:Haha (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 3 months ago | (#47381201)

That's why bike cams are important. You may not avoid getting hit, but you can have the guy thrown in jail, license permanently suspended, and sue his ass into poverty.

Re:Haha (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#47381321)

Suing someone isn't going to bring you back from the dead.

Re:Haha (0)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47381417)

Most accidents involving cars and bicycles are not fatal, or even particularly debilitating in the long term for the cyclist unless the cyclist was not wearing proper protective gear.

Re:Haha (0)

polar red (215081) | about 3 months ago | (#47382171)

bullshit. I just was in an accident as a cyclist earlier this year, not wearing any protection. none would have protected me, I broke my wrist and i have a serious shoulder injury.

Re:Haha (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381385)

Here in Austin where hit and runs are extremely common (I actually am filing APD paperwork on a hit and run right now), a bike cam is critical. Make sure you get a GOOD bike cam, as I was using a supposedly decent dash cam (and checked the footage every couple months)... nope, it stopped recording even though the light was on, and useless when I needed it most.

IMHO, I have put enough ghost bikes up on street corners. The fear of a dash cam (and this applies to both cyclists and drivers because in Austin, I get plenty of encounters with dipshits on both) hopefully will keep people from being less of idiots... or if a wreck happens, they stay around and don't commit criminal actions by scooting, thinking they can get away with possibly murder.

Re:Haha (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47381387)

That's why bike cams are important. You may not avoid getting hit, but you can have the guy thrown in jail, license permanently suspended, and sue his ass into poverty.

Remember though, the car might have a driver cam that shows 5 cyclists riding abreast but not one of them in the bike lane.

Re:Haha (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47381605)

First, I'm not a bike nazi or whatever they call those people who seem to always be in the way because their biking is better than a car so don't think I'm coming into this prejudiced.

Remember though, the car might have a driver cam that shows 5 cyclists riding abreast but not one of them in the bike lane.

It doesn't matter where they are riding. You need to drive at a speed which you can react to everything you see and come to a complete stop safely. That is drivers ed 101. It's annoying to slow down and pass someone who shouldn't be where they are. But the fault is yours if there is an accident like that.

If you cannot see past your headlights far enough needed to safely stop, you are driving too fast for conditions regardless of what the speed limit is. If there are hills you cannot see over, the same applies. You not being able to see something, or someone not in their lane is not an excuse to hit them. They can however come into your lane without leaving you proper time to react and it would be there fault. But the bottom line is, if they are in the lane you are driving in, it is no different then another car except you can pass them without completely changing lanes. If you hit them, it is the same as hitting another car. It doesn't matter if that other car or bike breaks 200 laws in the process of being in front of you, slowing, stopping, obstructing the flow of traffic is not a valid reason to hit them.

Have you ever went down a 4 lane city street with narrow lanes and saw a semi truck taking both lanes when they likely could squeeze into just one? The reason for that is because as long as they are in the lane (in this case two lanes) they have the right of way. If you try to squeeze by and there is an accident, it's your fault. If they try to squeeze by you and there is an accident, it's their fault. If they stay in one lane and wonder out of it which can easily happen if the road is bumpy, it's their fault. So by taking both lanes, they avoid being too close to the sidewalk, parked cars, telephone poles and whatever but also clear a right of way beside them. And yes, it is illegal for them to use two lanes instead of one.

Just think what would happen if a stationary object is in the middle of the road. What if a cinder block or something fell off a truck and you run up on it, it's all you and no one else unless someone comes back looking for it and is stupid enough to stop and ask if you saw it while broke down and sitting on top of it. It's all you if you swerve to miss it and hit another car.

Re: Haha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381737)

Remember though, the car might have a driver cam that shows 5 cyclists riding abreast legally, while the ignorant driver gets road rage.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Haha (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 3 months ago | (#47381779)

Sorry but the driver cam would only make it worse for you, riding five abreast and taking up all lanes does not give you the right to ram them from behind. Think about it, would you ram an oversized tractor doing the same thing? It would be a different story if it was night and the cyclists were not lit up, or if they were on a "no bikes" freeway, but you would still have a lot of explaining to do.

Useless (5, Insightful)

jam42 (607637) | about 3 months ago | (#47381187)

As a long-time road cyclist I can say this is a completely useless product. Obviously if one is riding on the road one is going to be passed by cars. And so long as one is not an idiot listening to music while riding, one can *hear* vehicles approaching from the rear. This device can't discern how closely a vehicle is going to pass you, which would be the only useful information - warning you if the vehicle is going to pass, say, less than three feet away horizontally.

Re:Useless (2)

carld (460344) | about 3 months ago | (#47381227)

Good idea, and base light feedback on the likelihood of paths intersecting in addition to proximity.

Re:Useless (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47381305)

You know what apparently does work, based on a friend's experiences?

Putting a pair of amber lights out to the sides of your red center light, and having a sufficiently bright headlamp in front that illuminates a good chunk of road.

Those work because drivers assume that you're a motorcycle, and if you're a motorcycle then you're a lot heavier, and more likely to cause damage to their car.

With modern battery technology and modern, super-efficient lighting, it should be easy to fake a bicycle to light up like a motorcycle well enough to fool drivers at night.

Re:Useless (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47381439)

If you're a motorcycle, you should be capable of going a lot faster.... and I wouldn't have any reason to suspect that you aren't going to be trying to keep up to the flow of traffic... If I know that you are a bicycle, I know roughly what to expect of your top speed, and will try to safely navigate past you... not try to hit you just because I know that you won't damage my car. Because even if you don't make a scratch in my car's paint job, I'll still have to face all of the other repercussions of being in an accident... which would include an insurance report at the very least... plus being on the hook financially for any damages to them or their bicycle -- unless I intended to do a hit-and-run (which is a jailable offense, so I better hope there are no witnesses who can take note of my license plate).

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381483)

That's exactly why I don't hit guys on motorcycles. Damage to my car. Kids on bikes, well, I drive over them. Because you know, my vehicle can handle it.

Re:Useless (5, Informative)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 3 months ago | (#47381611)

It's not that the driver thinks it's a motorbike and gives extra consideration. It's that with multiple co-linear lights, a driver is far better able to judge how far away the cyclist is. As another poster noted, if a driver thinks you're a motorbike, they'll also assume you are travelling at or faster than the traffic flow.

On a bicycle, a single point source of super bright light will let a driver know that you're somewhere in that direction - while partially blinding them if you angle it up like I see done far too often.

Whereas, a wider (multi-element) lamp that isn't overly bright will let the driver's eye far better estimate and track how far away you are - while not blinding them to the other surrounds.

Re:Useless (1)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47381965)

Well, his bike is also a kludged-together e-bike with motors, fenders, and above all else, speed. He's able to keep up with traffic on small neighborhood streets and if he pedals (and based on how it's geared pedalling would actually contribute something) he can almost keep up with the speed limit on some of the slower arteries.

So in his instance the bicycle is bigger than normal and going faster than normal too.

Re:Useless (2)

jeti (105266) | about 3 months ago | (#47381703)

Any kind of unusual light seems to work. I've written a small app (Better Bike Light [google.com] ) to use my cell phone as a rear light. When I use it, cars are considerably more considerate when bypassing me. I'm not sure if they're more careful when encountering something unfamiliar or are just curious, but it seems to work.

Re:Useless (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 3 months ago | (#47381741)

I'd imagine the improvement in driver behavior your friend experienced was more a result of increased visibility.

The reflectors that most bicycles come with are next to useless as they don't reflect well and they're quite small in the scheme of things on the road. Most bicycle head/tail lights are almost as bad. I damn near hit a bicycle cop once because he had no rear reflector and only an LED bicycle seat with nearly-dead batteries, and he parked himself directly between two very bright taillights of a car stopped at a stop light. Just couldn't see the motherfucker until I was right up on him.

What I find works best is those orange vests with reflective fabric strips. No battery powered lighting is going to compete with reflecting a cars own headlights right back at it. Just think about how easy road signs are to see vs. the occasional non-reflective sign you see (or don't see) by the side of the road. I even made backpacks out of the orange vests and their reflective fabric so that I can be seen even when carrying stuff. The fluorescent orange fabric is especially useful at dawn and dusk when cars may not have their headlights turned on, as there's more ultraviolet light than usual at those times and so the orange is especially bright.

I think the orange vests have another advantage in that they remind drivers about safety. Drivers rarely see bicyclists and so they haven't put a lot of thought into how to behave around them. It's better that they think "there's a crazy guy in an orange vest. Maybe he's retarded. I'd better pass him slowly and give him a lot of space." Otherwise they just see a minor obstacle on the side of the road which they almost don't even have to leave their lane to avoid and so they put no more space between you and them than they would if you were merely some roadkill they wanted to avoid splattering all over their car.

Re:Useless (1)

havana9 (101033) | about 3 months ago | (#47382121)

So you think that the favorite pattime for drivers is hit-and-run cyclist? It's not true: it's way better to hit-and-run the moms with a stroller.
The real effect to put a bright light on a bike, instead of no lights at all or some puny single-lamp lights, is that having bigger lights makes the cyclist more visible.

Re:Useless (1)

alphazulu0 (3675815) | about 3 months ago | (#47381345)

I have to agree with jam42. Anyone who rides in a city is in close proximity to cars constantly. All this will do is make my bike heavier and more complicated while providing no more safety than a tiny rear flasher running off a watch battery.

Re:Useless (2)

unimacs (597299) | about 3 months ago | (#47381355)

Knowing how far a car is behind you and how fast it is approaching can give you some idea whether or not you can move over to make a left turn. And as more electric cars end up on the roads, you may not always hear them coming depending on what other sources of noise there are. I frequently ride through an area near an airport. I'm not going to hear a car approaching over the roar of a plane taking off.

I'm not sure I'd trust it vs taking a look over my shoulder. That would be my main issue. I've tried various rear view mirrors and never much liked them. Too small a field of vision. Too much moving my head around to see what I wanted to see.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381719)

" And as more electric cars end up on the roads, you may not always hear them coming depending on what other sources of noise there are."

I work in an automobile assembly plant. It is terrifying the number of times I have looked over my shoulder and found a (large) gasoline powered SUV behind me. Cars are really quiet in general these days regardless of power plant.

That being said, I have a mirror on my glasses when I ride my bicycle, and I am always ready to ditch into the shoulder. I spend most of my horror-laden bike rides expecting to ditch into the shoulder. (I only ride my bike for transportation. Riding for "fun" is just insane.)

Deaf people (1)

henni16 (586412) | about 3 months ago | (#47381421)

I had the same reaction at first ("useless") .

Then I remembered my father whose hearing has gotten pretty bad over the years.
When my parents were out together riding their bicycles somewhere, my mom noticed that he clearly didn't hear some cars approaching from behind. She said that it was kinda worrying in some situations.
I guess when your hearing gets gradually worse, you can sometimes forget that not hearing a car doesn't mean there isn't one close by.

And thinking a bit more about it, I've already seen ("heard" would be wrong) an incredibly silent hybrid car; the loudest noise it generated was the dirt being crushed between the tires and the asphalt.

Then again, turning your head now and then or some of those rear-view mirrors for the handlebars will be a lot cheaper.

Get a rear-view helmet mounted mirror (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381785)

Just get a rear-view mirror. Third Eye makes a really nice one that's cheap and beautifully. Why you want some radar with some crap that may or may not work, when you can have a mirror and see *everything* behind you and in front of you.

http://www.amazon.ca/s/?ie=UTF... [amazon.ca]

Re:Useless (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 3 months ago | (#47382147)

Indeed. Basically, the light tells you to "prepare for impact".
But of course, after 20 cars have passed you, the message wears off.

Re:Useless (1)

polar red (215081) | about 3 months ago | (#47382181)

I just had an accident as a biker. I was hit from behind in my own lane. maybe that flashing light would have made the driver of the car more aware of me

What we need... (0, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | about 3 months ago | (#47381197)

...is to stop mixing cars with bicycles at all.

That, and do something about the assholes on bikes that think that little white line and bike lane are some sort of magic force field that protects them from massive hunks of steel inches to their left...

Re:What we need... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381205)

Yup. Agree completely. Lets make sure that cars are restricted to interstate type roads and that town level/city level roads are restricted to cyclists and pedestrians.

Re:What we need... (2, Insightful)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#47381333)

Restrict cars to roads, pedestrians to foot paths and cyclists to cycle lanes.

Re:What we need... (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 3 months ago | (#47381905)

Not sure why dedicated lane posts are being marked troll, but that's the safest option considering the difference in speed and the relative fragility of bikes. As shown in this article [nrdc.org] , extra space (as opposed to the current 6 inches space) between bike and car lanes is crucial for safety.

An even better solution is a protected and dedicated bike lane [streetsblog.org] where there are concrete barriers preventing cars from entering bike lanes. Of course, all this requires a lot of city planning.

Re:What we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381219)

That would never work in Seattle with our militant bike riders. Many of them ride in the lanes for cars even when there are marked bike lanes. To be fair, in a lot of the city they are travelling just as fast as the cars and many of them refuse to use the bike lanes to keep from getting crushed by buses pulling over to the curb, but it's still annoying.

Re:What we need... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381279)

Yeah. And what about those handicapped people who park in regular spaces? Let's go after them,too!

Re:What we need... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#47381335)

Only if they're wearing Lycra pants.

Re:What we need... (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#47381319)

That, and most bike lanes don't consider bikes that turn. How do you turn left from a bike lane? How safe are you going straight through a green on a bike in a bike lane if a car wants to turn right? I don't think bike lanes solve much.

Re:What we need... (3, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47381461)

Turning left on a bicycle would generally mean that you just come to a stop at the far right corner of the intersection, where pedestrians would wait to cross, and walking your bike across the street as a pedestrian when you get a walk signal. After clearing the intersection, you can get back on your bike and continue riding, completing your the left turn.

Really... it's not a remotely hard concept to grasp.

Re:What we need... (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#47381545)

So to ride a bike, you must walk it across intersections? Note, that's not how the instructions for using bikes on the street work. The official instructions for Texas are for the rider to safely leave the bike lane, merging into regular traffic, then change lanes to the regular car left turn lane, turn left when safe and legal to do so, then return to the right side of the roadway.

Maybe the anti-bike nuts hate bikes because they don't even know the bike rules.

Re:What we need... (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47381589)

To leave the bike lane, you still have to yield to vehicles that are not in the process of changing lanes. Since cars are typically moving faster than you, you generally wouldn't be able to do this safely unless there was absolutely no other traffic moving in the same direction (which isn't impossible, but is unlikely on a road that has high enough traffic volumes that it would warrant having a controlled intersection), and if you got rear-ended by a car while you were trying change lanes, you would be 100% at fault for the collision.The safest thing to do, in my experience, is just stay on the right hand side and manually walk the bike across to get onto the road you intended to turn onto.

Re:What we need... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#47382001)

So a bike can't use a lane because "yield" means "don't go where anyone would ever want to be?" If you pull out "in front of" someone 150 yards behind you with a closing speed difference of 30 mph, that's about 10 seconds distance. Would that be failure to yield? How about 500 yards?

if you got rear-ended by a car while you were trying change lanes, you would be 100% at fault for the collision.

How would that go with "I changed lanes when he was about 2 football fields behind me, and over 10 seconds later he hit me, failing to take due care."

And I find your suggestion amusing when I see roughly 0% of cars following your requirements for bicycles.

The safest thing to do, in my experience, is just stay on the right hand side and manually walk the bike across to get onto the road you intended to turn onto.

In my experience, the safest thing to do is to never get in the bike lane.

Re:What we need... (4, Informative)

rainmaestro (996549) | about 3 months ago | (#47381577)

Such a simple concept that you managed to get it wrong, apparently.

From my state's laws:
        s. 316.151 – Required Position and Method of Turning at Intersections
        (b) Left turn . A person riding a bicycle and intending to turn left in accordance with this section is entitled to the full use of the lane from which the turn may be legally made.

If you are making a left turn at an intersection on a bicycle, you get in the turn lane just like a car. Laws could of course vary by state, but in every state I've biked in, this was the case.

Re:What we need... (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47381609)

Whether they are "entitled" to use it or not is irrelevant if they cannot safely enter the lane in the first place, because cars move much faster than bicycles, preventing a cyclist from being able to change lanes from the rightmost lane (designated bike lane) to the leftmost without causing an accident that they would actually be considered entirely at fault for.

Yes, you are right... bicycles are entitled to use that lane just as cars are... but that entitlement does not also entitle a cyclist to cut off any traffic (because they move so much slower than cars) as they try to move from the bicycle lane on the right to the leftmost lane... even if it is simply because they are making a left turn.

Re:What we need... (3, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 months ago | (#47381881)

The problem is that there are no license requirements for bikes, so many riders are totally unaware of the actual laws, and often highly inexperienced..
Drivers at least have to pass a test, and while there are plenty of bad drivers they should at least have some experience and understanding of the rules.

On a daily basis i see bikes ignoring red lights, while to see a car go through on red is pretty rare. Just yesterday i saw a bike come off of a footpath, go directly across a 2 lane road without slowing or checking for vehicles (causing several cars to hit the brakes) and into the wrong end of a one way street.

And it's no better as a pedestrian, i was shouted at by a bike rider who took issue with the fact i was in her way by walking down the sidewalk causing her to hit the brakes. It's illegal to ride there, why should i be forced to get out of the way of a bike speeding down the hill ringing a bell and shouting?

Also when trying to cross a road, you get a group of vehicles which pass you, and then a long spaced out stream of bikes that fill in the gap before the next group of vehicles - giving you no time to cross.

Re:What we need... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47381479)

Cars turning right on a green light need to yield to bicycles going straight through in a bike lane just as they would need to yield to pedestrians. Many intersections that I've seen where there are bike lanes also have a special stage in the lights for bicycles, and vehicles are not permitted to turn during that stage. It is illegal for a bicycle at such an intersection to advance when that stage is not active... just as illegal as an automobile running a red light.

Re:What we need... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381497)

You don't turn left from a bike lane (in the US.) You merge into traffic and make a left turn like everyone else. Nowhere in the United States is a cyclist required to ride in a bike lane.

The problem with right turns is threefold: 1)drivers don't understand that turns must be made as close to the edge of the road as possible (i.e. not across another lane) and 2)drivers often pass a cyclist immediately before turning...out of spite, impatience, incompetence, or ignorance 3)drivers don't signal

Re:What we need... (3, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47381411)

That would never work in Seattle with our militant bike riders.

I was helping with a bike race once. We'd have a car pace behind the groups of riders at a safe distance to keep other cars away from them. One of the asshats on a bike seemed to think I was stalking them or something. Started yelling and gesturing at me, then dropped back to me and yelled to "get the fuck out of here and quit following us". Told him who I was, and radioed his number to HQ. His raceday ended at the next checkpoint.

Never did figure out his problem. Either 'roid rage, or just a bike rider with a bad attitude.

Now I just help with the mountainbike races like the Wilderness 101. My kind of people.

I've driven neutral support as well (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381583)

"Now I just help with the mountainbike races like the Wilderness 101. My kind of people."

Nothing like judging an entire community/sport you've already declared "asshats", based off one person who was immediately penalized by / ejected from that community. I'd love to hear what you think of women and people of color...

"One of the asshats on a bike seemed to think I was stalking them or something. Started yelling and gesturing at me, then dropped back to me and yelled to "get the fuck out of here and quit following us"

I'll answer your logical fallacy anecdote with an anecdote of my own (also, if you think they're "asshats", why were you volunteering for them?)

I was driving a neutral support vehicle for a race out in a rural bit of farmland. The race has run for years at the same date and place. The course is marked well in advance with signs warning about the race. There are volunteer marshals at each intersection.

I'm trailing the race as neutral support, and someone blew by a marshal at an intersection (there's cones out, someone in a vest, with flag.) She then starts tailgating me, honking, and flashing her lights. Then starts to move like she's going to pass me - and an ongoing race with 30-40 cyclists stretched over about a block - over a double yellow line.

I had to physically block her with my car to keep her from trying to pass, and she was stopped by a police officer shortly thereafter.

Re:What we need... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381527)

"Many of them ride in the lanes for cars even when there are marked bike lanes. "

They are allowed to do so.

"many of them refuse to use the bike lanes to keep from getting crushed by buses pulling over to the curb, but it's still annoying."

No, actually. They're doing it to avoid being doored by drivers, the top cause of injury in US cities. Being doored can kill them either from the impact with the door, or if they're thrown outward into traffic and then run over.

The problem is that you and your fellow drivers can't check your fucking mirrors before opening your doors. We're reacting to that. Either check your fucking mirrors, or stop complaining that what we're doing is "annoying" you.

Re:What we need... (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 3 months ago | (#47381961)

Looks like the mods disagree with you. It also sounds like you've never been to Seattle, because either you're a liar or you've never been there. Bicyclists here do not do what you describe. They are the most polite in the world.

Re:What we need... (3, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 3 months ago | (#47381249)

. . . do something about the assholes on bikes that think that little white line and bike lane are some sort of magic force field that protects them from massive hunks of steel inches to their left...

As you drive, do you also swerve into cars separated from you by the "magic force field" white line? Or are you concerned about your paint job in a car vs. car scenario? Perhaps bikes/bikers just need some extremely aggressive abrasive on their sides to protect them from motorists.

Re:What we need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47382011)

Being aggressive/assertive as a cyclist is not the main issue here, it's the rudeness that some cyclists allow themselves to have whilst being aggressive that's getting on everybody's nerve. It's mostly part of a combination of bad upbringing (dad or mom that swore and yelled while driving) and the inability to use common sense to lose that bad habit.

Re:What we need... (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47381347)

That, and do something about the assholes on bikes that think that little white line and bike lane are some sort of magic force field that protects them from massive hunks of steel inches to their left...

I agree, with the caveat that we need to do something about the drivers who don't. Only by working together can we avoid vaporizing cyclists.

The only cyclists I can't abide are the ones who ride side by side when there's any kind of visible traffic around, or where the view distance is inadequate to permit passing them in those conditions. Cut that shit out.

Troll? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47381363)

Because I suggested that drivers should do something to avoid killing cyclists, who pay for nearly as much of the road but use much less of it? Or because I had the audacity to suggest that cyclists follow the law? Either way, double-plus blow me.

you are not an ally. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381459)

I modded you troll because of this sentence: "The only cyclists I can't abide are the ones who ride side by side when there's any kind of visible traffic around, or where the view distance is inadequate to permit passing them in those conditions. Cut that shit out."

That's a bit like saying "I agree with welfare, except welfare for all those lazy black people who rob convenience stores" and then complaining: "What? Why'd you label me racist? Because I suggested that welfare is good, or that I had the audacity to say black people are lazy criminals?"

Or: "I agree women should have equal rights and pay in the workplace, except for those stupid bitches who dress like sluts. What? Why'd you label me sexist? Because I said that women should have equal rights, or that I had the audacity to say that women exploit their sexual attractiveness to gain promotions they don't deserve?"

You damn well will abide "the ones who ride side by side", especially when they're explicitly allowed to do so by law in many states. It's the responsibility of the person who wants to pass, to wait until it is safe to do so. Go read your fucking driver's manual.

Re:you are not an ally. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 months ago | (#47381903)

There's a lot to be said for consideration on the roads... And riding two abreast when doing so makes it hard for faster vehicles to pass is extremely inconsiderate, irrespective of legality.
If you're doing something which unnecessarily inconveniences others why should they show you any consideration in return? There are many instances where the slowness and instability of a bike could make certain manoeuvres impossible or extremely dangerous, and car drivers will often allow bikes to pass when they aren't legally obliged to. The more you do to unnecessarily piss drivers off, the less they will do to help you.

Re:What we need... (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47381427)

I agree, with the caveat that we need to do something about the drivers who don't. Only by working together can we avoid vaporizing cyclists.

The only cyclists I can't abide are the ones who ride side by side when there's any kind of visible traffic around, or where the view distance is inadequate to permit passing them in those conditions. Cut that shit out.

This. I always go completely in the other lane whenever possible when passing a rider. Most of them appreciate it. But several riding abreast are really scary, especially the ones who are just out for a very casual ride, and want to chat with each other. I've had more than one occasion where they've made a sudden swerve into the opposite lane. There comes a time when I can't go any further around someone.

Re:What we need... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381367)

What we need is for fat asshole faggots like you to have heart attacks and die for once and for all. You fucks have robbed the world of everything so the few could have so much. You're the problem.

bikes not cars?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381203)

bikse are not the raod people you make them pour out there money on this

Re:bikes not cars?! (3, Funny)

Intron (870560) | about 3 months ago | (#47381289)

bikse are not the raod people you make them pour out there money on this

I'll have one of what you're drinking.

Re:bikes not cars?! (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47381415)

bikse are not the raod people you make them pour out there money on this

I'll have one of what you're drinking.

Sounds like a vicodin and wild turkey old fashioned.

Re:bikes not cars?! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47382133)

"Martini. Shuffled, not spell-checked."

We shouldn't need this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381285)

But those big faggot fat asshole Americans in their glorified minivans are jealous of people who can actually mount a bike without being winded.
 
Don't worry, fat ass faggots, Obama will start another war in Iraq to turn more Muslim blood to oil for you.

Useless (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381389)

This provides less information than a combination of listening and checking a rear view mirror. And, the guy you based your market research on is an idiot riding the wrong way in the bike lane.

A heavy, complicated solution to a rare problem (3, Informative)

alphazulu0 (3675815) | about 3 months ago | (#47381393)

I commented elsewhere that this is heavy, complicated and no better than a tiny rear flasher. Plus, while getting rear-ended by a car sounds scary, it's one of the least common bike accidents. According to these stats (based on bike collisions in 3 cities in 1995), only 3.8% of crashes were car rear-ends bike:

http://www.bicyclinglife.com/L... [bicyclinglife.com]

There's some cool tech in this product, but it won't help with the most common bike collisions (#1 car pulls out in front of bike, #2 parked car door opens into bike).

who needs radar (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381413)

micro changes in air density

Not Elegant (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 3 months ago | (#47381443)

Bicycles can be an art form in themselves. To look right a bike needs a very naked look. The idea of electronic systems on a bike will not be popular in my opinion. Now a system inside a car that makes a public record of how the car approached bicycles might be acceptable and not intrusive in a car. Lite weight and a clean look at all of the bike is what sells. Many bicyclists will not even keep fenders on their bikes as it spoils the entire designed goals.

klik www.mugcoatingmurah.com (-1, Offtopic)

Hery Sang Pengusaha (3731277) | about 3 months ago | (#47381495)

klik www.mugcoatingmurah.com Social bookmark ini ibarat kita meninggalkan jejak, juga bisa dikatakan menaman link yang menuju situs kita. Social bookmarking dilakukan dengan cara submit url ke situs tersebut, kemudian hal ini akan menarik

How about other uses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381743)

Only posting as anonymous because I can't remember my password right now

Anyways has anybody brainstormed what other uses this might have? It may be a little dumb for bikes, but there must be other potential uses. I will have to try to find and study the details including the price, range, power, I'm sure some roboticists are considering applications?

Put on some pants (0)

angryfeet (2876521) | about 3 months ago | (#47381825)

It's not socially acceptable to wear your budgie smugglers at a coffee shop.

More points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47381893)

Oh nice. The faster the light flashes the more point I get when playing PacMac on the road.

Something like that (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 3 months ago | (#47382063)

I was thinking of building something like that, but I would want to get the min distance of a passing car and its speed. Which would give me a good reason to beat the shit out of them when I catch them. I ride half an hour on a fairly large but winding mountain road every morning. Not much traffic (150 cars on average during those 30 min). But on average there'll be one car that passes within 10cm of me every day. At 90km/h. Assholes not fully awake yet who think they know their daily commute road by heart and cut all the curves no matter if there's a cyclist.

It gives me plenty of time to imagine remedial solutions. Yelling is no use. A 120dB air horn sometimes surprises the asshole afterwards. A paint gun in the windshield (not precise enough and I'm no Doc Holliday) ? A real one shot in the air (not in my country) ? A piece of ultra-hard sharp ceramic on a thin stick held at windshield level ? What I've been doing so far is writing down the license tags and then looking for them around my small town. So far I've caught two and made a very public scene. They've been plenty cautious since then.

He doesn't know cyclers at all (2)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 3 months ago | (#47382119)

Even the legendary Shimano is having hard time selling their electronic gears and not even daring to make them automatic since...Bicycle riding people _hate_ electronic devices except head/tail lights, speedometers. It doesn't fit at all. No, they aren't luddites either. Some seriously high technology is in use by cyclers today but they are all fit into the "soul" of cycling. Not a radar.

...changing the FACE of cycling? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47382125)

If they're going to install it so that it looks backwards, aren't they changing the butt of cycling?
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