bicyclist attack and injure car driver

Discussion in 'General' started by sailordave, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008074874_webcriticalmass26m.html
    Seattle Critical Mass riders' behavior contributed to an escalation of a confrontation which ultimately led to the driver being put in the hospital and his car so damaged that it had to be towed away. I've seen videos online of these Critical Mass bicycle rides and I'm surprised none of them have been killed yet. First off, they blatantly disregard all traffic laws regarding riding bicycles on the roads. They fly through red light intersections and block all traffic to allow the riders to continue without stopping. They block the entire road way and challenge drivers to hit them while behaving in an agressive manner as their cohorts video tape the confrontation with their cell phones to use online to show how evil drivers are. I think they'd get a lot less bad press and a lot less confrontations with drivers if they actually obeyed traffic laws like stopping at red lights and stop signs and staying to the right and within the right hand lane among other traffic laws depending on city/state. The police share part of the blame for not putting a stop to their illegal behavior on the road right from the start and now it's grown to mob or gang type mentality with many riders carrying knives or other types of blades. I have no problem with bike riders on the road as long as they obey the rules of the road instead of intentionally being A-holes and acting like they own the entire road.
     
  2. Nanci

    Nanci Well-Known Member

    Critical Mass gives cyclists a bad name- just makes drivers hate us more.
     
  3. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    I use to ride my bicycle in town and I was one to go to extreme lengths to be safe and obey the laws. At busy intersections I would get off my bike and use the lighted crosswalk. I did this because if someone comes at me in a vehicle I can jump out of the way. Can't jump out of the way when on the bike. At intersections that aren't busy I would obey the traffic lights and signs and ride across when safe and legal to do so. I'd also stay to the right to make it easier for cars to pass. If riding at night I had both headlights and taillights mounted on the bike to make it easier for drivers to see me. I also didn't swing back and forth across the entire width of the road to prevent cars from passing me. Bicycles are legal on the road but that also means they have to obey local and state traffic laws.
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dave:

    ___Wow! I cannot believe bicyclists acted in that fashion although I can see the Subie driver doing it. On a daily commute like ride they (the bicyclists) most certainly would not have but in a pack, the story tells the tale. This incident reminds me of the group of college students that drove 55 mph in all lanes and held up miles of traffic as seen on YouTube last year IIRC. We have the right to the right hand lanes between the speed limits of course but pulling a stunt like that even if it was legal was not the proper course of action.

    ___In the case of Critical Mass, someone got hurt and it sounds as if the local riders in the group were out looking for a confrontation rather than enjoying the ride in the Seattle area?

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  5. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I did some net search and found that true commuter cyclist hate Critical Mass because it reflects a negative point of view from drivers onto regular cyclist. It puts the impression that cyclist are inconsiderate and always disobey the traffic laws. Sort of like how AAA makes hypermilers out to be dangerous drafters. I don't doubt some people do that to save gas but they've been doing that for decades and they don't call themselves hypermilers. Critical Mass has gotten so out of hand in San Francisco that someone there started a splinter or opposite group I think is called critical manners in which they ride as a group and obey all traffic laws. The police monitored them up to a point and left when it was apparent they weren't out to cause trouble the way Critical Mass was. In fact, people waved and gave them friendly honks by way of thanks. That's the way to educate people on the fun and enviromentally friendly method of transportation known as cycling.
     
  6. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    On the other side of the fence, Hewlett-Packard is very active in a local charity ride. The MS150. Well for the months leading up to it the HP team will train in groups of about 20. On one day a guy on a cell phone took a Freeway exit at breakneck speed plowed right through the entire group. Many broken bones and I believe two fatalities.

    Whether or not they had a right to ride on Texas roads can be debated. But they are still dead. I'm of the belief that a cyclist has right of way. I'm sure that there are a55holes that abuse this (such as the group in the article), but in general I'll pull in behind them with the emergency flashers as opposed to trying to force them off "my" road.

    11011011
     
  7. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    I think critical mass is a good concept, but large groups of people with a "cause" can be a very dangerous and stupid thing.

    Hopefully if the group continues they will be smart enough to add some law enforement into the pack either through actuall officers riding in the group and/or video cameras where the group can be shown to help prosecute problem riders. If the group is part of the problem, they need to be part of the cure.
     
  8. Damionk

    Damionk DWL Lover

    I've heard of motorcycle gangs, now we have to be aware of bycycle gangs. What is this world coming to.
     
  9. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    If you are suggesting a cyclist always has right of way no matter what...then I'd disagree, but thats probably the very attitiude of the riders involved in this matter. However, there is an underlying concept that you can never intentionally cause an accident no matter what the laws are, so if a person "forces their right of way" to the point of actually causing an accident they can be held responsible for the accident, even if the other person was breaking law at the time. Can I assume that is what you were refering to?
     
  10. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    Well kinda. I agree that a cyclist is ill-advice to lay spread eagle in the middle of the freeway to prove that traffic must yield to them. On the other hand the Texas Drivers Handbook (Drivers Legal Code) is quite clear that on all roadways, cyclist ALWAYS have the right of way in all cases. It may be suicidal to exercise that law, but it is on the books.

    11011011
     
  11. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    The bike riding community is a bit splintered now.There are a fair number of vocal riders that OPPOSE bike lanes because they think they are dangerous and lead car drivers to think that bike riders don't belong on regular streets.

    I LOVE BIKE LANES. We have very few bike lanes in the New Orleans area and bike riding is high risk. I visit Flagstaff AZ couple of times per year,and it has lots of bike lanes. It is really a pleasure to ride in a bike lane.

    There are also fair number of bike riders who are arrogant fools of the "RIGHT,YEAH DEAD RIGHT VARIETY" who encourage other riders to "take" the whole lane. Many car drivers are means spirited AHs who are rushing to work, or heading home for a beer. They will strafe a bike rider just for fun or because they are pissed.

    Yeah , bikes have a right to be on the road, but common sense and curtesy dictate that they defer to 4000 lbs of steel ,and they should really try to not slow down car drivers (just as we hypermilers stay right and don't intentionally impede faster cars).

    The W coast seems to breed or feature this type of arrogant "dead right" fool. Why?

    I'm not implying that W coast folks are "bad" just that they seem to have more of the critical mass types than anywhere else. They are a small minority of course- almost always youngish(under 40 yo) males.

    Charlie
     
  12. locutus

    locutus MPG Centurion

    If bicyclists want to be treated as traffic, then they should follow all traffic laws. Blowing red lights, behaving aggressively, and blocking traffic casts all of us in a bad light. :mad: On the flipside, if a cyclist IS following traffic laws, using their dedicated lanes when available, staying visible/predictable when they are not, then traffic should be able to coexist peacefully. Is it so hard? :rolleyes:
     
  13. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    As a bicyclist in this community (not connected to Critical Mass), I see that various local media outlets are presenting sharply differing viewpoints about who is at fault. It seems to depend on which participants they interviewed first.

    As best I can tell, there were hotheads on both sides. And it doesn't help that the one police crackdown against CM a few years was by some hotheaded plainclothes county transit officers, not by the regular city officers who had established a relationship with CM riders.

    With the biased spin machines running, it will take some time to sort through this one.
     
  14. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    As a counterpoint, here is a cop assaulting a CM rider out of the blue.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/07/29/dcl.cop.decks.cyclist.cnn
     
  15. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

  16. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    I'll take the benefit of the doubt and wish you a hardy CleanMPG Welcome.

    I've been the victum of Hypermiling Press hack-jobs, so I welcome your side of the story.

    Please join in our Subaru community to get some great tips as well.

    11011011
     
  17. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    Dan writes:
    I'll take the benefit of the doubt and wish you a hardy CleanMPG Welcome.

    I've been the victum of Hypermiling Press hack-jobs, so I welcome your side of the story.

    Please join in our Subaru community to get some great tips as well.
    -------------
    Thanks for the welcome. Please forgive this off-topic reply while I explore for the appropriate forums.

    I found CleanMPG last month, while ordering a ScanGauge to replicate at home the dashboard info found on a rented Prius (an unexpected free upgrade). I didn't notice the Group Buy until the next day, but by not waiting for a group to fill, my full-price unit arrived just barely in time for a long road trip, saving more than enough gas to recoup the price difference.

    My 1986 Honda easily exceeded its EPA Hiway rating from the first tank, and still normally gets 110%-120% on summer gas, though it rarely matches the actual EPA dyno test of its era (128% of window sticker highway rating), and never at sea level.

    The 1997 Subaru has been a disappointment at the gas pump, reaching that EPA sticker only with difficulty, with what I thought was the same driving style. Before ScanGauge and CleanMPG, it produced excellent mileage only once -- two tanks in and above Yellowstone, under 45mph and above 6000 feet. Since ScanGauge over 1700 miles, it has done even better, 119% of EPA highway. That translates to 140% of original EPA Combined, or 153% of restated-2008-style EPA Combined. Now it is almost competitive with the old Honda.

    Obligatory bicycle comment -- I've been a part-time bike commuter for six years, with pedaling frequency (including recreation) nearly doubling as a result of Katrina-induced gas price increases. Annual household car miles have fallen about 20% since that storm. ScanGauge and more tips from this site appear to be knocking another 15-20% off our fuel usage. No cars have been changed, though both bikes are now worn out enough to justify replacements.
     
  18. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    We should combine this thread with one about driving too slowly. Bikes mostly fit into that catagory, at least compared to cars.

    Charlie, you made the point you don't like bike lanes because it makes drivers feel like bikes don't belong on roads. However, where there are bike lanes, they don't belong on roads. And I'd much rather see all bikes baned from roads, because every road has a bike lane, however until then we have to share. The rules already exist, they are already ignored, and they are rarely enforced....like most other laws. I just don't see what can be done to help either side on this issue. Bike lanes help, but they are few and far between, and most cities aren't going to install them. How would you install them in major cities where biking is an excelent way to commute (except for trafic), but where building are too close together to have sidewalks, and two lanes of traffic?

    Sorry I'm rambling a bit here...just sort of thinking on paper
     
  19. Nanci

    Nanci Well-Known Member

    One reason cyclists ride outside of the bike lane when a bike lane is present is because often the bike lane is filled with broken glass, car parts, screws, nails, hangars and other things that will give them a flat. I hadn't had a flat in a couple thousand miles of country roads, and on my _first_ commute through town, flatted. If the bike lane is hazardous, cyclists aren't going to stay in it.
     
  20. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    The investigation continues. Most stories are weighing against the cyclists, but here are two current items looking the other way:
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/372948_criticalmass31.html
    http://www.komonews.com/news/26123849.html

    Two cyclists arrested, no charges yet. I think this was another "mutual combat" situation, where both sides were on poor behavior but it took both to create the crime. If so, charges ought to include the driver and three or more cyclists, with an unarrested (but identified) cyclist getting the most serious charge for the assault that hospitalized the driver.
     

Share This Page