Human beings are not road kill

Is it OK to kill cyclists not "as far to the right" on the roadway

Imagine for a sec you are in your car about to make a left turn and you get rear ended and the police cite you at being at fault for going slow in the fast lane.

Well that is the case if you are a cyclist. Sorry for the attention getting intro. If visibility has something to do with the accident then why was the driver not charged with violation of reasonable and prudent speed?

by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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Dear Ms. Gates:

Why did you report that the bicyclist was cycling
in the "wrong traffic lane", when legal vehicular
left turns by bicyclists are in fact supposed to
be made from the lane(s) closest to the center of
the roadway? A police officer apparently made
such a statement, but this interpretation of
Maryland traffic law is false, and the press
should not misrepresent it as factual.

The police officer's statement that "By law,
cyclists are required to move with traffic 'as
far to the right' as roadway allows" is an
inaccurate oversimplification. Maryland traffic
law cites several explicit examples when it is
not "practicable" for bicyclists to ride at the
far right of the roadway. One explicit example
is when preparing to make a vehicular left turn.

Why did the police refer to the bicyclist as a
"pedestrian" ("pedestrian error") when a
bicyclist cycling on a roadway is legally an
equal *driver* of a vehicle, not a pedestrian?
The bicyclist would only be a pedestrian if he
were crossing the road or riding on sidewalks as
a pedestrian, instead of on the roadway as a
legal driver of a vehicle.

I certainly agree that the bicyclist was probably
inadequately visible under the nighttime and
stormy conditions of this crash, and it seems
quite likely that the small red rear reflector
near the bicycle seat was not optimally
positioned to be visible to following motorists,
even under ideal conditions.

Nevertheless, while the truck driver should
probably not be cited for any moving violation,
the police were wrong to imply that the bicyclist
was violating any current traffic laws. The
primary cause of this crash was probably that the
bicyclist was inadequately visible, although he
may have been in full compliance with current
Maryland equipment requirements for nighttime

For your information, the Code of Virginia was
recently amended to require bicyclists to use
both a red taillight and a red rear reflector
when cycling at night on roads posted at 35 MPH
or higher. This change becomes effective on July
1, 2005. See
for the actual wording.

Allen Muchnick, President
Virginia Bicycling Federation

. . .o
. . /L

Bicycle accident raises safety, right-of-way topics

By Monique Lewis
Daily Times Staff Writer

SALISBURY -- Nine out of 10 cyclist fatalities are the result of not wearing a helmet, said Dennis Winters, president of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

Charles Curtis Campbell of Salisbury was bicycling northbound on Route 13 to clock in at Target by 4 a.m. Monday, said Christopher Plumadore, a Maryland State Police collision reconstructionist.

Rough rain might have played a role in Campbell's death when a Herr's snack-food truck driver, Stephen Richard Sprankle, struck the bicyclist in the left lane near Clover Street, MSP Sgt. Keith Johnson said Monday.

...Target is on the right side of the road. Plumadore and Johnson said Campbell should have been in the right lane. A left turning lane is several hundred feet further down from the accident, Johnson said.

So far the investigation is leading toward blame on Campbell, Plumadore said.

"If he was going to be turning left, he had every right," Winters said. "(The cyclist) is not required to ride to the right lane if the cyclist perceives it to be a hazard to the vehicle."

Bicycles are treated as vehicles in Maryland, states the Motor Vehicle Administration Web site. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists. A bicycle is not restricted to the right side of the road, the Web site states.

"You try to stay to the right, but there are some things you just have to avoid," Winters said.

Not all cyclists obey the rules of the road, but the greater risk is that drivers don't treat bicyclists as drivers on the road, said Erin Drew, a Salisbury bicyclist.

"The right side of the roadway is frequently strewn with debris," Drew said. "Motorists need to be aware that bicyclists are vehicles and have every right to share the roadway as long as they're behaving in a safe, legal manner."

Campbell also wasn't wearing visible night clothing, Plumadore said. A red reflector was mounted on the seat, and Campbell's and Sprankle's speeds are still undetermined, he said.

# Reach Monique Lewis at 410-845-4656 or

Originally published July 1, 2005

. . .o
. . /L

This article ain't bad overall, but the opening sentence is absurdly false. It's not even true that nine out of ten cycling fatalities involve unhelmeted bicyclists; rather, police reports of cycling fatalities usually fail to note whether or not the dead bicyclist had been wearing a helmet, so helmet wearing is only reported for 10%. Even if 90% of killed cyclists are in fact unhelmeted, however, it would be riduculous to conclude that a helmet would have saved every life. The opposite, however, is true: wearing a bicycle helmet fails to prevent at least 10% of all cycling fatalities and probably a good deal more than 10%. The major benefit of bicycle helmets is to reduce the severity of brain injury in non-fatal cycling crashes, allowing the survivors to live more productively and enjoyably. All bicyclists should thus be encouraged to wear a bicycle helmet on every ride, but untrue claims are not helpful. Allen Muchnick Arlington VA --- . . .o . . /L =()>()
If you're driving or cycling on the road just be careful. A public service reminder from Dave of Student Loans