Malicious Anti-Cycling Laws or Cycling Bullying Part II

A hearty thanks to one of my blog post generators BikingInLA:

http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/

Previously, I looked into possible causes of cycling bullying:

https://cyclingunbound.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/cycling-bullying-possible-motivations/

Also, I have mentioned the notion of malicious compliance which is the idea of someone following the letter of the law to the point of absurdity in order to punish someone. The example was given was for Sandag and Caltrans bragging that they were “within the standards” even though, if they cared to perform a basic walk through along the side of the road, they’d notice that the roads totally suck for cycling and pedestrians.

Now, I’m combining it all together to mention some more ways that motorists, usually in their sick revenge fantasies, will try to punish cyclists. Often the punishment comes in the form of “fairness” or “safety”. Though at this point, it’s getting to where they just want to appease motorists.

Giving in to this is a form of revenge which in my mind is due to the extreme bullying mentality that some motorists have towards to the more vulerable and less fortuante. Thus, these people should be ashamed of their vindictive and selfish behavior.

The first example, is the old saw, registering bicycles. In San Diego and other parts of the US, this useless law was never enforced. The main purpose was to stop bicycle theft which if you know the attitude that our law enforcement comes to bicycles is laughable. The other reason is that they could catch the cyclists, if they commited a crime. I can’t imagine a crime in which police on cars, helicopters, and even bicycles or god forbid, foot, could a police officer not catch up with an offending cyclist. In fact, if this is a great concern, it would make suspect the whole notion of motoring as it is the perfect get away car. In fact, that’s why they call it a “get away CAR”.

I’m not advocating banning cars, but I’m just saying that this idea does not add up.

The second idea is for cyclists to pass some kind of competency test and to carry a little car, presumably with a cute little bicycle on it. As I have blogged earlier, I’m in favor of this law as it would make the state pay way more attention to cyclists. Also, we’d have a seat at the table to demand infrastructure everywhere.

Seems like a lot of people Down Under agree:

http://www.news.com.au/national/bike-ride-licensing-a-battle-of-swerves/story-fndo4ckr-1226584208850

However, I would not seriously advocate for such a law, and I don’t think that this is a solution to any known problem. Also, it would make it harder for people to get into cycling. Finally, the law makes no sense. A child can not operate a motor vehicle and this is reflected by the lack of a license available. However, even a toddler can safely ride a non-motorized machine such as a tricycle, big wheel, or even a bicycle. Should children not be allowed to bicycle with their parents?

Obviously, this law is not well thought out because it prohibits children from riding their bicycles even with their parents.

It’s also kind of silly because we can’t even stop people with no license from driving motor vehicles:

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_22658040/grieving-dad-crusades-tougher-laws-against-unlicensed-drivers

I’ll just mention in passing that the mandatory helmet law is yet another unreasonable demand placed on cyclists by motorists (and by some cyclists who don’t do their homework).

Also there’s the law that flat out admits that it’s there just to appease motorists:

http://www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/WA-Lawmakers-Propose-Bicycle-Tax.html

“According to the Seattle Times, the package would place a $25 sales fee on bikes worth $500 or more, a move projected to raise $1 million over 10 years.”

http://streetsblog.net/2013/02/21/washington-state-considering-a-symbolic-tax-on-bicycles/

“In the past, some Oregon bike advocates have supported such proposals, under the notion that it would help allay the perception — no matter how inaccurate — that cyclists don’t pay for roads.”

To this, I say this DON’T TRY TO SUCK UP TO MOTORISTS! IF THEY LIKE YOU, THEY DON’T NEED TO BULLY YOU WITH POINTLESS LAWS. IF THEY DON’T LIKE YOU THEY WILL _NEVER_ LIKE YOU NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU BEAT YOURSELVES UP. PLUS THERE IS NO MOTORIST VS. CYCLIST DIVIDE.

We all have friends and family who bicycle and motor–save for those small number of people who’s social circle is extremely limited. Many motorists want to cycle, and making cyclists seem inferior is not the way to help them.

To even think of making these kinds of laws is due to an aversion to cycling. If people really cared about cyclists, they’d build the dedicated infrastructure that other places have enjoyed ever since bicycles existed.

Instead we get a series of behaviors which map on to bullying in other areas such as the workplace:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201105/the-silent-epidemic-workplace-bullying

“Bullies often involve others using many tactics such as blaming for errors, unreasonable work demands, insults, putdowns, stealing credit, threatening job loss, and discounting accomplishments.”

1. Blaming for errors: Notice how the cyclist is always blamed for accidents in police reports? “You are taking your life in your own hands.” “If you ride on this road, it’s only a matter of time before you are a victim.”

2. unreasonable (work) demands: This is noted above: licensing, helmets, etc.

3. insults, putdowns: Cyclists are elitists, little Christs of the road, road lice, etc.

4. stealing credit/discounting accomplishments: “I’m sick of how cyclists always brag about how environmentally friendly they are.”

5. threatening (job) loss: Such as the town that banned cycling “for their own good.”

http://www.problematwork.com/2851/unreasonable-work-demands-that-constitute-workplace-bullying/

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3 Responses to “Malicious Anti-Cycling Laws or Cycling Bullying Part II”

  1. Steve A Says:

    Confusion here – clicking on your first link, I see a person on a bike killed while riding against traffic and another about how cycling is safer than you think. What do either of these have to do with bullying cyclists?

    +1 for the link about the WA “symbolic” tax – though it could have been as well simply that the Dems never saw a tax they didn’t like, no matter how lame brained and ill conceived. Good thing it is DOA.

    • Fred Says:

      Are you seriously arguing that Republicans don’t increase spending which ultimately, must, by adults, be paid off? If so you are even less informed than I thought.

      Secondly, I am registered Republican. We really need to up our game and get our fellow Republicans basic reading skills.

    • Fred Says:

      Also, it’s well known that VC DBs are renowned for their exquisite misunderstanding of statistics. A single incident means nothing. Your comment further proves the total incompetence that VC have regarding cycling safety. Thank-you.

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