Tag Archives: drunk drivers need to die

I can hardly move my fingers, and the Feed

The trip to get the metals was not so bad, but bringing the tubes home was an “e-word”. My left thumb, index, and second finger are cramping up so bad I can barely manage to get the fingers to the correct keys when I type. Seriously I need to backspace and correct about every third word, especially if there are lots of left-hand letters. Can we say “Ouch!”? I’m saying that and a whole lot more. Basically what the issue is the tubes were taped together to carry right-handed and my right hand is busy when I walk holding my cane. When I walk with my cane I almost never need to use it to catch myself from a leg malfunction, but when I don’t have my cane I almost always end up needing it and falling on my side or face. So I almost always have my cane in my right hand ready to catch me if the leg decides to “take a break” while I’m walking, and as I’m actively using the cane I think that also helps prevent the leg from “quitting” on me. But that meant I had to carry an unwieldy collection of tubing home on DART with my left hand and trying to keep the bundle under control ended up giving me cramps in my thumb and first two fingers.

Up first is a DUI fatality from CA. Update: 21-year old bike rider killed by 18-year old drunk driver on Santiago Canyon Road in Orange and Fire Chief Finds Downed Cyclist on Way to Work, Aids in Search for Suspect Hit-from-behind wreck from the report the driver was going too fast for a human cyclist to take evasive maneuvers mooting the protocols, the cyclist was reportedly hit in a bike lane on a highway with a 55 MPH speed limit so definitely infrastructure could have been better as the Dutch model has cyclists separated from highways like that with a sturdy barrier that even a loaded semi would be unlikely to jump. Now on a personal note as of this posting the driver is being held without bail for trying to run and destroy evidence, along with the person who was helping destroy the evidence. The car has been seized as evidence along with the contents. This should happen with every DUI wreck, fatality or not.

Still in CA is a bike-on bike wreck in SoCal. SDPD officer struck by Critical Mass bicyclist Note that in a bike-on-bike wreck people only get minor injuries most of the time especially in urban environments.

A wreck that I can’t figure out the geometry for in NYC. [Update] Cyclist Struck By Car Near Prospect Park The updated report says the cyclist crossed the road and hit the weapon vehicle head on, but the visible damages are all wrong for that geometry. Notice the pringled front wheel and the damage to the passenger side bumper with very little to no damage visible on the windshield. Had the cyclist actually crossed the centerline that far there would have been a crushed windshield with lots of damage, and the front wheel would have been crushed in a straight line not pringled from the side. Until the “official” story can account for the damages to the bike and the (lack of) damages to the car I don’t buy it. And until I can account for the damages seen I can’t tell you how to avoid the wreck. Getting the infrastructure right would prevent a wreck like this, but that would be ALL the infrastructure, legal as well as physical.

A wreck that’s 100% infrastructure on Scotland. Cyclists knocked off by Waverley barrier and Cyclists injured by Edinburgh station anti-terrorism barriers I was looking really hard at the picture in the first link to find the “no bicycles” sign, but I guess it must be over on the other side of the sidewalk (and the size of a sheet of notebook paper).

A wreck in Enn Zed. Cyclist injured in Hills Rd crash And aside from the fact that a cyclist was hit at an intersection I know nothing about this wreck. So..Infrastructure! Ultimately it is the infrastructure that is at fault for not segregating the cyclist by both time and space. And there is plenty of room for bicycle infrastructure because “Traffic was not affected by the crash, police said.” If there’s enough room to transport a cyclist to hospital without affecting traffic, there’s more than enough room to install appropriate bicycle infrastructure.

And this bit of Infrastructure! news from the 49th State just makes your eyes pop. Anchorage motor vehicle laws stack the deck against cyclists If I’m reading this right even when a driver runs a red light and hits a cyclist, it’s the cyclist’s fault for not dodging the motor vehicle? WTF!?!

Final body count for 2013 from NYPD. NYPD: 16,059 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 178 Killed in Traffic in 2013 The numbers are just mind-boggling when you stop and think that this is just for one large city, granted one of the largest cities in the world. Add in the near 100% injury rate when cars hit soft and squishy unprotected humans… and the fact that there were over 16K drivers who hit cyclists and pedestrians and only 9 got tickets… TANJ!

Stay off the roads when it’s foggy out because drivers refuse to slow down for reduced visibility? Safety bike riding rules that can save your life Why not just give drivers tickets for failing to reduce speed in bad visibility (Basic Speed Law Tran. Code §545.351(a) & (b))

Chronicling the long struggle to establish rules that ban trucks with huge blind spots in the EU. Northumberland campaigner joins Olympic cyclist in Brussels ahead of safety vote That such vehicles are allowed to be made and nobody has sued the manufacturer yet just boggles the mind…

From Oz comes a not-surprising report that common activities are much more dangerous than riding a bike even without bicycle infrastructure. You’re 35 times safer on your bike than playing rugby I imagine that few people think more than twice about their kid playing rugby (or football in America), but how many would never allow their kids to ride a bicycle to school?

And those were all the links that gave me fits (and then some) today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Watch my mind wander, Wreck-Free Sunday

As this week of gratitude winds down I’m getting ready for the second of 2 services today, getting my mind together for another round of things I’m grateful for. Well before I do that again I’m going to think of things that I would rather do without:

I would rather do without the Occupy movement, not because I don’t think they’re right but because I can see that this will not end without bloodshed from the 1%. Seriously I see at least 4 and as many as 10 public executions of the richest people in the world for “Crimes Against Humanity”, unless something happens to divert that in the next 2 weeks.

I would rather do without bicycle “infrastructure” that gets designed by people that haven’t ridden a bike since they turned 13 at the latest. Seriously, I have seen “infrastructure” that if used as intended and designed would get cyclists killed about half the time they use it unless drivers are very careful. Another thing to remember is that there is no formal instruction on bicycle usage in the US, any infrastructure has to be totally intuitive to use with as few signs as possible because the vast majority of users barely know which side of the road to ride on.

I have mentioned this one before but I still would rather do without mandatory helmet laws. Bicycle helmets are a joke that has had the punchline repeatedly edited for the worse. Studies done in the 80s and 90s on the effectiveness of helmets are totally non-valid now, because helmets made since the adoption of the CPSC standard don’t have anywhere near the protection of earlier helmets with hard shells that could stand more than one hit to the helmet. Even when a helmet is within its envelope of protection it still doesn’t do much, one hit and a CPSC certified helmet is used up and unable to protect even in a place on the opposite side of the head from the first hit. Every once in a while a bicycle helmet will prevent a brain injury by pure chance, and some people want to mandate taking that chance. I should note that I wear my Bellistic full-face helmet every time I ride my bike except during the winter when I use a full-face motorcycle helmet to keep my face warmer. I modify this helmet by installing a foam rubber gasket to keep my breath from fogging up my glasses and depend on the vents in the chin bar to keep my lower face from turning into a swamp.

Another thing I would be grateful to do without would be people that pass me on the right in my lane, or what is more likely pass me on the right partially in my lane, and halfway off the road. I would dearly love for someone to leave a big, car-wrecking thing in the grass off the side of the road and have one of these jerks passing me on the right drive over it and rip out something vital from their car. There are times when the only safe pavement I can ride on is the 6″ (15cm) to the right of the yellow line that marks the left side of the lane. That doesn’t mean I’m letting people pass to the right, that means there is enough bad pavement to the right that I can’t get any further over without risking losing control and crashing in front of those idiots trying to pass on my right. Many times I see large areas of broken paving with piles of loose gravel that was supposed to be a patch laying over it, with a driver angry that I’m not riding my bike more to the right.

Speaking of that, another thing I would be grateful to not have would be those “repairs” that consist of a bad batch of coldmix patch compound scattered thickly over badly broken pavement. I couldn’t ride there before and I still can’t ride there safely after the “repair” but drivers can’t tell it’s a deathtrap for a bicycle because they can’t feel the pavement move under their wheels or don’t notice that just off to one side is a large pile of really loose gravel that has come up from the “repair”. I would be overjoyed if all of those “went away”.

And while I’m at it I would be ecstatic if there was never another drunk driver on the road with me. Seriously, let them ride bikes if they have to drink away from home, the worst thing that could happen is they could kill themselves. I mean when was the last time you read about a person riding a bicycle drunk or sober running into a car full of people and even injuring one? Aside from scaring the used food out of them that is? Sure it is upsetting to see a drunk kill themselves on your car with a bicycle, but think about the motor-driven alternative and drunks on bikes is a hugely preferred alternative to drunks in cars, or any other motor vehicle.

There are other things that I would be grateful to live without, but I think that might be better for a Yule or New Year’s post, don’t you?

PSA, Opus