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Cars overwhelmingly cause bike collisions, and the law should reflect that

Biking ElsewhereBy Soufiane Boufous, The Conversation

...
To keep our cyclists safe, it may be time to adopt the approach of many European nations by introducing legislation that, in civil cases, presumes that car drivers caused a collision unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Shifting the burden of proof to drivers – who must prove they didn’t cause a crash – has been highly successful in other nations, along with other measures, in keeping cyclists safer and reducing accidents.

Cars generally cause collisions
...

These results are similar to a Monash University study in which researchers examined camera footage of similar incidents. They found that drivers were responsible for the actions preceding the incident in 87% of cases.
...

https://theconversation.com/cars-overwhelmingly-cause-bike-collisions-and-the-law-should-reflect-that-78922
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A New Traffic Safety Paradigm

Biking ElsewhereBy Todd Litman, Planetizen

Despite numerous traffic safety programs, traffic death rates have not declined in a decade and recently started to increase. We can do better! A new paradigm identifies additional safety strategies that reduce both crash rates and risk exposure.

During this holiday season thousands of North Americans will be unnecessarily killed or severely injured in crashes. We could do much better!

The United States has the highest traffic fatality rate among peer countries, nearly three times the European average and easily twice the averages of Australia and Canada.
...

https://www.planetizen.com/node/96324
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What and who are really behind all these pedestrian safety campaigns?

Biking ElsewhereBy Lloyd Alter, Treehugger

...
As it is now, the campaign language and programs promoted by the traffic safety organisations unabashedly victimise the individual (primarily pedestrians and cyclists) rather than speak out about the dangers of motorised vehicles. They also tend to ignore the one most obvious solution to lower road fatalities – a drastic reduction in the number of motorised vehicles on the road.
...
Their baseline is clear. Cars are here to stay - everyone else either get out of the way or bubble wrap yourself. What this communication subculture doesn’t talk about is rather telling. Basically anything that would brand cars as the problem - or reducing the number of cars.
...

https://www.treehugger.com/walking/what-and-who-are-really-behind-all-these-pedestrian-safety-campaigns.html
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Put ‘people, not cars’ first in transport systems, says UN environment chief

Biking ElsewhereLack of investment in safe walking and cycling infrastructure not only contributes to the deaths of millions of people in traffic accidents on unsafe roads and poorly designed roadways, but also overlooks a great opportunity to boost the fight against climate change, a new UN environment report said today.
...

https://news.un.org/en/story/2016/10/543292-put-people-not-cars-first-transport-systems-says-un-environment-chief
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Globe editorial: All those pedestrian deaths? It’s the cars, stupid

Biking ElsewhereVia The Globe and Mail

Living in cities makes wannabe legislators of us all. Every day, urbanites have occasion to shake a scornful fist and say, There oughtta be a law. There can't be a modern city behavior more liable to elicit this high-handed oath than the guy who walks down the street, or worse, crosses the street, with his head buried in his phone.

Some people are legislators in real life, not just in their passive-aggressive daydreams, so when they feel like there oughtta be a law, they put forward a private member's bill. That's what Ontario Liberal MPP Yvan Baker has done with the Phones Down, Heads Up Act. It would slap fines on people caught staring at their devices while crossing the street.
...

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/globe-editorial-all-those-pedestrian-deaths-its-the-cars-stupid/article36898698/
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Ten reasons why reducing automobile dependency makes sense

Health & EnvironmentBy Greg Vann, Reviewanew

Like many places throughout the world, Australian cities’ transport systems are dominated by the private car. The car has offered unprecedented flexibility and reach in our personal mobility and dominated the form and lifestyles in cities since the mid 20th century. They can be convenient and versatile and fast, and now account for about 90 per cent of the total urban passenger movements (up from around 40 per cent in the late 1940s). In Australia there are about 17m cars. Worldwide, we are up there in terms of cars per capita at around 7 cars for every 10 people.
...

[B' Spokes: Just major headings.]

1. Public health
...
2. Land consumption.
...
3. Environmental impacts.
...
4. Urban design.
...
5. Public safety,
,,,
6. Budget impacts
...
7. Driving affects us psychologically.
We can become quite anti-social, judgemental, and mean when we drive.
...
8. Cars are a strain on many household budgets.
...
9. Cars are the main cause of congestion.
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10. The dream does not match the reality.
...

http://reviewanew.com/2014/04/26/ten-reasons-why-reducing-automobile-dependency-makes-sense/
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The Bad Drivers Around Your Kid's School

Biking ElsewhereBy MIMI KIRK, City Lab

Earlier this year, the driver analytics company Zendrive found that an appalling 88 percent of people use their mobile phones while driving, and a cursory look around the roads will probably confirm that figure. Researchers point to distracted driving as a main culprit of a disturbing trend: After falling for decades, the number of fatalities from motor vehicles has climbed for the last two years.

Recent statistics for pedestrian deaths for teenagers show a similar regression: The number of fatalities for those under 19 has decreased over the past two decades, but since 2013 has risen by 13 percent for 12 to 19-year-olds. Media accounts are often quick to blame kids wearing headphones or video-chatting when drivers are actually at fault. When a 14-year-old Philadelphia girl on her way to cheerleader practice was struck by a distracted driver, one local TV report opened its story with the fact that she was Facetiming with a friend while in a marked crosswalk. The driver was later charged with aggravated assault.

Zendrive’s new study focuses on the behavior of drivers around schools. Using sensors in phones, the company measures whether users are texting, making calls, and otherwise fiddling with their phones while the car is moving. It also analyzes rapid acceleration and hard braking. Based on driver behavior in the vicinity of 75,000 public schools in 2,222 counties, Zendrive then ranked the safest schools, counties, and states. (The U.S. has close to 100,000 public schools and a little over 3,000 counties.)
...

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2017/09/the-bad-drivers-around-your-kids-school/540687/?utm_source=nl__link2_092817&silverid=MzEwMTkyMjY0ODQ2S0

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AMBIENT LIGHT & TRAFFIC COLLISIONS W/ PEDS AT PED CROSSINGS

Biking Elsewhere [B'Spokes: Wait, did he just say peds were safer not crossing at an intersection?]

-> Accident Analysis & Prevention published a paper that considered biannual clock changes resulting from transitions to and from daylight saving time were used to compare road traffic collisions (RTCs) in the UK during daylight and darkness but at the same time of day. Results suggested there was a significantly greater risk of a pedestrian RTC at a crossing after-dark than during daylight, and that the risk of an RTC after-dark was greater at a pedestrian crossing than at a location at least 50 m away from a crossing. This increased risk is not due to a lack of lighting at these locations as 98% of RTCs at pedestrian crossings after-dark were lit by road lighting. "The Effect of Ambient Light Condition on Road Traffic Collisions Involving Pedestrians on Pedestrian Crossings" http://bit.ly/2fOlnGo

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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SAFETY IN NUMBERS & PED & CYCLIST RISKS OF BEING HIT BY DRIVERS

Biking Elsewhere-> The Roadway Safety Institute reports in a recent project in which University of MN researchers evaluated whether a phenomenon known as "safety in numbers" was observable in crash data collected for Minneapolis, MN—one of the few cities that currently has a sufficiently rich dataset of pedestrian and bicyclist counts to allow for meaningful safety analysis. (Safety in Numbers? Accessibility, Traffic, and Safety of Nonmotorized Travelers: http://bit.ly/2fP7bNB) Researchers found that safety in numbers played a positive role: 1) pedestrians were at a lower risk of being hit by a driver at intersections with more pedestrian traffic, and individual drivers were at a lower risk of hitting pedestrians at intersections with more car traffic, and 2) intersections with more vehicles and cyclists exhibited lower crash rates. http://bit.ly/2fPyzeh

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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WEST MIDLANDS, ENGLAND: ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CLOSE PASS DRIVERS

Biking Elsewhere-> BikeBiz reports the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the roads of the West Midlands, England has dropped by 20% since the regional police force last year launched an operation targeting so-called "close-pass" drivers. Motorists who overtook cyclists too closely can "expect prosecution, not education," said a strongly worded statement issued by the West Midlands Police Traffic Unit. The statement added that it was motorists mostly at fault in road crashes involving cyclists and said the force has a "zero tolerance approach for any offence involving a vulnerable road user." http://bit.ly/2fLvQPA

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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