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Cyclist Hit

Old 02-12-20, 04:09 PM
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Cyclist Hit

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/cy...DIU3U74TQMGH4/
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Old 02-13-20, 03:55 AM
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Seems like I see more reports of cyclists being hit by drivers in North and South Carolina than any other region. A friend's daughter, also a racer training for the Olympics, was struck and killed in NC in 2011.

Hard to tell whether there's a pattern of reckless and negligent drivers in that region, or whether the news media are more diligent about reporting about cyclists and pedestrians struck by drivers. I know in my area (D/FW) many incidents are not reported because the newspapers are basically non-existent and TV news don't bother reporting the deaths of anonymous people. Most victims are low income, many are people of color, and in areas of town where such deaths are just shrugged off as collateral damage in the interest of not inconveniencing drivers.

The problem and answer aren't "bike lanes" and it's too simplistic to blame infrastructure. The main problem is driver negligence. If a driver strikes a pedestrian or cyclist who is lawfully using shared existing infrastructure, it should be considered negligence by default. Not an "accident," which implies something was unpredictable and unavoidable.

There are traffic calming designs and modifications of existing designs that can help. But changing the default paradigm would cost taxpayers nothing. It would shift the burden to drivers to take responsibility for their actions and omissions.
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Old 02-13-20, 06:29 AM
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There's an A&S forum for that.
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Old 02-13-20, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
If a driver strikes a pedestrian or cyclist who is lawfully using shared existing infrastructure, it should be considered negligence by default. Not an "accident," which implies something was unpredictable and unavoidable.
Too simplistic. YOU are driving along lawfully. A deer jumps out of the woods, flies through your windshield and bashes in your face, knocking you unconscious and causing you to lose control and strike a cyclist who is riding lawfully on a shoulder and who is otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws. Or YOU have a sudden heart attack, stroke or other debilitating medical emergency, having no previous signs of any such event happening. Same result: Dead cyclist. YOU are negligent? What should be YOUR criminal sentence? How much should YOUR insurance premium rise because of YOUR negligence?

Both parties can be exercising reasonable care under the circumstance (which is what the law of negligence requires) and "it" can still (and does) happen.

I guess if you don't drive it's attractive and easy to suggest a liability framework like you propose. But everyone who does better think about the potential consequences to themselves before they back something like that.
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Old 02-13-20, 07:34 AM
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Unfortunate damper on his professional racing career. Not many news details of this incident- I wonder if he was alone or with a group. NC-152 in Rowan County is a typical rural 2 lane road with no shoulder. Speed limit 55 mph, though some drivers will no doubt be faster. It's fairly straight and flat with good sight lines, so there should be no problem for an alert and competent driver seeing a cyclist. I hope Seth heals quickly.
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Old 02-13-20, 07:46 AM
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I know it doesn’t change anything but I’d never ever ride a bicycle on RT 152 (unless I was with a large peloton. The same with 115 that had the death a month or so ago. These are major thoroughfares not small side roads.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:01 AM
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1- you know what doesnt have high traffic or high speeds? gravel roads. blissful riding right there. All the hulls and wind you can stand, with little to no traffic.
2- with the team of youth i help mentor, we ride some country highways where the speed is 55 and its 1 lane each way without a shoulder. Cars almost always give us a wide berth, but I think thats because the collective 30-50 of us are usually spread out over a couple miles so once the vehicle comes upon the first group, they then see many groups over and again. Safety in numbers, I guess.
3- riding a high traffic 1 lane highway with no shoulder doesnt sound fun. Not sure if this road is high traffic or not, but just in general- that doesnt sound like fun.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
There's an A&S forum for that.

AKA--"the same 6 guys having the same argument for the 1077th time".
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Old 02-13-20, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- you know what doesnt have high traffic or high speeds? gravel roads. blissful riding right there. All the hulls and wind you can stand, with little to no traffic.
2- with the team of youth i help mentor, we ride some country highways where the speed is 55 and its 1 lane each way without a shoulder. Cars almost always give us a wide berth, but I think thats because the collective 30-50 of us are usually spread out over a couple miles so once the vehicle comes upon the first group, they then see many groups over and again. Safety in numbers, I guess.
3- riding a high traffic 1 lane highway with no shoulder doesnt sound fun. Not sure if this road is high traffic or not, but just in general- that doesnt sound like fun.
152 very nigh traffic with 45 and 55 mph speed limits

115 is major through road from Charlotte north to Mooresville. It’s the parallel road to interstate 77
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Old 02-13-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
AKA--"the same 6 guys having the same argument for the 1077th time".


I only go there to see if any threads have been locked. Sometimes the post locking the thread is chuckle-worthy.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Too simplistic. YOU are driving along lawfully. A deer jumps out of the woods, flies through your windshield and bashes in your face, knocking you unconscious and causing you to lose control and strike a cyclist who is riding lawfully on a shoulder and who is otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws. Or YOU have a sudden heart attack, stroke or other debilitating medical emergency, having no previous signs of any such event happening. Same result: Dead cyclist. YOU are negligent? What should be YOUR criminal sentence? How much should YOUR insurance premium rise because of YOUR negligence?

Both parties can be exercising reasonable care under the circumstance (which is what the law of negligence requires) and "it" can still (and does) happen.

I guess if you don't drive it's attractive and easy to suggest a liability framework like you propose. But everyone who does better think about the potential consequences to themselves before they back something like that.
In some european countries the driver is presumed to be at fault when a ped or cyclist is struck, and must prove otherwise. That would seem to address your concerns while more consistently holding drivers liable.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Seems like I see more reports of cyclists being hit by drivers in North and South Carolina than any other region. A friend's daughter, also a racer training for the Olympics, was struck and killed in NC in 2011.

Hard to tell whether there's a pattern of reckless and negligent drivers in that region, or whether the news media are more diligent about reporting about cyclists and pedestrians struck by drivers. I know in my area (D/FW) many incidents are not reported because the newspapers are basically non-existent and TV news don't bother reporting the deaths of anonymous people. Most victims are low income, many are people of color, and in areas of town where such deaths are just shrugged off as collateral damage in the interest of not inconveniencing drivers.

The problem and answer aren't "bike lanes" and it's too simplistic to blame infrastructure. The main problem is driver negligence. If a driver strikes a pedestrian or cyclist who is lawfully using shared existing infrastructure, it should be considered negligence by default. Not an "accident," which implies something was unpredictable and unavoidable.

There are traffic calming designs and modifications of existing designs that can help. But changing the default paradigm would cost taxpayers nothing. It would shift the burden to drivers to take responsibility for their actions and omissions.
If the incidents aren't reported on how do you know about them? I'm not trying to be a smart acre, I'm honestly curious.
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Old 02-13-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by 5teve View Post
That would seem a fair compromise.
Why? Twenty witnesses at the scene inform the police that a cyclist ran the red light or veered off the shoulder right in front of the vehicle. You may be content with a system of law that requires you to rebut a presumption of criminality resulting from an specific outcome. I am not. Just be careful what you wish for.
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Old 02-13-20, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
1- you know what doesnt have high traffic or high speeds? gravel roads. blissful riding right there. All the hulls and wind you can stand, with little to no traffic.
2- with the team of youth i help mentor, we ride some country highways where the speed is 55 and its 1 lane each way without a shoulder. Cars almost always give us a wide berth, but I think thats because the collective 30-50 of us are usually spread out over a couple miles so once the vehicle comes upon the first group, they then see many groups over and again. Safety in numbers, I guess.
3- riding a high traffic 1 lane highway with no shoulder doesnt sound fun. Not sure if this road is high traffic or not, but just in general- that doesnt sound like fun.
this
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Old 02-13-20, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Too simplistic. YOU are driving along lawfully. A deer jumps out of the woods, flies through your windshield and bashes in your face, knocking you unconscious and causing you to lose control and strike a cyclist who is riding lawfully on a shoulder and who is otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws. Or YOU have a sudden heart attack, stroke or other debilitating medical emergency, having no previous signs of any such event happening. Same result: Dead cyclist. YOU are negligent? What should be YOUR criminal sentence? How much should YOUR insurance premium rise because of YOUR negligence?

Both parties can be exercising reasonable care under the circumstance (which is what the law of negligence requires) and "it" can still (and does) happen.

I guess if you don't drive it's attractive and easy to suggest a liability framework like you propose. But everyone who does better think about the potential consequences to themselves before they back something like that.
OK, I'll accept that the cyclists killed when deer break windshields or the drivers have heart attacks are victims of accidents. Yeah, and I know these accidents kill cyclists every day (combining this planet's cyclists with all the other cyclists from other planets, galaxies and universes). But I suspect more cyclists are killed by drivers that simply aren't looking or thinking about their driving.
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Old 02-13-20, 12:15 PM
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motorist here, by and large, do not like cyclists. They do not think they should be on the road. Was this a factor? We will never know
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Old 02-13-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
But I suspect more cyclists are killed by drivers that simply aren't looking or thinking about their driving.
It's not a question of number of this vs. number of that. It's a question of why, in any given instance, one party should be presumed to have been negligent and have to rebut that presumption. That could actually be unconstitutional in the criminal context. But even in the civil context I think it would be the wrong way to go. Initial burden of proof is on the one claiming negligence on the part of another. And yes, I am well aware of the concept of negligence per se. But even there the complainant must establish things beyond "I was hit by a vehicle so it's the vehicle operator's fault unless he proves otherwise." Careful what you ask for. I am an extremely careful driver and have still almost hit cyclists doing really dumb things. I don't think I should have to bear the burden of proving that I was not at fault unless the cyclist can first offer sufficient evidence that I was. Same for a case involving a pedestrian.
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Old 02-13-20, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Too simplistic. YOU are driving along lawfully. A deer jumps out of the woods, flies through your windshield and bashes in your face, knocking you unconscious and causing you to lose control and strike a cyclist who is riding lawfully on a shoulder and who is otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws. Or YOU have a sudden heart attack, stroke or other debilitating medical emergency, having no previous signs of any such event happening. Same result: Dead cyclist. YOU are negligent? What should be YOUR criminal sentence? How much should YOUR insurance premium rise because of YOUR negligence?

Both parties can be exercising reasonable care under the circumstance (which is what the law of negligence requires) and "it" can still (and does) happen.

I guess if you don't drive it's attractive and easy to suggest a liability framework like you propose. But everyone who does better think about the potential consequences to themselves before they back something like that.
Dude, dispense with the wild ideas. It's called extenuating circumstances for a reason.

If there isn't a deer or medical issue.........mandatory minimums for any motor vehicle injury or death. Car on car. Car on walker/jogger. Car on bike. It's got to stop.

The US is in a time of infinitely safer cars so people drive infinitely worse. Any phone usage resulting in a collision of any kind should be no license for a year. Hurt someone? 6 months. Killed someone? 5 years.

Again, it's because the minivan mom down the street doesn't steal televisions that the crime of road incidents isn't punished more. It's "any man's crime". A few people rob TV's or break into a few people's houses...........huge penalty. A person from the majority of society kills on the road..............crickets.
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Old 02-13-20, 02:08 PM
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On "presumption of liability":
There is a skills test and an application process to obtain a license for a particular means of travel.
The reason is because certain means of travel present risks to the rights of others pursuit of life, liberty, free expression, free association, pursuit of happiness, and other rights of citizenship (not enumerated). Nearly all our laws pertain to protecting the rights of others in some way.

The bigger the risk to the rights of others, the higher the threshold of minimum competancy. Reference a Commercial Drivers License and it's related endorsements of increasing difficulty. Hazardous Materials & Passenger endorsements being the strictest. Or reference a Commercial pilots license. The bigger the plane/the more passengers that plane carries the more experience the pilot needs.

The license, of any vehicle is granted under the assumption that you have demonstrated a minimum level of competancy. Running over pedestrians (illegal), running over cyclists (illegal), disregard of other laws (also illegal) is evidence you were negligent in the responsibilites commiserate in the license. Therefore you should be presumed to have been responsible for your (in)actions while in control of craft/vehicle. You are the party in a position of greater responsibility. Period.

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Old 02-13-20, 05:07 PM
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But honest accidents do happen and people get hurt
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Old 02-13-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
If the incidents aren't reported on how do you know about them? I'm not trying to be a smart acre, I'm honestly curious.
Mostly terse police blotter posts on social media -- usually lacking names or specifics -- and word of mouth among the cycling community. Sometimes locals will chime in and identify the victims after rumors run the grapevine.

When I was a newspaper reporter in the 1980s, mostly covering the police/fire beat, my first stop early every morning was checking the incident reports at the police and fire stations. If anything looked interesting enough I'd dig a little deeper and see if it developed into a story. Otherwise we just published summaries of the police blotter.

Our local media rarely do that anymore. One of the major daily papers I worked for in the '80s had the largest circulation in Texas at that time. Now it's more like a weekly shopper's gazzette. Some of the reporters can barely write, and there's no evidence of a copy editor or fact checker.

That leaves the TV news. They report deaths and serious injuries only if it emotionally manipulates their viewer demographic. That excludes homeless and street people stuck and killed while walking or riding bikes. We know it happens only because of the police blotters and word of mouth. But if it's a kid who fits the audience demographics, it'll get priority. If it's a dedicated local cyclist who's had success in competition, it'll get a little attention, mostly to give viewers a chance to indulge their schadenfreude and snipe about "cyclists" as a weird sort of minority that needs to go away.

Most incidents are shrugged off as "accidents":
"I was blinded by the sun!" (Drive slower if you can't see.)
"They came out of nowhere!" (The cyclist/pedestrian was right in front of you at the intersection/crosswalk.)
"I never some them coming!" (Get your nose out of your phone.)

The hypothetical "deer came out of nowhere!" example may not be an accident either. Was it at dawn or dusk on a two-lane farm to market road, which should have a speed limit no higher than 50 mph, and slower at night, while the driver was doing 70 mph? Not really an accident, is it? More like negligence, driving too fast for conditions.

Sure, critters can surprise us. I've lived in, driven and ridden bikes on rural roads for decades. That includes tens of thousands of miles of cross country driving on the job, often in rural areas with herds of deer and antelope at roadside. I've never hit a critter or been hit by one. Close calls, sure. But I drive appropriate to the conditions.

Break down most "accidents" and you'll usually find human error as a component. That was my job for years as a federal OSHA safety inspector. It reinforced my assertion that there are very few unforeseeable, unpredictable and unavoidable "accidents."
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Old 02-14-20, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
But honest accidents do happen and people get hurt
Ever seen “Hot Fuzz”?
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Old 02-14-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Too simplistic. YOU are driving along lawfully. A deer jumps out of the woods, flies through your windshield and bashes in your face, knocking you unconscious and causing you to lose control and strike a cyclist who is riding lawfully on a shoulder and who is otherwise in compliance with all applicable laws. Or YOU have a sudden heart attack, stroke or other debilitating medical emergency, having no previous signs of any such event happening. Same result: Dead cyclist. YOU are negligent? What should be YOUR criminal sentence? How much should YOUR insurance premium rise because of YOUR negligence?

Both parties can be exercising reasonable care under the circumstance (which is what the law of negligence requires) and "it" can still (and does) happen.

I guess if you don't drive it's attractive and easy to suggest a liability framework like you propose. But everyone who does better think about the potential consequences to themselves before they back something like that.
Dunno, Japan has assumed liability and seem to cope very well. Nice place to ride because of it. Makes everybody focus on what's going on. As a cyclist if I hit a pedestrian I'm going to be in big trouble, big fine or even jail. So I'm careful around them. Car driver hits me, they are in Doo Doo. Truck drivers just watch out for everyone else. Of even there, if there is evidence of gross negligence on behalf of the smaller vehicle then liability is extinguished. But gross is defined as something like a combination of riding at night with no lights, drunk and running a red light.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:22 AM
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This is morphing into an A&S thread.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:47 AM
  #25  
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Several years back I was offered an all-expenses paid work transfer to the Charlotte area. They'd buy my home here, give me another chunk of cash to cover expenses at the Charlotte end. I visited Charlotte a number of times for work and looking at homes/areas. Nice enough area (I was there mostly in late summer and fall). Climate (as I sit here at -7F outside) is certainly milder than Wisconsin.

I declined the move. About 50% of the reason I declined was a nagging feeling I'd die cycling the roads. So much traffic on narrow-no bike-lane roads. Everyone rushing around as they're late due to the traffic. A joke there(as related by a local) was if you're having a slow day you can always grab a lawn chair and watch intersections for one-car accidents(I saw two while there). They're racing (an apparently losing battle) building infrastructure to keep up with population growth and cyclists are not even an afterthought...by the look of it at least. Bike trails (non-MTB) are nearly non-existent..but the taxes are low(er). At the time, I read something online that Montana? and South Carolina were tied for leading the nation in pedestrian deaths due to autos..I think cyclists were lumped into pedestrians.

All my opinions might be incorrect here, but when moving for work there's a limited time to decide what to do and why. I opted to retire early and live in the land of higher taxes, reasonably courteous drivers, bike lanes, and bike trails everywhere...with more being built.
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