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Too Many Irresponsible Cagers

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Too Many Irresponsible Cagers

Old 08-12-19, 04:44 PM
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TiHabanero
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Too Many Irresponsible Cagers

In Michigan the passing law that went into effect earlier this year is 3 feet. When passing a person on a bicycle, give them no less than 3 feet clearance. When it passed I scoffed at it and remarked to my wife, "So what? Have these nitwits in government nothing more productive to do? Do they think this will change anything?"

On a 60 mile ride Sunday, only a handful of vehicles provided me the courtesy of 3 feet. Most just buzzed me without concern. Several squeezed me by passing at the same time an oncoming vehicle was going by, which naturally prompts them a little closer to the right shoulder of the road, right where the bicycle and I are traveling.

The more I have to deal with people, the more I dislike them. Rude and irresponsible, and they really don't give a crap.
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Old 08-12-19, 04:50 PM
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Unless it's enforced by the local law enforcement, it'll always be like that.
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Old 08-12-19, 05:28 PM
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Here in central NY folks are, in general, pretty courteous. There is the occasional close pass but, overall, drivers will give you a wide berth. I've also had good experiences on road tours in Virginia and Vermont.
.....so there is some hope.
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Old 08-12-19, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
When it passed I scoffed at it and remarked to my wife, "So what? Have these nitwits in government nothing more productive to do? Do they think this will change anything?"
Several years ago, our nitwits in TN took time off from fondling their fetus totems and Confederate artifacts to pass a 3 foot law. If anyone has ever been charged, I've not heard of it.
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Old 08-12-19, 06:00 PM
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Nothing comes of it because there is no way to enforce it. Just a joke of a law to make some lobbyists feel good. Until the hearts of mankind are changed, we will live in turmoil at the edge of the road.
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Old 08-12-19, 06:05 PM
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3 feet from the bumper, tire, mirror?

3 feet to a driver is closer than 3 feet to the rider. I would like more than 3 feet if possible but by naming this distance drivers may be thinking that they can actually pass closer than they previously thought

3 feet is enough to stay within the lane and still pass. I would like drivers to go into the other lane just a little as I hug the right tire track
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Old 08-12-19, 06:14 PM
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I'm a member of the Kalamazoo Bike Club. Our club was instrumental in getting this law passed. Having 9 of our friends get hit, and having 5 of them killed, made this a club priority. We tried to get the state to approve a 5 foot clearance but had to settle for 3.

Some local jurisdictions have passed a 5 foot law and some would approve only a 3 foot. I feel that this law has improved things on this side of the state. Yes, I have been buzzed recently on a ride, so there are still knuckleheads out here, as well.

Our club purchased "5 Feet" signs and have given many of them away. Numerous club members and their families have installed them in their front yards. Also, our local government have installed numerous roadside signs.



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Old 08-12-19, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
In Michigan the passing law that went into effect earlier this year is 3 feet. When passing a person on a bicycle, give them no less than 3 feet clearance. When it passed I scoffed at it and remarked to my wife, "So what? Have these nitwits in government nothing more productive to do? Do they think this will change anything?"

On a 60 mile ride Sunday, only a handful of vehicles provided me the courtesy of 3 feet. Most just buzzed me without concern. Several squeezed me by passing at the same time an oncoming vehicle was going by, which naturally prompts them a little closer to the right shoulder of the road, right where the bicycle and I are traveling.

The more I have to deal with people, the more I dislike them. Rude and irresponsible, and they really don't give a crap.
Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Unless it's enforced by the local law enforcement, it'll always be like that.
Yes, that applies to everything including

stopping at stop signs instead of just slowing down and rolling through;

stopping at red lights to turn right instead of just slowing down and rolling through;

stopping for pedestrians to completely get off the cross walk instead of racing them through the intersection;

driving no faster than the maximum speed posted.

It goes on and on.

You can do the enforcement yourself. As many have posted in other threads either take the lane or carry a 3 ft pool noodle.
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Old 08-12-19, 06:54 PM
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They could pass a 30 foot law and it wouldn’t mean a thing unless enforced!

Politicians love passing feel good laws that they can then use to stand before the electorate to show they are “taking action”. Passing the law costs virtually nothing and earns them political brownie points. But it costs money to enforce the law. So if the law is unenforceable or there is no budget to enforce it it is meaningless.

But as responsible bike bike riders we should also remember that traffic laws apply to us and shouldn’t be ignoring them just because of lack of enforcement.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:09 PM
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Scottsdale, Az.

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Old 08-12-19, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Nothing comes of it because there is no way to enforce it. Just a joke of a law to make some lobbyists feel good. Until the hearts of mankind are changed, we will live in turmoil at the edge of the road.
I somewhat agree. However, after the 3' law passed in Michigan I did notice more vehicles giving more ground than than they had prior to the law. In some cases, extremely so. Personally, five feet, great, but not realistic universally state-wide based on local infrastructure.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:45 PM
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Law passing w/o mass media education is just a politico's game. Two vehicles are forbidden, side by side, in one lane. Enforce THAT and the rest is unnecessary.

For me, it's all negligent to intentional assault to homicide. Gun and cars are weapons... their (mis-)useage in this country costs more lives (0/2/4 legged) than truly countable....
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Old 08-12-19, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Law passing w/o mass media education is just a politico's game. Two vehicles are forbidden, side by side, in one lane. Enforce THAT and the rest is unnecessary.

For me, it's all negligent to intentional assault to homicide. Gun and cars are weapons... their (mis-)useage in this country costs more lives (0/2/4 legged) than truly countable.... ::
Depends on how big one "lane" is. In these parts all lanes on virtually all road-lanes are barely bigger than the vehicles that drive on them. Also virtually no roads have shoulders-paved or soft.
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Old 08-12-19, 08:31 PM
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Here's how to enforce new traffic laws without much extra cost.

When a driver renews his vehicle plates or his licence, distribute information pamphlets new laws passed since the last renewal. And then make him take an oath swearing on the Bible and the national flag to abide by the new laws. What American will break his oath to the flag?
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Old 08-12-19, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Here's how to enforce new traffic laws without much extra cost.

When a driver renews his vehicle plates or his licence, distribute information pamphlets new laws passed since the last renewal. And then make him take an oath swearing on the Bible and the national flag to abide by the new laws. What American will break his oath to the flag?
All of them...everyone always will defend their lead-footed reckless driving with justifications about why traffic law doesn't apply to them.
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Old 08-12-19, 08:42 PM
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All things considered, I'd rather have the law then not.

This thread should be moved to the advocacy forum where disproportionate rage and misinformation about what the law actually says is the norm.
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Old 08-12-19, 09:51 PM
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I disagree with the thought that there is no effect without rigorous enforcement.

It takes a while for behaviors to change, but over time, they do.

Maybe you used to throw trash out the car window, & now you don't, but probably never got a citation.

In my (norcal) area, I think it's partly a numbers thing- you could angrily buzz the few cyclists, but now there's too many.
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Old 08-13-19, 05:10 AM
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A number of years ago, New York, along with other states passed laws that drivers must move left if there's a police, first responder, maintenance or other service vehicle on the side of the road. It's to prevent them from getting hit. Most people do not move over and police officers are still getting hit.

If they won't give a cop room, why would they do it for you?
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Old 08-13-19, 05:11 AM
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In CT we also have a 3-ft law. Maybe it's just luck but it's rare that car drivers don't give me at least 3-ft. I've been riding in this same area for about 40 years and I don't have a problem with 99% of the cars/trucks on the road.
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Old 08-13-19, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Nothing comes of it because there is no way to enforce it. Just a joke of a law to make some lobbyists feel good. Until the hearts of mankind are changed, we will live in turmoil at the edge of the road.
Laws won't trump culture and road design. Culture goes to your comment about heart. What are we teaching our young people in driver's ed classes about cycling? Are we reinforcing those teachings in the culture and at home? Road design is a tough one, because so much of our infrastructure is not bike- and pedestrian friendly and it is cost-prohibitive to rebuild infrastructure.
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Old 08-13-19, 05:46 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
In Michigan the passing law that went into effect earlier this year is 3 feet.
Only this year? Wonder how many people even know about the law. PA passed its 4' law back in 2012. Yep. 4'. A couple of years ago a bike club in the most affluent county in the state, which borders Philly, wanted to start a campaign to educate drivers. Members contacted the county sheriff. Guess what. Even he didn't know the law existed. He held several press conferences to educate the public. His office also paid for 300 campaign-style signs that were placed along roads that are popular with cyclists.

Give it time. Better yet, become an advocate. Having toured across PA three times since the law was passed I think it has had an impact.

OBTM
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Old 08-13-19, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I disagree with the thought that there is no effect without rigorous enforcement.

It takes a while for behaviors to change, but over time, they do.

Maybe you used to throw trash out the car window, & now you don't, but probably never got a citation.

In my (norcal) area, I think it's partly a numbers thing- you could angrily buzz the few cyclists, but now there's too many.
+1. See my post immediately above.
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Old 08-13-19, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
....The more I have to deal with people, the more I dislike them. Rude and irresponsible, and they really don't give a crap.

Plus je connais les hommes, plus j’aime les chiens. Truth!
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Old 08-13-19, 06:40 AM
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This is to give cred to the OP, not discredit, but I don't think this conversation is ever complete without experiences people have had outside of the US.

I've ridden in Europe (not UK), and despite the bad apple or two it is lightyears better there.

It's even better driving, to me. Commercial drivers seem infinitely more responsible. People in the countries that follow cycling as a sport are very friendly to riders.

Penalties in the US for traffic crime just aren't sufficient as deterrents. We're too wealthy a country for most infractions to really make you think about not doing it, prison or fines.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
In Michigan the passing law that went into effect earlier this year is 3 feet. When passing a person on a bicycle, give them no less than 3 feet clearance. When it passed I scoffed at it and remarked to my wife, "So what? Have these nitwits in government nothing more productive to do? Do they think this will change anything?"

On a 60 mile ride Sunday, only a handful of vehicles provided me the courtesy of 3 feet. Most just buzzed me without concern. Several squeezed me by passing at the same time an oncoming vehicle was going by, which naturally prompts them a little closer to the right shoulder of the road, right where the bicycle and I are traveling.

The more I have to deal with people, the more I dislike them. Rude and irresponsible, and they really don't give a crap.
If a car is squeezing by you while an oncoming vehicle goes by you in the other direction, you are too far to the right. Pretty simple fix- move further left.
View yourself as a slow moving vehicle that is respectful of others while still maintaining your rightful place on the road. Move to the right tire dent on the road so there isnt enough room for a vehicle to pass you when oncoming traffic is passing by. And then be cognizant of traffic building up behind you when they cant pass due to road conditions, and move off the road to release the build-up of trailing traffic.

The above suggestion may make some people lose their minds and claim that its unsafe to pull off and let traffic pass or whatever other issue they can take with the suggestion- but I am not suggesting everyone do it, just those who are afraid of being buzzed and clipped and are in areas where vehicles dont respect giving 3', it could help to move over every once in awhile. Or find different routes.


Central Iowa is fantastic, I think. The rural county highways offer some excellent riding- good pavement, rolling hills, and vehicles that typically pass all the way in the other lane. If I were continually buzzed by vehicles closer than 3', I would probably move towards using the extensive paved trail network more, or ride gravel even more often.
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