So, Sometimes, I think that we have it bad, we cyclist I mean. You know with the getting hit by cars, things thrown at us, constantly yelled at. I think the Australians, may have it worse. I hope this doesn't happen here, but if it does, I am sure all the folks who leave negative comments about cyclist on our local rants and raves or any of the local newsstories, will be absolutely ecstatic!!
New Victorian cycling laws that came into effect on June 18th sets jail terms for rogue cyclists and fines of more than $68,000!
With the huge surge in people taking up cycling in the last five years, rogue bike riders who believe they don’t have to obey the road rules have given their fellow cyclists a bad name and made it difficult to earn the respect and courtesy of other road users. Now under the new laws now in place cyclists face the exact same road rules for motorists should they fail to stop after an accident or are guilty of careless or dangerous riding.
New penalties for cyclists Hit or run resulting in serious injury or death: 5 years jail or up to a $68,052 fine or both Dangerous riding: 12 months jail, or up to a $13,160 fine or both Careless riding: $681 for first offence, $1361 for subsequent offences Riding through a RED light: $224 (law now opperative) $284 or seven days' prison if property is damaged by a cyclist and the rider does not immediately stopp and offer assistance
According to some internet searching, this all came about because of one ride. The "Hell Ride". Below, is just one person's opinion, so this is not factually, but it does make sense.
It's pretty much come about because around three years ago an old guy got killed by a cyclist on the "hell ride". The hell ride is an informal saturday morning hammerfest down to the peninsula that can get a pretty big peleton of up to a couple of hundred riders. There aren't too many traffic lights to deal with, but if a light happens to change, cyclists would continue through it as part of the pack as stopping could cause a nasty pileup, or cause them to get dropped. Anyway, this old guy saw the lights change and stepped out into the middle of the pack.
I feel sorry he died, but it was a foolish thing to do, he saw that the cyclists weren't about to stop and walked anyway. Also, I think it was selfish for the cyclists to hold everyone up so that they didn't have to catch up.
So, after that happened a lot of people on bikes copped abuse, which is weird because so many pedestrians get killed by cars but people don't randomly yell at car drivers being killers (except maybe at Critical Mass or something).
And, of course, they've now taken action to increase the penalties for "rogue" cyclists. I find it hard to believe anyone will go to prison for dangerous riding, just like very few people go to jail for white collar crimes. I think it's just there in case something really full-on happens.
The bell thing is stupid. I always ride with a bell (and use it often), so it doesn't affect me but it's still a bit rough, you can still yell warnings louder than any bell. If you're mute and don't have a bell, then maybe....
Again, I hope this doesn't happen, but you never know, it just might. We all know that motorist hate us, some act out on it, some don't. They all think that we are in the way though. We as cyclist have done some grass roots things, trying to help our cycling brothers and sisters, well, it looks like the other side of the fence, is doing the same thing.
“We were out for an enjoyable ride, minding our own business,” Simons said. “At any point, he could have left.
“When I got to his door, the gun was pointing at my chest. I turned to walk away, (and) the gun went off. He chose to pull the trigger.”
I call bullshit. This is bullshit. According to this article, if you provide for your family, have 30+ supporters in the court room, have had good job security and someone to say, “He's a hard-working, decent man who used terrible judgment,” Stewart said. “He accepts responsibility for his actions. I think he is sincerely remorseful”, then you can basically, get away with attempted murder.
What kills me about this whole thing, besides this douche not getting more of a harsher sentence, is the fact that witnesses, called the cops, and the cops found this dick, at his house. So, this guy, shoots someone in the head, and then just drives home, and only get four months of jail time? Not only that, but the original charge was dropped for a lesser charge.
This judge can go and choke on a jar of dicks, as far as I'm concerned.
A motorist hit a pedicab driver and two passengers, then drove away, Austin police said. It happened at the corner of 5th and San Antonio early Sunday morning. "We were riding, and all of the sudden I was picking myself up off the ground my head was completely soaked in blood," said Eric Soelzer, passenger. Soelzer and roommate Ryan Gadd got into a pedicab on West 6th Street around 1 a.m. They rode for a couple minutes before an SUV struck them from behind. The driver never stopped. Witnesses estimate the SUV was traveling around 40 miles an hour. "At that moment, I didn't know if he was OK. It was pretty scary. I could hear him making a groaning noise. I could see him laying down," said Soelzer. Both were taken to the hospital. Gadd was knocked unconscious. He has no recollection of the accident. "Basically, I just woke up in a neck brace and they were putting stitches and the staple in," Gadd said. The pedicab driver -- Mateo Camacho -- suffered the worst injuries. He slammed face first into the street and had to get 18 stitches across his face. He told KVUE News over the phone that he will be scared for life. Gadd and Soelzer are still sore and depend on pain killers just to get through the day. "The pain is manageable, but when you're moving around and bending and stuff like that -- it can spike up to where it really hurts," Gadd said. What also hurts the men is knowing that someone could do this and keep going. "Look, this person is still out driving right now -- no consequence (and) obviously no regard for what happened," Soelzer said. "We could've been seriously hurt or killed. We're lucky this is all that happened to us." Police have released a description of the hit and run vehicle. It is a white SUV, possibly a Ford Bronco, with a grill guard on the front and big tires. The pedicab belongs to Roadkill Pedicab. The owner of the company says each pedicab is outfitted with bright LED lights, so he thinks it's impossible for a driver not to see them.
Ok, I was realeased from the hospital this evening (Friday?), and my wife will hopefully be released on Saturday. First off, we have every right to ride on any street in the state, but riding on Parmer, until Tuesday morning, is not a big deal. Nice wide shoulder so cars and bikes can get along. And actually riding at 5:30 in the morning is safer in my book when you have flashing lights on the back alerting automobiles that something is in front of them and the traffic volume is substantially less. My flashing lights put out as much attention getting light as any automobile. There is no reason we should have not been seen (by) this lady driving down the shoulder to wipe us out. Believe me when I say it was an extremely unfortunate acccident, but it was by no means our falult. We are trying to get some excercise and have fun commuting to work and have followed all required laws to put the required type of lighting on my bike. It boils down to the fact that auto drivers, of which I am one too, need to pull their heads out, drive safely and realize that the 30 seconds that they are slowed down by a bike on a road somewhere is not the end of the world and and won't make them be late for that all important meeting!!
Sam Hughes, battered and bruised and looking for a new tandem
I'm really glad to hear that Sam is doing okay, this happened right in front of my apartment complex. Sam is correct in the shoulders being wide, and there being no excuse why the lady hit them.
So I posted this awhile back when it first happened(but I can't find my effin post), and many other people have posted this in their blogs and facebook accounts since the verdict was given out. But in case you haven't heard.....the Dr. was found guilty.
This is a sigh of relief for any cyclist following this story. We all encounter motorist everyday that in some way effect our lives, they don't think twice about it, but it stays in our thoughts throughout the day. You can look at the craigslist rants and raves on a daily basis and see the internet tough guys post about their frustrations with cyclist. Most of these people are tough guys who would never act out like they say they will.
There are those though, who are mentally unstable that may just act out on their feelings, which would leave most of us in the hospital. The bicycling website blogger Bob Mionske brought up a good point in his latest blog he wrote.
It may sound ludicrous to our ears, but that was how he attempted to portray the incident. The question at hand was whether the jury would also think it ludicrous, or whether it would be swayed by the doctor’s standing in the community, and the negative image of cyclists held by many motorists.
This leads me to think about myself with all the things that has happened to me and all of my friends that ride here. This accident seemed to spawn from one of the cyclist throwing the one fingered salute up, which we all do. The drivers that come to close to us, who almost hit us, who honk their horns at us, and spew hate as they drive by, they all deserve the universal sign of FUCK YOU.
But what if the motorist that deserves that "fuck you" is someone like the good ole Dr. or a good ole boy in his big pick up that wants to teach us a lesson?
This is a direct quote from the Dr. at the scene of the accident
Thompson said that he was “tired” of the cyclists on Mandeville Canyon Road, and “I wanted to teach them a lesson.”
Which makes you think about all the cycling accidents here in Austin, and how many of are accidents. This happened right in front of my apartment complex. I ride Parmer lane often, and it has a HUGE shoulder to ride on, and I really doubt that the cyclist were in a lane that goes 60+ miles an hour.
This could be any road that we travel everyday. Dr. Thompson's attorney says that this was “an unfortunate accident.” What is an unfortunate accident, is something that is just that, an accident. Not something that was intentional. Dr. Thompson's actions, were not an accident. Which leads right into this, in some cases cycling fatalities/injuries may be, but this isn't the first time the Dr. has encountered cyclist and had "something to say/prove/teach" to them.
I think most of my friends that are cyclist, do the right thing when it comes to cycling, yeah, we may not stop at every single stop sign, or every single light, but neither do most motorist. My problem with most motorist is that they play the card of all cyclist don't follow the law, we all know that this is not the case. Just because a few bad apple rotten, doesn't mean the whole bunch is. The same can be said for motorist as well.
I guess the point of writing this post is, we are always going to be scrutinized for the actions of ourselves or other cyclist. The new 3ft law is not always going to protect us. We need to protect ourselves, and be aware of our surroundings (I know we all are). No one is going to look for us, so we have to look for them. If you do get close to being hit/buzzed/shit thrown at you/called names/cut off, just remember, someone like Dr. Thompson, may behind the wheel. So try and keep those middle fingers down, and lets show the motorist, that WE ARE BETTER THEN THEM.