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Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 01:02 PM UTC
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The bicycle, 200 years old today, was a timely response to an environmental crisis

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: From the 12th but still an interesting read, at least I didn't know this.]

https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/happy-200th-birthday-bicycle-timely-response-environmental-crisis.html
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Drivers are overwhelmingly at fault in collisions with cyclists — should we assume they are liable?

Biking ElsewhereBy Soufiane Boufous, UNSW, ABC News Australia

...
A report released last week by the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia found that in 195 out of 277 crashes between cars and bicycles (just over 70 per cent) the cyclist was not at fault.

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.
...

Under current laws, cyclists and pedestrians involved in collisions with cars on Australian roads are required to claim on motorists' insurance.

If the insurance company contests the claim, the injured cyclist or pedestrian has to take the case to a civil court.

Surely the burden of proof should shift onto the more powerful road user, especially given that the research suggests they are more likely to be the one at fault.
To do so, we need a presumed liability law that protects vulnerable road users.

Similar laws have been introduced in Canada and in many European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and France.

Under these laws, sometimes also referred to as "reverse onus" or "strict liability" laws, drivers must prove that a collision with a cyclist or a pedestrian was not their fault.

These laws affect civil cases only and do not remove the presumption of innocence. In criminal law, drivers in collisions with vulnerable road users remain innocent until proven guilty.

It's also not about always blaming motorists. For example, if a cyclist ran a red light and caused a collision, they would obviously be at fault and would not receive compensation.
...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-14/cycling-collisions-should-drivers-be-held-legally-liable/8613858
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Why we must ban car advertising and sponsorship as was done with tobacco

Biking in BaltimoreBy Vreadhead, Ban Private Cars in London

‘Powersliding a sports car through a rain-slick city at night might seem like an unrealistic activity that most car owners won’t participate in, but marketers count on the excitement generated by this imagery to influence consumer decisions. These marketers are seeking those consumers most driven by “a need for speed.”

These are called ‘Hedonistic Considerations’.

How often do we see a car that solely occupies space in an advert? It is a fantasy world that deceives not only the driver but demands that we all give way to that fantasy by prioritising traffic flow.

The anger at this disconnect between fantasy and reality materialises on the ground as projected ‘road rage’ onto the perceived or socially constructed ‘weakness’ of pedestrians and cyclists.

Nothing brings a driver crashing down to reality more than a pedestrian who walks faster or a cyclist who weaves ahead.
...

https://banprivatecarsinlondon.com/2017/05/16/why-we-should-ban-car-advertising-as-was-done-with-tobacco/
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Can You See Me Now!? Winning the Fight for Visibility.

Biking ElsewhereBy Chris Carmichael, CEO/Head Coach of CTS

[B' Spokes: Just the headlines:]
How High Vis Falls Short
How to Stay Safe
FOLLOW TRAFFIC LAWS
RIDE WHERE OTHERS RIDE
MAKE EYE CONTACT
WATCH THE WHEELS
FIND YOUR VOICE
RESIST THE URGE TO GET ANGRY
MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE

http://trainright.com/cycling-visibility
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The Rich Drive Differently, a Study Suggests

Biking ElsewhereBy Benjamin Preston, New York Times

...
Now scientific research supports the unwritten and broadly circulated theory that people in BMWs are lacking in road manners. Paul K. Piff, a researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, has conducted a study linking bad driving habits with wealth.
...

https://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/the-rich-drive-differently-a-study-suggests/
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The Today Show Completely Botched Its Coverage of America’s Pedestrian Safety Crisis

Biking ElsewhereBy Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

...
A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that nationwide, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016. That’s a 25 percent increase since 2010 and the highest number in two decades.

That was enough to get news outlets like the Today Show to pay attention to pedestrian safety for once. But the Today segment was a victim-blaming disaster, writes Joseph Cutrufo at Mobilizing the Region:

If you ask the Today Show, it’s distracted pedestrians who are to blame, a point they illustrated by showing a video clip of a person being struck by a driver while standing on the sidewalk. The whole segment seems utterly ridiculous, but then again, in a country where more than 90 percent of households own at least one vehicle and more than three-quarters of commuters drive to work, maybe the Today Show’s audience is actually buying it.
...

We’ll never make progress on pedestrian fatalities if so many streets look like the highway where Sanders stands at the beginning of his report. We need streets where motor vehicles travel at non-lethal speeds and people can cross without taking their lives in their hands.

We should be asking why the United States is doing so much worse than other nations on traffic safety:
...

In the United Kingdom, not only are the streets much safer than in America, but the pedestrian death rate is falling even faster than the overall traffic fatality rate. In other words, British streets are getting safer for walking and driving, but especially for walking.

So instead of another segment blaming people on foot for their own deaths, how about a trip to the UK to investigate how they made a transportation system that’s so much safer than ours?
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/03/31/the-today-show-completely-botched-its-coverage-of-americas-pedestrian-safety-crisis/
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Why America’s roads are so much more dangerous than Europe's

Biking Elsewhereby Norman Garrick, Carol Atkinson-Palombo, and Hamed Ahangari, Vox

...
Even before that spike upward, per capital traffic fatalities in the US were already the highest in the industrialized world. No other developed country tolerates the level of carnage on their roads that we do. This national failure has been overlooked for far too long. Studying short-term variations in our safety record is important, but it can also distract us from investigating the forces contributing to our horrendous safety record compared to our peers.
...
In other words, since 1970 we have gone from leading the pack in traffic safety to being at the rear of that pack.
...

[B'Spokes: And they even get a little analytical as to why America road fatalities are so high.]

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/11/30/13784520/roads-deaths-increase-safety-traffic-us
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Houston Police Set Up Stings To Catch Drivers Who Endanger Cyclists

News you will not see in MarylandBy Stephen Paulsen, Houston Press

Six bike riders have been killed in the Houston area so far this year, according to advocacy group BikeHouston, but the Houston Police Department is now setting up regular stings for drivers who endanger cyclists.

In March, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announced he'd start going after drivers who pass bikes without the minimum three feet of space, using plainclothes bike cops equipped with a high-tech "C3FT" device. It's part of a push by a number of local politicians, including Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, to make Houston safer for cyclists.
...

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/houston-police-enforce-bike-passing-ordinance-9426696
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Large Vehicle Urban Driving Safety Program

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I found several aspects of this Vision Zero Large Vehicle safety video interesting.:
1) It was NOT done by the MVA but by San Francisco's MTA and their contractors are required to watch the video.
2) It shows a lot of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure you don't see here.
3) It explains why a lot of bike/ped enhancements work as well as what to do when driving and parking around them. Imagine that, a official source that tells trucks not to park in bike lanes. But be real if people are not told how to use something new are they supposed to know? And yes I well insult a lot of road engineers, these new designs are all that obvious to a car centric audience (most of the people driving.)

I will strongly assert that for many people roads are for cars to go fast on and there needs to be a lot of education that goes out to explain why slowing down is a good thing and how to share road space with cyclists and pedestrians. This video is a great start, now to see stuff like this happen in Maryland.]

Main page: https://www.sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/large-vehicle-urban-driving-safety-program
Video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDc-thAeHe1idBKvsZCoOKQ
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HOW CYCLING & WALKING TO WORK AFFECTS HEALTH

Health & Environment-> Yes! Magazine reports on the largest ever study into how cycling and walking to work affects your health. (Association Between Active Commuting and Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and Mortality: Prospective Cohort Study: http://bit.ly/2p7tDRv) Published in the British Medical Journal, the results for cycling in particular have important implications. They suggest that councils and governments need to make it a top priority to encourage as many commuters to get on their bikes as possible. Researchers looked at 263,450 people with an average age of 53 who were either in paid employment or self-employed, and didn’t always work at home. Participants were asked whether they usually traveled to work by car, public transport, walking, cycling or a combination. They followed participants for about 5 years. They found that cycling to work was associated with a 41 percent lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Cycle commuters had a 52 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40 percent lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had 46 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45 percent lower risk of developing cancer at all. Walking to work was not associated with a lower risk of dying from all causes. Walkers did, however, have a 27 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 36 percent lower risk of dying from it. http://bit.ly/2qENWFV

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

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