Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: I'm not a "f***ing cyclist". I'm Ruby's daddy, on a bike

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  • Russell Brown,

    take off the ipods/ mp3players when cycling/ driving

    I agree. Why impede one of the senses when involved in a high risk task.

    It actually makes me a little bit angry on the odd occasion when I see a cyclist with earbuds in.

    360º hearing is essential if you’re cycling on the public road. Fortunately, I don’t think it’s that common for people to wear buds cycling.

    OTOH, I have music or radio on the the car nearly every time I’m behind the wheel. Which is, clearly, different.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The people that really drive me to distraction are the drivers with headphones on.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    If the driver/rider apportionment for accidents is about 75/25 as stated earlier it might indicate to some people that there is a problem with the way some cyclists use the road.

    Quite possibly one of the most blatant misreadings of statistical data I have ever seen.

    That's like saying shooting deaths are the result of people not learning how to avoid bullets.

    There are some cyclists who are a menace (cycle couriers, I'm a lookin' at you) just as there are some car drivers who are a funeral director's best friend. But by far and away most of the incidents I have seen would not have been avoided even if the cyclist knew the road code back to front and had more skills than Sarah Walker. Like Sacha said, where's the evidence to support it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That’s like saying shooting deaths are the result of people not learning how to avoid bullets.

    What a ludicrous analogy. So I take it that when a car collides with a truck, since the car is much smaller and generally it's the car's occupants that get hurt, then it's always the truck driver's fault?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Did I say it was always the shooter’s fault? My point is that when the data shows that the fault lies largely with the “safer” party, you can’t draw the conclusion that it is the fault of the less safe one.

    To draw out your analogy more. Suppose truck/car serious accidents were 75% the fault of the truck driver and 25% the fault of the car driver. Bryan would be drawing the conclusion that car drivers need more education.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    If we are looking to increase education, it’s pretty clear to me which party it should be aimed at first - in the absence of unlimited resources. Same with enforcement and any other activities that can reduce death and injury and improve attitudes about sharing public space.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    To draw out your analogy more. Suppose truck/car serious accidents were 75% the fault of the truck driver and 25% the fault of the car driver. Bryan would be drawing the conclusion that car drivers need more education.

    Which would obviously be correct, unless somehow educating car drivers meant you couldn't also educate truck drivers.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    More than truck drivers? Would you care to explain that, please?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Not more than truck drivers, no. But the analogy between the shooter and the shooting victim suggests exactly the opposite - that there is no point in educating cyclists at all. And that's pretty much just as dumb.

    I used to cycle in the last city where I lived in Italy, a small town a smidgen smaller than Wellington. But I've never driven a car, and have a very sketchy knowledge of the road code or indeed of road etiquette - it was simply not a prerequisite of my sharing the road with motorised vehicles, and I'm not sure that that's a good thing.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    But the analogy between the shooter and the shooting victim suggests exactly the opposite – that there is no point in educating cyclists at all.

    Ermmm no. Now you are making the assumption that it all shootings are the fault of the shooter. Maybe I should have said accidental (i.e. not premeditated murder) shootings?

    it was simply not a prerequisite of my sharing the road with motorised vehicles, and I’m not sure that that’s a good thing.

    If you use the road in NZ, you have an obligation to know the road code.

    From the official road code for cyclists:

    RULES

    Before cycling on the road you must know the road rules. They apply to cyclists as well as those using motor vehicles. The rules help to prevent crashes and reduce risk of injury.

    The difference being that they are not tested on it. Granted, the lack of testing may mean a smaller percentage of cyclists know the road rules. But it seems a bit of a leap to say that introducing licensing would mean that those cyclists who are dangerous would be less so or that cyclists who aren't dangerous would be safer from bad car drivers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If you use the road in NZ, you have an obligation to know the road code.

    You have the same theoretical obligation in Italy too, but yeah, it's never tested if you cause an accident you're never at fault. But if the 75/25 culpability split is accurate (it was bandied around this past week, not just on PAS) then it would seem that it's obviously a case of educating primarily but not solely the drivers. So let's do that. And keep lobbying for safer roads.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz,

    Maybe we need to know the proportion of cyclists who were at fault didn't know the road code? Could well be that they did and simply ignored it.

    Practically speaking, in terms of addressing the number of serious accidents involving cyclists, is mandatory testing of cyclists going to the best bang for the buck?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Kitt McGregor,

    Does anyone else use the footpath for short commutes around town?
    Surely the safer option?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Kitt McGregor,

    Yes.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock, in reply to Bryan Dods,

    If bikes are on the road with other users it could only be of benefit to all if they had to pass a certain level of competence before they went out to tangle with the steel monsters.

    I think that would almost certainly make things much, much worse. Have a listen to what David Haywood said about compulsory helmet laws and their effect of increasing the number of cycling accidents. The primary reason is that the laws mean that fewer people cycle, and therefore drivers are less accustomed to looking for cyclists, which means more accidents. The discussion below the Public Address post (starts here) is illuminating, and the argument is convincing. Several people have mentioned the principle in this thread as well.

    My point is that requiring certification and training to ride a bike would inevitably, and probably dramatically, lower the number of cyclists. Aside from all the people who can’t be bothered, there will also be many who simply can’t afford either the cost of certification or the time it would take to do it, and will thus be denied an otherwise extremely cheap form of transport. And fewer cyclists will mean more accidents, and a greater sense of entitlement amongst the driving population.

    It’s simply a bad idea if your actual goal is to reduce the number of cycling accidents, rather than make a patent imbalance towards drivers even worse. We should also bear in mind that this most recent road death was caused by driver error (opening your car door without looking is driver error) and has nothing to do with ear buds, running red lights, or riding two abreast. As the original post says, we’re talking about the death of an actual person, who died in actual and preventable circumstances that were in no way her fault. Not a f**cking cyclist.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Plus the impracticality of licensing children.

    General cyclist education would be a good thing, but it should take place in schools rather than testing stations.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Parker,

    General cyclist education would be a good thing, but it should take place in schools rather than testing stations.

    We do a little bit in our school in conjunction with the police education officer but like a lot of things we should be doing in schools its all matter of fitting it into an increasingly crowded curriculum. It’s interesting to note that the police recommendation is that no one under the age of 10 should be riding a bike on the road and it has been noticable over the years that the number of children biking to school has dropped off by a large number, unlike in our day as kids where we biked everywhere and I think it’s led to a generation or two of children who have less skill as bike riders and less safety knowledge when they do get on a bike.

    Napier • Since Nov 2008 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black,

    Given that most people who ride bikes also drive cars, surely we can assume that if we keep drivers up to scratch on the road code they will have a fair idea of how to behave on a bike.

    The differences in the cyclists' road code were taught in school when I was there. Our friendly neighbourhood police officer came down with road cones and we spent an afternoon learning signalling etc.

    There are cycle skills training sessions coming up in Auckland & Wellington. Check at Cycling in Auckland & Cycling in Wellington or on your council's website or with CAN. I expect many councils will be running these in the next few months.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    this most recent road death was caused by driver error

    And by poor road layout design, fixable within a day but not attended to for 4 years. That’s a political problem.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Tony Parker,

    I think you’re right, Tony, and it’s a shame if future peoples are going to see cycling as a rather specialised recreational activity involving lots of special gear rather than just ... transport. I guess part of the problem is that our cities were designed in the golden age of the automobile, and as a result they are largely not friendly to bikes (Christchurch is an honourable exception). My partner, when he lived in Surrey, used to enjoy pottering around the countryside on a bike, but here he just finds the whole business too intimidating.

    And yeah – what Jake said.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    That's changing, fortunately. The combination of such things as the Cycle Chic movement, climate change concerns, and the high return on investment in transport-cycling infrastructure* is altering persectives.

    *City of Sydney research showed a 388% return on investment for transport-cycling infrastructure. Unsurprisingly the Council thought this an excellent use of ratepayer funds & is investing with both hands. Details here
    http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/ParkingAndTransport/Cycling/EcononmicResearchCycling.asp

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Petra,

    In 19th century newspaper articles, use of the comma, is, generous and seem, ingly random. I am led to wonder, if, perchance this, has something to do, with ladies in, strapped and squeezed too, tight bodices causing breath, shortage whilst reading.

    of corset is...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Is it me, or is the new Public Address more liable to punning? I'd love to know what part of Supermodel CMS is causing that.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lisa Black,

    City of Sydney research showed a 388% return on investment for transport-cycling infrastructure.

    Compares quite well with a benefit-cost ratio as low as 20% for Joyce’s new $1,700,000,000 highway from Puhoi to Wellsford alongside the existing one.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The people that really drive me to distraction
    are the drivers with headphones on.

    indeed, there is not much to chauffer
    taking that diversion...

    ...the ones who also irk me are people like the woman
    I saw the other day, texting in rush hour, while driving
    with a toddler in the back seat - must've been incredibly important.
    and she is one of many still doing that and talking on cellphones...

    That’s a political problem

    I think there was something in the last big cycling thread about Joyce effectively dismissing a driver education programme as a waste of funds.
    Also allowing much higher powered cars on the road, than "back in the day", and flooding the market with cheap imports, with little thought for "unexpected consequences" was a political decision.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

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