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Bicyclists blamed twice as often as drivers
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 3/22/5 | Erin McCormick

Posted on 03/22/2008 2:23:48 PM PDT by SmithL

Bicyclists were twice as likely as drivers to be at fault in the nearly 2,000 collisions that killed or severely injured Bay Area bike riders in the past decade, an analysis by The Chronicle shows.

Bicycle and safety advocates say the deaths two weeks ago of two cyclists hit by a Santa Clara sheriff's deputy's cruiser should serve as a call to improve relations between cars and bikes on the roadways.

The advocates say large numbers of cyclists fail to follow the rules of the road, running stop signs and red lights, and drivers are becoming more aggressive.

"There is a juggernaut out there - the tension between the cyclists and the drivers is so high that it's become a war," said triathlon coach Marc Evans, who is starting a campaign to get the cycling community, drivers and motorcyclists to put more focus on avoiding deadly collisions on the roads.

The Chronicle's analysis of the 33,000 Bay Area collisions involving bicyclists since 1997 shows that, in the most serious accidents, the driving behaviors of bicyclists often were blamed for the crashes. Data collected by the California Highway Patrol show that bicyclists were deemed at fault in 1,165, or nearly 60 percent, of the 1,997 accidents that killed or severely injured cyclists; drivers were blamed only 520 times, or 26 percent. In most other cases, no one was listed as being at fault.

Suspicion of bias

Bicycling advocates said the statistics might in part reflect a bias among police officers, who they say often "blame the victims," especially because cyclists might not get to tell their side of the story as they are being carried off on stretchers.

"There is a prevalent perception among police officers that bikes don't belong on the road," said LeahShahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Local News
KEYWORDS: anarchists; bicyclist; criticalmass; hoodornament; hypocriticalmasshole; scofflaws; starkravingsocialism

1 posted on 03/22/2008 2:23:49 PM PDT by SmithL
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...cases involving bikers can be exacerbated by the fact that in Berkeley, "some cyclists are very political about their cycling: They yell at the motorists to 'Just stop driving.' "
Yeah, well that's Berkeley.

Wouldn't it be fun to take a Hummer to Critical Mass?

2 posted on 03/22/2008 2:27:04 PM PDT by SmithL (Reject Obama's Half-Vast Wright-Wing Conspiracy)
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To: SmithL
Maybe they should make bicyclists take a test and get licensed. Make them put a tag on the bike.

This would be for bikes on “roadways”. I wouldn't advocate kids having to do it that ride around in subdivisons.

I am sick of them running lights, stops signs, riding in middle of road.

John

3 posted on 03/22/2008 3:05:57 PM PDT by Diggity
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To: SmithL

In motorcycling, the 1%ers are the ones who give the other 99% the bad reputation. In bicycling, that statistic appears to be reversed.


4 posted on 03/22/2008 3:08:51 PM PDT by weegee (Famous moments in history: March 18th, 2008 I have a bridge (to sell you)... - Barack H. Obama)
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To: SmithL
We need common sense bike control.

The first thing we need to do is get all the bicycles off the road.

If someone absolutely has to ride one of these instrumentalities of death then they must keep it at a public velodrome for exclusive use there.

Let's save lives.

Let's have common sense bike control.

5 posted on 03/22/2008 7:54:57 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

That’s not the first thing to do. The first thing to do is to make legal bike riders jump through so many hoops in order to own a bike that most people give up because it’s too much trouble. Then in a few generations, when the bike owners are outnumbered, they can start to push their bike ban.

First, make bike owners wear stupid helmets, then wear silly reflectors and safety glasses. Then make them register their bikes and make it illegal to sell a bike to another citizen without going through a dealer. Then tell the bike owners if they want to use it outside of their home they need a special permit to do so. And the bike has to be stored separate from it’s tires at all times. Anyone caught with an unregistered bike will be severely punished. All bikes with more than 10 speeds are classed as “assault” bikes and are banned.

Did I leave anything out?


6 posted on 03/22/2008 8:09:36 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?)
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To: mamelukesabre
Did I leave anything out?

You sure did. You forgot about road usage tax, bike lane tax, traffic tax, etc...
Government has to get their $$$, ya know.
7 posted on 03/22/2008 8:13:57 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Satisfaction was my sin)
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To: SmithL
In Cupertino, CA--supposedly one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the USA--the police take a dim view of bicyclists that don't follow the "rules of the road." That means riding with the flow of traffic, obeying all traffic signs, and exercising your right of way properly.
8 posted on 03/22/2008 8:50:06 PM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: RandallFlagg

I’d be more than happy to pay a fee/tax on my bike if they build me my own lane:). And yes I obey all the road rules, unless I’m forced to run a red light not tripped by my bike.

But I agree with others here on one thing, bicyclists tend to be their own worst enemies.

If the price of gas goes up any more, be prepared for lots more bikes on the road this summer.


9 posted on 03/23/2008 11:46:16 AM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
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To: SmithL
large numbers of cyclists fail to follow the rules of the road, running stop signs

Pretty much sums it up...

10 posted on 03/23/2008 11:55:58 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (...forward this to your 10 very best friends....)
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To: BenLurkin
We need common sense bike control.

Byciclests should be required to ride on sidewalks. Then, if they come upon a pedestrian, they showed be required to get off and walk their bike past the pedestrian before remounting.

11 posted on 03/23/2008 5:07:54 PM PDT by aimhigh
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