The Spokesmen 78 – Cyclists Behaving Badly

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Update: Footage Contradicts Cyclist’s Claims
“So I laid it down”
Bucchere’s Statement: “entered the intersection lawfully” and “did everything possible to avoid the accident.”
Blog Post from one of Bucchere’s Friends

5 comments to The Spokesmen 78 – Cyclists Behaving Badly

  • DanV

    Great discussion regarding road use, Carlton you hit the nail on the head about it boiling down to good citizenry and treating others with respect. Many accidents boil down to the ME first and entitlement culture that dominates in many places. If more people behaved as if road use was a privilege rather a right we’d see far fewer accidents – and a lot less stress in general.

  • Somewhere amid all the PR, I hope there’ll be room to point out that, for all our supposed irresponsibility, cyclists kill fewer people in a year than, say, trousers. And that *every* cyclist obeying traffic law from tomorrow would be a drop in the ocean in road safety terms.

    I’m all for doing the right thing, and I do stick to traffic law myself (if nothing else, it provides a predictable framework of behaviours for others to drive/ride around you by). However, I’m deeply sceptical of the idea that somehow drivers will “respect” us for it.

    My interactions with bike haters suggest that they have only the most cursory knowledge of the road traffic acts & highway code (the rules that apply here in the uk). Further, they cling to demonstrably falsifiable tosh like “road tax”, that we MUST use bike lanes where provided, that flashing lights are illegal, and so on. I am sticking to the law around these people (as I am around everyone) and it makes sod all difference because they don’t know the law to start with.

    Obey traffic law because it’s the right thing to do – just don’t expect it to make much difference in the way we’re treated on the road, unless my experience is vastly unrepresentative.

  • Andrew

    Carlton while I agree a cyclist should be more careful than a pedestrian, to say you have no problem with pedestrians jaywalking is something I don’t agree with.

    Pedestrians have responsibilities as well as rights – jaywalking is illegal for a reason and pedestrians crossing busy intersections illegally, against lights, talking on their cell phones are responsible for the accidents or incidents they cause as well.

  • ibc

    Just heard the podcast. I think folks like Byron need to read up a bit on in-group/out-group dynamics. He hits the point regularly that “cyclists need to act responsibly if they want to be given access to the road.” But that’s a dead-end. Cyclists have no more collective responsibility than any other minority group: gays, blacks, religious minorities.

    Inner city black kids also have an “image problem”, but we don’t primarily focus on a small number of troublemakers as a reason to justify persecution.

    As Carlton touched on, the in-group of drivers doesn’t agonize about the behavior of “drivers”. And while obviously cyclists shouldn’t behave like assholes, you are never going to change the fact that assholes exist. Some will be on bikes. The problem is going to be an education campaign targeted towards the non-cycling public.

    If Byron’s waiting for all humans everywhere to become pure avatars of virtue–or at least the subset who own a bicycle–he’ll be waiting a long time. And that’s what it will take to absolve cyclists. Because cyclists are no more good or bad than drivers, pedestrians, drivers, or anyone else.

  • ibc

    Jaywalking is illegal for a reason: and that reason is that drivers like to be able to race around urban areas with impunity. And when they do that they kill pedestrians in large numbers. So we curtail pedestrian rights far more than is right.

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