Violation: Bike Safety

Again, we get deeper into a bad study which is a case and point of a terrible approach to cycling safety.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CEwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.metroplanorlando.com%2Ffiles%2Fview%2Fbicyclist-crash-study.pdf&ei=gQj2T7LkLOfi2QWE5ND0Bg&usg=AFQjCNGwTEaAQo2aLM40c9Ljj0OZh8Rvjg&sig2=Mu_P8ZgL8ggdQdQS6qkOnQ

From the report:

“Bike safety” has come to be equated in large part with “helmets” and “bike paths.” Reliance on these strategies tends to reinforce the mistaken notion they are the most effective.”

While I realize that helmets are not effective, there should be some evidence that bike paths are ineffective. Again, I had done detailed research which shows them to be much, much more effective than Eduction and Enforcement.

Building paths is also less expensive because most of the cost is a one time cost, while Education and Enforcement are almost infinite in their costs and their effects on safety are minimal.

“Such an approach leads people to believe
that “bike safety” is mostly about “things,” when it is in fact mostly about behavior.”

Another unsubstantiated assertion. Again, bike safety is about things and behavior but behavior is shaped by the environment. Again: BEHAVIOR IS SHAPED BY THE ENVIRONMENT. This point is the biggest point of disagreement between Right and Left in the US and VC vs. normal citizens. The problem is that this has been demonstrated scientifically over and over again. A small change in the environment can cause huge behavioral changes. Knowing this, we have to take our environment into account.

A change of environment can make honest people dishonest as well as cause people to take bigger or smaller risks.

http://danariely.com/

Dan Ariely is the man when it comes to this research, but there’s tons of this stuff out there. One who denies this is living in a superstitious past.

More nonsense:

“This discourages interest in real bicycling education and training.”

NO!! This is 100% backward. If things were actually safe we would not need bike training. In fact, Forester said that all we need to know is how to drive a car in order to ride a bike. If I had car training, why do I need bike training?

Plus, a riding a bike is really, really safe and simple. When you are dodging traffic things get really complicated. This is the fault of the road design which pits cars against cyclists NOT my problem. By making it my problem, the author of this paper is doing the entire bike community a HUGE disservice. Thanks.

“One goal of this report is to empower bicyclists, and to help them (as well as motorists, traffic engineers and
law enforcement officers) to understand the most effective strategies for reducing their risk.”

The most effective strategy is to design roads for pedestrians and cyclists at the beginning. If this was not done, we are owed a huge debt and we ought to spend that money now. If we don’t have the money for this, we’re screwed. There is no class that can make cyclists unscrewed. If a motorist is going to kill you, you have no choice but to die.

“Those who cycle on the roadway and obey the rules of the road are involved in a very small
percentage of all crashes.
Of 657 daytime crashes, only 8.4% (55) involved sober cyclists who were traveling on the roadway and
were confirmed as obeying the rules of the road (6.2% of all 885 crashes). Only 15 of these (2.3% of daytime
and 1.7% of all crashes) involved overtaking motorists. Two of the 15 resulted in incapacitating injuries.
Of 196 night-time crashes, only 8.2% (16) involved sober cyclists who were traveling on the roadway and
were confirmed as obeying the rules of the road. Of these, only three were confirmed as being equipped with
lights.”

This is highly irrelevant to those people like me who are, gasp, not perfect. Sorry to break your bubble, but if being perfect equals being safe, under our present regime, I’m screwed. I’m not going to become perfect. There’s no way that can happen because it’s impossible.

“The 17 cyclist fatalities during the study period were associated predominantly with darkness and
intoxication. Eight of the crashes occurred at night, with none of the cyclists confirmed as having lights; one
crash occurred at dusk. In eight of the crashes the cyclist was confirmed as being intoxicated with either alcohol
or drugs, and two more were reported as “Had Been Drinking.” One crash involved an intoxicated motorist and
a second motorist “Had Been Drinking.” ”

Ah, no lights. Well, guess what? IN CIVILIZED COUNTRIES THINGS ARE LIT UP AT NIGHT. That’s right, in the ghetto in Philly, it was lit up so it was safe to cycle without lights. So basically Orlando acts like a totally poor or cheap person who doesn’t even care enough to light things up a little bit. Instead they’ll just let their citizens die and then blame them. Great job!

Only when I went on the road where there’s no expectation that every corn field will have flood lights did I buy bicycle lights. I have them in San Diego where many places are pitch black because the city is built around the car so things are spread out and they can’t make enough tax money for decent lights. If they had made a normal city instead of believing in cheap oil forever, we’d have a well lit city like any other non-cheap skate city.

Instead, we kill cyclists then blame them for not buying lights.

Guess what? Lights fail. Batteries die. So basically, I should get the death penalty if my batteries fail.

Doesn’t seem right to me.

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