Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’
VBF has the bad news that the Three Foot Passing and Following too close law was tabled in the House Transportation Committee by what was eventually an 11-10 vote. Someone who was there wrote:
StoptheMUD’s comment below: (By the way, please do visit “The Wash Cycle.”
(I’m a Republican and I believe in the Maryland three-foot bicycle safety rule. One wonders the real reason why a Republican in Virginia is keeping bicycling risks greater by ignoring the three foot rule. My experience driving in Virginia says to me that it is equally as dangerous as driving in Maryland and perhaps even more so. The cry for the three-foot rule is a cry for driving safety as well. Like seat belt enforcement the three-foot rule is a round-a-bout way to mitigate the carnage because driving safety is not a priority for individual residents of Maryland or Virginia. We’re using these laws to wake people up and give law enforcement some way to issue citations to the most egregiously unsafe among us.
Then we do have to stop and point out that states are asking for and getting special legislation to protect police officers on their traffic stops and those laws require drivers to move to another lane or slow down sharply as a courtesy to the officer. Fine. Extend the same courtesy to the rest of us and also encourage police and their families driving cars with police vanity plates to start obeying traffic laws.
Government is not doing well here. It sends confusing message, obfuscates debate, and only tends to do what garners a vote. Government can’t really help us. What is required is that every Virginian and ever Marylander make the choice to drive safely. Then government is out of the picture. Existing laws, it might be argued, already protect pedestrians and bicyclists. If those laws are not working then we need to find out why, but first everyone needs to obey the traffic regulations and drive safely.
There is also the “Get Off the BUS option. States that are not considered “bicycle safety conscious” could be designated “Bicycle Unfriendly States.” Either get off that BUS and join us or we won’t bicycle in your state. You cannot ride where you do not feel safe. Maryland seems to be improving in that area but not Virginia.)
The Maryland Bicycle Symposium will take place Tuesday, February 22, 2011 from 9:00am to 4:00pm in Annapolis. Hosted by Bike Maryland, the Symposium will bring together advocates, industry leaders, on and off-road recreational cyclists and commuters, elected officials and staff from the Tri-State Region.
(This organization is worth supporting if you care about driving and bicycling safety in Maryland. We strongly suggest that if you are a cyclist you make plans to attend this annual event.)
The Frederick Board of Aldermen is scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to apply for the designation of a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that promotes bicycling throughout the country.
Gazette.Net has the ENTIRE story:
(Thinking safety! Great idea for cyclists and drivers of vehicles.)
A student driving a scooter collided with a bicyclist on Chapel Drive on the University of Maryland campus around 10 a.m. on Monday.
(This is the second reported scooter collision this year. The first involved an athlete. In that accident, persons interviewed for the story claimed scooters driven by school students were a problem at the school. Now that there are two injury accidents what’s next? Are your kids going to UMD? Do yo know the answer?)
“By Maryland law, bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles – but bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don’t have a protective barrier around them. Motorists should drive carefully around a bicyclist; even a slight mistake can result in death. Bicyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles.”
(The State of Maryland safe-driving website reminds everyone about the new bicycle safety law. Both the bicyclist’s and driver’s responsibilities for safe driving are discussed. Click over right now to read about the new three-foot law. Remember to drive safely around bicycles.)
On Sunday, I rode in the Tour du Port, an annual bike ride through Baltimore that serves as a fundraiser for One Less Car. I enjoyed the ride but am ashamed of Baltimore’s bicycling community. With few exceptions, cyclists blew through stop signs and stop lights as it was convenient for them. Laws and safety be damned.
(A Maryland unsafe driver can also be riding a bicycle. This does not surprise me. These folks also own cars and drive those cars in exactly the same way. Perhaps more of us need to express our concern about unsafe driving when we do see it. The bicycle clubs responsible for this event should share the shame with their members.)
Advocates for bicyclists scored a big win this year when they persuaded the Maryland General Assembly to adopt a measure requiring drivers to leave a 3-foot buffer when passing a bicycle.
In Anne Arundel County, a car went off the road in Laurel and hit three members of the family who were taking a break from bicycle riding. The driver of the car was killed; the family remains hospitalized.
In Western Maryland, two family members were killed and a third injured when a car plowed into a group of people who had gathered by the side of a road after a church service
This is a an August 9th, 2010 article at the Baltimore Sun that everyone should read:
(Articles like this are dramatic evidence that it is not whether you will be in a serious accident but when.)
“A lot of motorists complain that bicyclists don’t follow the same rules they do. They point fingers at two-wheelers for blowing through stoplights and failing to come to a full stop at stop signs.”
(WHOA! The Sun needs to get out more. It is a cultural norm for Marylanders to glide through stop signs whether on bicycles, in cars, trucks, public safety vehicles. It is part of the unsafe driving-pandemic. Sit at several intersections and count the violators! Stopping is the exception and NOT the rule.
Driving safety isn’t a “you owe me for a sacrifice” situation. Driving safely is NOT a sacrifice. (Justifying bad behavior by pointing at other bad behavior.) Asking for the three-foot rule was another attempt to mitigate the carnage instead of dealing with the problem – unsafe drivers and yes, perhaps even unsafe cyclists.
I rarely see bicyclists without helmets. Given the helmet laws around the US and the overall awareness of same, I don’t lose sleep over the fool that decides not to wear one. My guess is it is an event that is considerably more rare than the drivers that fail to drive safely among cyclists and pedestrians. In my humble cyclist opinion.
Oh and, STOP does mean STOP.)