Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bicyclists cause most of their own accidents

From Commuter Outrage:

"We have consistently called for more safety studies on bicycles. If we’re interested in protecting cyclists, we need to know what the root cause of these accidents is.

Citing MSNBC: “Last year in New Jersey 12 bikers, bicyclists, were killed in motor vehicle crashes,” said Pam Fischer, director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “So far this year — and we’re at the middle of the summer, July 15 — we have already lost 11 bicyclists.”

Fischer said that “in almost every case, the bicycle was doing something that put them at significant risk.”

The problem is that so many new riders create road hazards because they don’t know the rules, police say. Too often, inexperienced riders take traffic signs as suggestions, not commands.

After the Seminole County, Fla., sheriff’s office recently began fielding scores of complaints from drivers that bicyclists were clogging major streets, it sent out deputies with video cameras. The cameras revealed large groups of bike riders illegally disrupting traffic.


There seems to be a growing consensus among law enforcement – bicyclists fully or partially cause most of the accidents they are involved in. This should compel us to consider mandatory licensing and registration for cyclists."

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lets put up cameras and see how many cars run red lights or barely stop, or make turns and see cyclists but almost turn right into them.Take their licenses away before they get on the news for mowing down pedestrians.There are dumb bike riders and those who look all the time like myself and others I know.But then there are drivers that dont look at all and think a red light means speed up.WRONG again crap fest.I dont drive a huge mass of metal, that takes the whole street to park everyday in good ol Astoria without warning and causes a honk fest.Once you start driving like an adult then you stereotyping crap drivers can criticize the portion bikers who ride wreckless.Theres cars that hit pedestrians almost eveynight on the news, so quit the hysteria.Last winter i biked underneath the Queensboro bridge on Vernon and a car almost rammed into me, I also had a light on but I had to go on the sidewalk to avoid the car.I was pulled over and had to pay a ticket months later for "your" roads. Cant wait till gas hits 7 bucks a gallon for you blame game kids.

Anonymous said...

A Queens bicycle group didn't want to deal with the Juniper Civic leaders and their hate group when the JC people tried to strong-arm them into helping on a truck route issue, so now Crapper and the haters are attacking bicyclists. So sad and shameful . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm a bicyclist from way back.

BUT: most cars stop at red lights, and most go the right way on one-way streets.

Many bicyclists refuse to do so, and will name you every way to Sunday why they will not.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

Bicyclists do very dangerous things and cars always seem to be at fault in the end.

But then again when I see people riding their bikes on the sidewalk I get infuriated.

Christina Wilkinson said...

"A Queens bicycle group didn't want to deal with the Juniper Civic leaders and their hate group when the JC people tried to strong-arm them into helping on a truck route issue, so now Crapper and the haters are attacking bicyclists."

Actually, to set the record straight, Transportation Alternatives has decided that they will help us with this issue and we are in the process of setting up a meeting with elected officials on the issue. I know it's in style to bash the JPCA, but you really have no idea what you are talking about. Furthermore, this post supports the idea of bike licensing, so you are being just a tad bit defensive when you say bicyclists are being attacked here.

Anonymous said...

I drive, ride a bike and walk all over this city, all the time and don't need a study to tell me that people break the law. No one group is perfect, but it seems that the greater percentage of rule breakers are the bicylists, because they just don't belive that they are motor-vehicles, under the NYS VTL so they don't act that way.

Fadlo said...

Registering cars and licensing drivers doesn't prevent accidents and recklessness, so how then does it follow that doing so with bikes would?

Anonymous said...

What's with the anti-bike agenda here?

Queens Crapper said...

I am for anything that gets people from point A to point B - safely. Be it a train, motor vehicle, bicycle, wheelchair or two legs. Advocating for responsible ridership does not equal an anti-bike agenda.

Anonymous said...

Unlike TA which thinks anyone who drives a car is the enemy.

Anonymous said...

"Registering cars and licensing drivers doesn't prevent accidents and recklessness, so how then does it follow that doing so with bikes would?"

A good portion of accidents are had by those without licenses or whose cars are not registered. At least if you ARE registered, it means you are insured, so if there's an accident, there's financial recourse.

Anonymous said...

>>>What's with the anti-bike agenda here?<<<

There is none. Unless you consider calling bicyclists on traffic violations, and working WITH bicyclists to alleviate thie problem "anti-bike."

That's the way some bicyclists want to frame the issue, however.

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

I commute by bike every day for 8 months of the year. At 10 miles round trip I do about 1600 miles a year. That’s a lot of mileage. So believe me when I say I’ve seen it all – bad SUV drivers, considerate taxi drivers, homicidal soccer moms from Jersey, stupid bicyclists with headphones and no helmet, friendly cyclists who look out for each other and ridiculous hipster fixies who can’t control their fashion statements. It’s a big city out there and it’s full of ALL kinds of people getting around anyway they can. To imply that a person who chooses to ride a bicycle is somehow more at fault than the rest is ridiculous and comes across as biased and uninformed.

I’m all in favor of some sort of registration or licensing plan for bicycles but it must be a balanced and fair program. If I am going to submit to the same regulatory requirements as motor vehicles than I expect to be treated with the same respect and to have an equal place on the roads. That means that bicycle lanes should then be strictly enforced so that they are restricted to the vehicles that are licensed to ride in them. A driver who strikes a bike that’s in a bike lane should be punished above the current level. If a city street does not have a dedicated bike lane then bicycles should be allowed to ride in the middle without being harassed - something that’s never going to happen in NYC.

Until I know that there are actual laws in place that specifically identify how much damage Newton’s Laws can do to an unprotected human body on a bike I will continue to ride the way I always have: Carefully, attentively, and with the intention of doing all it takes to avoid cars and pedestrians, and that includes going through red lights when there are no cars around.

Anonymous said...

Well said.To do everything possible to avoid cars, because at a four way stop you never know what kind seconds a car will give you for your turn to go, which i do stop at .If theres no cars I will stop for 5 seconds and look like a hawk and go.Ask for a few streets with bike lanes and its just too much for people on this blog to handle.And yes i looked up previous posts on here about bike lanes and saw at least a few posts making scary statements about hitting bikers in the bike lane on Vernon Blvd.Do a little history because bikes have been around for a hundred years.Italy anyone?Or Germany , England, France , Belgium.Before cars.

Anonymous said...

>>Ask for a few streets with bike lanes and its just too much for people on this blog to handle.<<<

You're wedded to a mindset that considers any criticism of bicyclists to be out of bounds. Since I'm not...

I favor bike lanes, but they should be accompanied by enforcement. That means no parking or idling in the bike lane -- zero tolerance. NO CHANCE of dooring. If that's done, I favor expanding the bike lanes all over town. That said, I'd then favor some way of identifying bicyclists so those that do not adhere to traffic lights or traffic regs will be subject to prosecution, as motor vehicles are, and as, theoretically, pedestrians are (remember jaywalking used to be enforced?)

I favor double red lights at some busy intersections, which would permit pedestrians to pass with no threat of being struck. Install 30-second warning lights.

I favor partitions separating pedestrians and bicyclists on shared lanes -- to protect both.

Bikers and Streetsbloggers -- is this unrealistic? If so, how?

www.forgotten-ny.com

Anonymous said...

Theres no problem with criticism of bad bikers but look at previous posts on here that absolutely dont want bike lanes Vernon in Astoria and LIC and claim working class bike riders are connected to ultra wealthy real estate overdevelopment.I believe it was June or the beginning of July that had jokes about hitting bike riders in the bike lane and thought that was somehow funny on past posts about bike lanes?Paying for a bike license??Give me a break.If a biker runs a red light give them warning and then a ticket. Where are the police when people drive 80 miles an hr down by block everyday?????

cameradork said...

You already can get ticketed for running a light on a bike, so lack of enforcement is an issue.

Apart from doing dumb things like riding the wrong way down a one way, and inconsiderate riding on the sidewalk I think that most cyclists in NYC ride the way they do out of self defense. Riding slowly down the side of the street, stopping at red lights etc simply isnt as safe as it could be if drivers were a bit more considerate. Trying to ride with the flow of traffic just leads to irate idiots behind the wheel so that isnt safe either, so Id say that anyone who rides a bit tends to have a kill or be killed mentality.

I think l licenses and registration could be a great thing if it led to proper bike lanes, and enforcement.

Queens Crapper said...

You see, when you spend all your time advocating for bike lanes where there's slated to be ultra wealthy real estate development, then people start to think you are connected to them. Why aren't you asking for bike lanes in actual working class neighborhoods? How about on the LIE service road?

Anonymous said...

You see crapper Vernon is a lovely road with the worst power plant emission in the country and at this point theres one condo type building 2 blocks from the triborough projects and they all DRIVE.I see them pulling out when bike past to take Vernon.A lot of Astoria is working class like my block 3 blocks away from the water.The blocks past 31st(east) with those one ways are real dangerous and way too naroow to bike down.Its an INCORRECT connection again with condo crap buildings that there doing to every major city in the U.S. have any connection to bike commuters.Nice try.90% of bike riders i know hate the new Hunters Point condo park mess.Recycle a bicycle program is being pushed out soon because of that suburban condo land.Id like two feet of a bike lane on Skillman because i work by there.Is that working class on skillman crapper?But ive never asked, or lobbied for any bike lane.Astoria does not have condos all over like Williamsburg crapper.Astoria has plenty of vacant lots from burned down buildings.Maybe Queensboro plaza, but good luck filling those up anytime soon.Hysteria

Anonymous said...

OK, so I've just now found this blog somehow, and the two posts I've read and responded to [http://queenscrap.blogspot.com/2008/07/scared-in-sunnyside.html] seem to paint this sites as gun toting and bike hating fraidy cats. (generalzation, I know) I mean REALLY... I know people who have been ticketed for running red lights on a bike, and every time I do the same I accept the risk of a ticket. Making the barrier for biking higher (with licenses) will do NOTHING to help this city.

I'm sure the people advocating for obeying the letter of the biking law ALWAYS wait for the walk signal when crossing streets... Those "quality of life" jaywalking criminals need some tickets too!

Truman Harris said...

Actually, I think you are referring to the comments and not the posts. Funny how on this blog, the comments are read so diligently, while on other sites, like Gothamist and Curbed, they are basically either ignored or laughed at. So pat yourself on the back, voices of Queens, you be scarin' da sheet outta some peeps!

Anonymous said...

Yeah there Truman, you scare the shit out of me and people that think you guys are a little irrational with bike hating and making threatening comments?? NO not quite,You just sound like your missing your Huge flag from the back of your pickup truck that DOESNT fit on the road in Queens or Manhattan.We have seen the dumb threats to hit people in the bike lane so have fun in prison.Real rational.

Anonymous said...

You read anonymous comments on blogs and get scared? Are you for real? Grow up and get out of the house. Go ride a bike in traffic for Pete's sake.

Anonymous said...

It is not factually correct that cyclists mainly cause their own accidents.

This study from 2000 refutes that claim and explains many of the ways in which the police tend to mis-assign fault in these cases.

If you actually care about this issue, this is worth a read:

http://www.rightofway.org/research/cyclists.pdf

Anonymous said...

This study from 2000 is a pro-bike piece of propaganda that uses language like "ludicrous" to explain how bicyclists almost never do stupid things.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I got scared by blog posts and thats why I biked 5 miles today in Queens and Brooklyn.Give me break kid.Its just real local macho b.s. to see that type of Crap actually being said on here. For Petes sake darn im house bound now because of idiots who probably wouldnt sit down face to face and have a civil conversation. What a dumb thing to say there," go ride a bike in traffic".But its Queens and pretty backass wards, so what do i expect from a post here.I bike 6 days a week and have for the last 13 years there buddie.And read diligently?Its not that hard with the 3 year old mud slinging mentality from this posts comments that sound just like fox news.But in realty you probably stay in the house quite a bit on this post making big changes for the community. Pretty Silly, and it never stops to amuse on the Crapper.Bitch and blame game on the Q Crap.