Cagers Should Yield Or Stop: Do your research first


In response to yesterday’s post about traffic terrorism, this word salad diatribe appeared in the comments:

Would be nice if you show videos of bikers running red lights and stop signs. Or maybe the ones who ignore bike lanes made just for them and ride in the traffic lanes instead. It gets very tiresome to hear about all the poor bikers who get treated so shabbily by drivers. While the evidence is in and I do not disagree with the conclusions here, give the whole story maybe. There are just as many rude and shitty bike riders who put themselves at risk as there are car drivers putting them at risk. In portland oregon (my city) they are spending millions for bike paths and trying to make the roads safer for pedestrians. In fact they are doing so to the detriment of drivers. And yet bike riders still are causing problems just like the car drivers yet that part is ignored.

Tell you what, charlie: When cyclists kill more pedestrians than HGV trucks alone, never mind all other deaths caused by motorized traffic, you might have an argument.

But that’s not what you’re arguing, is it?  You’re saying bicycles are a danger by making cagers wait two seconds longer, all because cyclists and pedestrians want to commute and cross the road safely.  Oh, the injustice and inconvenience of it for the metal box road ragers.

Any claim of “scofflaw cyclists” being worse than scofflaw cagers is farcical.  I and my bike weigh barely over 100kg and go 30kmh when up to speed.  Meanwhile a tiny hatchback weighs at least 900kg and goes 50-100kmh, while the majority of vehicles are heavier and faster.  Pretending these pose the same danger to others is so wilfully blind that I recommend you see an optometrist and not drive until your vision is corrected.

I can point to dozens of videos where cagers run stop signs, like this one where a white cop causes a crash and falsely arrests the Black driver.

I can point to videos of cagers will illegally try to pass school buses and nearly killing children.

I can point to videos of cagers running through pedestrian crosswalks.  I’ll bet he doesn’t know all unmarked intersections are legal crosswalks, and ALL cagers have to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross.

I doubt he can point to a single video or news report of a cyclist caused the death of a cager where the car was going 50kmh.  (If a cager was speeding, swerved, and then crashed causing the driver’s death, that’s not the cyclist’s fault.) According to the US’s Governors Highway Safety Association (“Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2019 Preliminary Data“), the US has averaged over 5000 pedestrian deaths from motorized vehicles EVERY YEAR since 1989. I doubt that cyclists have killed 1000 pedestrians in those same 30 years.

PACTS is the UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transportation Safety. In their December 2020 report which many call “Who killed whom”:

Figure 6: What kills pedestrians
In every 100 crashes where a pedestrian is killed, 
the other vehicle involved was a:
Cars: 65
HGV: 11
Van: 7
Bus: 6
Motorcycle or scooter: 4
Cyclist: 1

Figure 7: What kills cyclists
In every 100 crashes where a cyclist is killed, 
the other vehicle involved was a
Car: 48
HGV: 12
Van: 7
Other cyclist: 1

Given that nearly all motorized vehicles have only the driver, there’s a near 1:1 correspondence between cagers and cyclists to their modes of transportation.  According to the UK government, there are 3.7 million car trips per day in London, and Cyclist UK says there are 740,000 bicycle trips per day in London.  That means there are only 4.5 times as many cagers as cyclists, and yet the number of pedestrian deaths each cause is a 90:1 ratio.  And we’re supposed to believe “cyclists are the danger”?

He should be glad that Stop A Douche Bag is a Russian-only protest group, and that fed up pedestrians aren’t resorting to other measures when cagers break the law.

I’m sure he views Cycling Mikey as the “problem” in this video, calls CM the “scofflaw” for standing in front of the car and not the jerk in a merc driving on the wrong side of the road:

 


 

Contrary to the lies, myths, and propaganda cagers repeat from ignorance, the overwhelming majority of cyclists obey the law.  Also contrary to the lies, myths, and propaganda, “Idaho stops” are more efficient for traffic, and are NOT an impediment.  This claim that “cyclists don’t stop at stop signs!” isn’t about lawbreaking, it’s about jealousy that cagers can’t do the same.

What is an “Idaho stop” and where did it come from?  An Idaho stop is when cyclists treat stop signs as a yield sign.  The cyclist slows while approaching the intersection, and if the road is clear, can proceed without stopping.  If a vehicle is coming from another direction, then the cyclist must come to a full stop.  It came about because a judge in Idaho was overwhelmed and fed up with nuisance charges filed against cyclists not stopping on empty roads where there were no cars.  And even when there were cars, the lack of anything to obstruct people’s view rendered stop signs moot.

Here’s the actual Idaho law, from the state legislature:

TITLE 49

MOTOR VEHICLES

CHAPTER 7

PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLES

49-720. Stopping — Turn and stop signals. (1) A person operating a bicycle, human-powered vehicle, or an electric-assisted bicycle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.

(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic.

(3) A person riding a bicycle shall comply with the provisions of section 49-644, Idaho Code.

(4) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given during not less than the last one hundred (100) feet traveled by the bicycle before turning, provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.

Why is it beneficial to legalize Idaho stops?  If cyclists stop, they lose all momentum and it takes them longer to start again. That means they take longer to go through and thus spend more time within the intersection.  This both endangers the cyclist and impedes the flow of traffic. But if the road is clear and a cyclist enters the intersection at 5km, it takes less time to speed up and clear the intersection.  And at 5kmh, it will take cyclists less than a metre to come to a full stop if other traffic approaches.  Motorized vehicles can move themselves, so there’s no argument for legalizing this for cagers.

In an increasing number of jurisdictions, it is now legal for cyclists to do an “Idaho stop”: Oregon, where he claims to be a victim of injustice.  CaliforniaWashington state.   AlbertaOntario.

 


 

 

Addendum:

Driver attitudes towards cyclists are almost exactly the same as toxic male drivers towards women drivers. They see only the exceptions and not the majority while blithely ignoring their own ilk’s behaviours. For every ten minute “women drivers” video you find on youtube, you’ll find ten hours of male drivers, and yet men ignore the disparity in the amount. Or the fact that most of women’s crashes are under 60kmh and/or due to inattentiveness, while male drivers are speeding and road raging.

Here’s an item from that communist, vegan, and anti-big business media Forbes, reporting that drivers are the danger, not cyclists.  And in The Guardian video below, the UK cops are admitting that the difference is the danger posed comparing cyclists and cars, who can and does cause more harm if they break the law.  Emphasis in the text is mine.

Cyclists Break Far Fewer Road Rules Than Motorists, Finds New Video Study

May 10, 2019

A new study from the Danish Road Directorate shows that less than 5% of cyclists break traffic laws while riding yet 66% of motorists do so when driving. The Danish Cycling Embassy, a privately-funded NGO, puts this down to visibility: law breaking by cyclists is “easy to notice for everyone” but transgressions by motorists, such as speeding, are harder to spot.

The study was carried out for the Danish government by consulting firm Rambøll using video cameras sited at major junctions in Danish cities, including Copenhagen. It was found that just 4.9% of cyclists broke road rules when they were riding on cycleways. This rose to 14% of cyclists when there was no cycling infrastructure present.

The video cameras counted 28,579 cyclists crossing at intersections. The most frequently recorded transgression was bicycling on the sidewalk. Rule breaking by cyclists was twice as numerous in smaller cities which, in Denmark, have fewer cycleways. The new study had almost identical results to an earlier one carried out by the consulting firm Copenhagenize. This was also a video study and analyzed the behaviour of 80,000 cyclists: it found that 5% broke traffic laws.

Separate studies by the Danish Road Directorate found that two-thirds of motorists routinely flout the law, with breaking local speed limits being the most common offense.

Drivers don’t want cyclists on the road.  They don’t want cyclists on the sidewalk.  And they don’t want cycling infrastructure to be built because that means less space for cars.  And yet they still pretend they’re not trying to ban bicycles.

As the saying goes:

You’re not “stuck in traffic”.  You ARE the traffic.

Drivers don’t and can’t grasp that their car is part of the problem, why they can’t get anywhere fast.

Comments

    • Lofty says

      “bike riders who put themselves at risk”.

      Not true. What’s being said is ” bike riders who break rules and don’t get penalised for it like I would be in my expensive cage machine.” As Intransitive alluded to, running traffic control signs is often safer for cyclists than waiting at the start line to be run flat by following cagers. As a frequent cyclist myself I’ve experienced the effect many times, a motorist overtakes you on the green light and then sharply turns in front of you. Bicycle “boxes” that allow a cyclist to get a priority green light to enter an intersection are a good idea but even then the attitude of certain motorists can be very dangerous to me.

      • John Morales says

        I’m actually quoting.

        The sentiment is perfectly clear to me; here’s more quotation:
        “It gets very tiresome to hear about all the poor bikers who get treated so shabbily by drivers. While the evidence is in and I do not disagree with the conclusions here, give the whole story maybe. ”

        BTW, I’ve never had a car license, but I’ve been on the roads for 43 years.
        Bikes and motorbikes.

        And I basically assume those people in their wheeled boxes are, if not actively careless, then incompetent. So I practice safe riding. I try not to give them a chance to hurt me, instead of assuming they will look after my safety.

        (Still alive)

        • Lofty says

          “I’m actually quoting. ”

          What decades of observation has taught me is to never accept bald statements as purely factual, people very rarely speak/write in a rational, emotion free manner. I’ve conversed with rage cagers online, their justifications for their statements are invariably shallow and mean.

          • John Morales says

            Sure; point is that the thrust of that comment is that (sometimes) it is bike riders who are dangerous to themselves, yet this post is challenging the perceived claim that they are dangerous to others.

  1. Who Cares says

    What I rage against with bikers breaking the law is that they put themselves at risk.
    The gym I go to has first row seats, so to speak, to look over a busy intersection. The only reason that there isn’t a weekly crash involving pedestrians or cyclists there is because the car drivers pay attention. I’m not talking about the people taking a calculated risk and check if one lane is free then go to the traffic island then check the other side, I’m talking about the idiots who cannot be arsed to stop at all and just bike/walk into traffic. It is flat out stupid by the bikers and pedestrians, cars can (and do) go 70 km/h (~45 mph) on one road of that intersection which means the biker/pedestrian will most likely die if a car driver fails to see them.

    On the other hand I almost caused a multi car pileup when I was out in my racing equipment. Sodding first car of that possible pileup was so afraid that I’d cross the road that they did an emergency brake action. The important detail was that I was standing well away from the crossing while I was repairing my bike.
    I’ve plenty of experience with car drivers that think no bike lane means bikes aren’t supposed to be on that part of the road (and think that entitles them to perform a ‘corrective’ action) but there are also people that are plain afraid of cyclists.

    • Who Cares says

      A small addition to show how inured I’ve gotten to abusive behavior by car drivers.
      This one drove twice the speed limit, performed a hard break when they discovered a parking spot, slammed their car (sort of seeing that half was still on the street) into it, then opened their door without checking if there was other traffic. Good thing that this asshole telegraphed their behavior like that or I would have hit that door at 20 km/h (~12 mph). Did I miss writing that this guy started cussing me out for almost scratching the paint on his car? Well he did.

      If this had happened two days ago I’d have shrugged and carried on being that used to this kind of behavior. The original post made realize what kind of abuse it really is.

  2. lochaber says

    bicycle commuter here, relatively new at it, and I’m pretty lucky in that ~2/3 of my commute is on mixed-use paths where I don’t have to worry about cars.

    That other third.. hoo boy… there are three main scenarios (often very specific portions of my commute) where I use the regular traffic lane instead of the bike lane: what Lofty mentioned – cars overtaking you, and then taking an immediate hard right. I had an event a year or so back, where I was going at a good clip down a hill, in the bike lane, had a car overtake me, and immediately turn in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, and skidded to a stop about a yard from the car. During that skid, I had two main thoughts cross my mind (three, if you count “fuckin asshole”) – one, I don’t think I have enough accumulated sick leave to cover healing a broken limb, and two, I really need to get a second bike. I didn’t think I was likely to die in THAT potential collision, but I also didn’t think I’d be able to walk away from it, and I was fairly certain my bike wouldn’t be rideable. luckily, I was off in my panicked estimations by a bit more than a yard…

    By far, the most common one is cars parked in the bike lane. sometimes they are double parked, but more often, they are simply too damned lazy to pull over into an empty parking space right fucking there.

    Third, is where there is a strip of bike lane that is so commonly parked in, it is never cleaned by the street sweepers, and full of trash, glass and nails/screws. Even the rare moments when there aren’t cars obstructing the bike lane, I’m not risking my tires riding through that hazard just to avoid inconveniencing a car driver.

    As to red lights and stop signs, I don’t know whether it’s legal or not, but the most dangerous thing I can do is stand around in an intersection waiting for some inattentive driver to run me over. So, I do the Idaho roll thing at stop signs, but that’s more than any car I’ve seen do, they rarely even slow down, let alone come to a full stop unless it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. Hell, a couple times a week, I see cars blow through blatant red lights at full speed.

    I’ve been aggressively honked at and had people rev their engines at me, merely for using one of two lanes available. And it’s almost always happened in relatively low traffic, where it would be trivially easy for them to pass me, but they’d rather threaten and intimidate me.

    c’mon StonedRanger, you should be better than this…

    • says

      Drivers speed up ahead of you, brake, and then turn right. It’s illegal in nearly all jurisdictions and regularly kills cyclists who are then blamed for being there instead of the driver who was too impatient to wait three seconds for the cyclist to clear the intersection.

      Imagine the road rage from Car A if Car B did the same, speed past and hit the brakes to turn right. But unlike the cyclist, the driver in Car A would still be alive.

  3. says

    Back when I used to cycle everywhere, in the 70s, I learned to balance at a stop, because I used those rat trap toe-clips on my pedals and it was easier to balance than to take my foot out and out it back in again. Naturally, I never almost never came to a full stop.

  4. garnetstar says

    lochaber and Intransitive, I so agree. In fact, I don’t bike to work or even walk on the side of the road, because the risk of getting hit is so high.

    We also have the bike lanes here to the right of the car lanes, and when you drive on the left side of the road, the right is pretty blind. It’s difficult to see bikes even when you are consciously trying not to run them over, and are looking carefully, let alone when you’re a careless, entitled driver.

    Can’t the bike lanes be on the left, the center of the road, when driving on the left side of the road? Then they wouldn’t have to run over glass and trash, and I would have a better chance of seeing them. But, perhaps cyclists would be hit more by careless oncoming drivers, and careless swerving out to pass cars on the left!

    Get rid of cars. Have everyone who needs them switch to electric bikes. Unless, I suppose, you need to haul something.

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