Blame the victim mentality

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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby damhooligan » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:43 pm

herzog wrote:
damhooligan wrote:headphones are not illegal.

Not illegal, but hardly a good personal safety practice in such circumstances, and could have been a factor in the incident as they inherently reduce situational awareness. And that's something you in spades if you are running red lights on an unlit bike at 615am.


Firstly, it was not proven she was actually wearing them , secondly it is not proven that is it was a factor.
Mentioning does nothing else then implicating things, and this is not helping anyone.
But to make it even worse, they put THAT in the headline, implicating it was the cause of all of it.

And there is a reason why they are not illegal, but that is a discussion on its own..

herzog wrote:
damhooligan wrote:Not having lights also, against the law, but it did not cause the accident, nor would it likely have changed the outcome.

Now I'm not sure how you reached this conclusion? The lack of lights could be a principal factor here.
GIven that the police have said that the person driving was: not speeding, not drunk, and did not run a red light, a very likely cause is that the driver did not see the cyclist (given the early hour).
Surely you've come across ninja cyclists in your travels and know how hard they are to see until the last second. Aushiker from these boards has a great youtube video of this phenomenon.


Could be?
If she rane a red light, and the driver didn't , then her having light would not have made a difference.
As the driver was more then likely focussed on the color of the traffic light.

In the article, nothing is mentioned about the driver not being drunk.
And also is mentioned, that one card did stop, but this driver did not?
why not?, why did he not stop?
Amber means stoping if you can, the other car ould, I am sure he could have to...


herzog wrote:
damhooligan wrote:And mentioning all the other things, are only there to make the cyclist look more 'guilty', and why ??

What are you saying then - that the Melbourne Age is entering into an anti cyclist conspiracy?
It's no different to when they mention motorists killed or injured in accidents were not wearing seat belts, or where pedestrians hit by traffic had been drinking. Surely you've seen that in the press many times.


I am not talking about other situations.

i am talking about this one.
Where they hang up a list of things the cyclists done wrong, while there is no need for that.
As for starters, how I read the article, that most things are not proven, but it does not stop them from saying them.
But why only focus on the cyclist, at least do both, and also list the things ther driver could have done wrong.


herzog wrote:
damhooligan wrote:You might as wel mention she was wearing lycra.. as that mayby distracted the driver...
Or that she rode unlicensed, as that also contributed...


Now this is getting flippant and not helping your argument at all.
[/quote]

Not really.

If we can go on and list thinsg that are not the cause of the accident, but are potentially a cause.
I am sure I can think of many more things I can mention.

For example, is it mentioned if the car driver had a car stero ??
Is it mentioned if it was playing loudly?
As the same logic applies to the headphones, the car driver could have been distracted by loud music....

How about a mobile phone?, I am sure he has one..
mayby he was on the phone, so he could not stop for the amber lights.

Nothing mentioned about the speed of the car either, so i am thinking he was speeding to get trought the amber lights.
Wich is illegal, and could have caused the accident.

So in a nutshell, the driver could have been drunk and speeding to get trough amber whil having the car stereo blasting loudly..
So why is all of this not mentioned ??

I dont know...
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by BNA » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:45 pm

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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby trailgumby » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:45 pm

Fairfax papers tend to be less likely to take an anti-cyclist populist spin than say News Limited. There have been some occasional columns spun that way, but for the most part they've taken a reasonably balanced stance based on analysis and facts.

News Limited's strategy across all their "news" outlets worldwide seem to take the sensationalist right-wing slant, deliberately polarising their readers and viewers with extreme opinions as a method of provoking emotional involvement, and typically couching things in the way they think their readers want to hear them. Miranda Devine and the extremist polemicist Piers Akerman are examples.

While Murdoch doesn't interfere directly in what gets printed and what line his papers push, he doesn't have to. If you don't share his views you don't get hired, and if your views start to diverge he sidelines you and hires somebody else.

Andre Neill's autobiography of the time he worked for Murdoch is instructive.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby Comedian » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:13 pm

ozzymac wrote:That's what I get for living in sunny Queensland, it's light here about 5.30am.

Cheers

I think you'll find the main reason for that is the lack of DST here. :shock:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby herzog » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:16 pm

damhooligan wrote:If she rane a red light, and the driver didn't , then her having light would not have made a difference.


You can't be serious. Lights can mean the difference between a driver seeing you from 100 metres away, and not seeing you until a split second from impact.


In the article, nothing is mentioned about the driver not being drunk.


More info:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-n ... 6267337845


Nothing mentioned about the speed of the car either, so i am thinking he was speeding to get trought the amber lights.


Police said he was not speeding, nor drunk.


I dont know...


Yep.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:40 pm

The details of the incident are all speculation. Not known whether either vehicle definitely passed through a red/amber. Not known whether the cyclist was listening to music, whether the driver was distracted. Appeared not to be speeding. "Had not consumed alcohol" - was the driver breathalised - I'd assume and hope so.

Herald-Sun wrote:Police Sgt Kevin Hickson said initial indications showed the woman was not wearing a helmet and her bike did not have lights.

She was also carrying a music player.

The driver of the car, a 23-year-old man, is assisting police with their inquiries.

Sgt Hickson said it appeared the man entered the intersection on an amber light and was not speeding.

He said the man had not consumed alcohol.


I must say, the Herald-Sun headline is remarkably non-sensational :o
Last edited by il padrone on Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby damhooligan » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:43 pm

herzog wrote:
damhooligan wrote:If she rane a red light, and the driver didn't , then her having light would not have made a difference.


You can't be serious. Lights can mean the difference between a driver seeing you from 100 metres away, and not seeing you until a split second from impact.



Offcourse I am serious.

Thinking that having lights would have made a difference is not very realistic in this specific situation.
It makes a difference in toher situatiuons, I agree, but not here.

Being able to be seen means nothing if the others are not looking.
How do you know the driver was looking??
How many drivesr look beyond the color of the traffic lights ??



start of rant
its a shame that they are allowed to write these things the way they do...
So much focus on what the cyclist done..

mentioning earphones 3 times !! (it remains unproven she wore them..)
car running amber 2 times (putting the focus on the cyclist running red)
Running red 1 times.
carrying music player 1 time
not wearing a helmet 2 times.
Not having light 1 time
police mentioning the importance of helmet implying it would have saved her live , two times.
police mentioning the importance of lights implying it would have saved her live , two times.

In a short period of a few words a dozen implications towards the cyclists !
What a shame..

Even if she is the root cause of her own death, going on and on about it like this is realy poor, and I am sure her family wil not be pleased by it either ..
Is this really needed , or nessesary ??

end of rant
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby lturner » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:41 pm

herzog wrote:
lturner wrote:This is a perfect example of the mindless and stupid blame the victim mentality that exists in Australia regarding cycling.

The woman in the above article was killed because she was struck by a 1.5 tonne car probably travelling at 50 or 60km/h, which had gone through an orange light.



Look I understand the point you are trying to make, but to be honest you've chosen a poor example with which to make it.

If the facts are as reported:

She was:
-Riding without lights at 615am
-Wearing headphones
-Not wearing a helmet (not that it would have helped in this type of incident)
-Running a red light on a major multi-lane road.

Whilst clearly still a tragedy, this is extremely poor roadcraft. Hardly a beacon of safety conscious cycling.

If an article written like this scares a few ninja cyclists into lighting up and improving their personal safety practices, it's probably a good thing.


Actually, this situation is the best example to illustrate the point.

Imagine this person was walking her bike across the road, or just walking without a bike. Do you think she should have been wearing a helmet and lights? No. What is the difference? Why are these things the critical focus in one instance but not the other?

Motorists have a responsibility to avoid running into cyclists and pedestrians - that is certainly what I was taught when I learned to drive. I think that if you are operating a potentially lethal machine, your obligation to not run into people is more important than the responsibility of pedestrians and cyclists to adhere to these road rules which are in almost all instances, designed for the convenience of motorists.

I cringe when I hear cyclists saying things like: "this story might scare a few people into improving their safety practices and that's a good thing". This is the sentiment of the useful idiot of the cycling world - although well intentioned it simply perpetuates the myth that the best way to improve safety is for cyclists themselves to "improve". We will never improve safety until we address the cause of the danger - motor vehicles.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:52 pm

lturner wrote:Motorists have a responsibility to avoid running into cyclists and pedestrians.........

..........We will never improve safety until we address the cause of the danger - motor vehicles.

+10000
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Blame the victim mentality

Postby donncha » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:06 pm

Comedian wrote:I'm betting that the motorist in question would have had different answers. It is the motorists duty to be observant at all times and to avoid all accidents.


Yes, I agree. However, it doesn't change the facts as we know them:

- the cyclist was breaking the law (twice)
- the driver wasn't

Therefore, as the facts stand, I feel it's perfectly acceptable to place a majority of the blame on the cyclist. There are many car/bike incidents committed by dear friend motorists against innocent cyclists. This is not one of them.
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Blame the victim mentality

Postby donncha » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:16 pm

lturner wrote:We will never improve safety until we address the cause of the danger - motor vehicles.


Nonsense. For a start, we can improve our safety greatly by stopping at red lights.

Cars may be dangerous, but this woman would still be alive if she'd made just this one change to her day.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:51 pm

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-n ... 6268214466
The accident happened on the same day a grandmother believed to be missing was found in hospital after being hit by a cyclist while walking along the Yarra River.


What are they trying to say here? That the two stories are linked because


* both of the people injured were female?

or

* It was karma that the cyclist was killed because a cyclist (possibly the one killed by the car) hospitalised a grandmother


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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby Oxford » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:53 pm

this reminds of the what if story of Henry Ford. imagine if ol' Henry had sat down with the then President of the USA and said I'm going to revolutionise manufacturing to the point where everyone can afford a motor vehicle. the downside is that it will cause untold trauma, many people will die regularly quite likely on a daily basis and the cost to society will be enormous both personally and financially. would we have what we have today? who knows?
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:45 pm

Exactly how did the nakedness of the unfortunate cyclists head or her choice of attire have any bearing on the cause of the collision? I may be a little slow here but I'm pretty sure that the purpose of a hemlet is to lessen impact to the head not prevent it. Poor journalism to make spurious connections like this. :roll:

Mention of bicycle lights and skullwires is relevant as both are potential precursors of the collision, as would the physical state of the smokeboxer and exactly how he was driving at the time, both of which were mentioned, if only in passing.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby DavidS » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Gee, hell of a lot of assumptions going on here.

Read what the policeman said, it was quoted above, something like "initial indications are that she wasn't wearing a helmet". She was carrying an MP3 player and we only have the car driver's version of events to say he went through an amber which means the cyclist's lights must have been red.

That article is appalling, it is also in the Hun, so it is hardly surprising that it's rubbish. The line about the grandmother is just gratuitous.

Now, I'm all for fining people who go through red lights and I really think that wearing headphones on a bike is insanity. The law says we have to wear a helmet but really it makes little difference when hit by a car. But none of this detracts form the amazing unsubstantiated assumptions this article uses to slant the story the way they want to.

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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby damhooligan » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:08 pm

DavidS wrote: Gee, hell of a lot of assumptions going on here.


assumptions?, or opnions ?


DavidS wrote:I really think that wearing headphones on a bike is insanity.


Assumption or opnion ??


quote from BV spokesperson Gary Brennan
‘‘Just as car radios and motorcycle in-helmet speakers have not been shown to be a problem, no evidence has emerged that headphones on bike riders are hazardous,’’ he said.


http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cycli ... z1m96APJU8
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby Oxford » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:38 pm

I think a big problem which is part of the training of drivers is the expectation that lights will stay the colour they are as you see them. green lights go red and red lights will eventually go green. road users should always approach green lights with the attitude that they will change to red and to be prepared for the change, that doesn't mean speed up, it means get ready to brake. amber lights are there only for existing traffic in the intersection to clear the intersection, not for cars approaching to enter and then clear it. personally I believe red light cameras should be integrated into any new traffic light that is installed. none of this rotating between sites rubbish, just put them in, they are revenue generators, but wouldn't it be good if they were expenses, simply because people didn't run red lights anymore?
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby damhooligan » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:56 pm

Oxford wrote:I think a big problem which is part of the training of drivers is the expectation that lights will stay the colour they are as you see them. green lights go red and red lights will eventually go green. road users should always approach green lights with the attitude that they will change to red and to be prepared for the change, that doesn't mean speed up, it means get ready to brake.



That is true, the drivers education in the netherlands pays a lot of attentionthis this , combined with not lookin at just the color of the lights, but assesing the whole junction while approaching.
As junctions are a big source of accidents, more education should go towards it.

Also i noticed that the time between red and green is so minimal, even if some drivers go trough orange legitimatly, the time for the others to get green is way to quickly.
especially on bigger junctions..
This is also for pedestrians often the case, not enough time to cross safely..

We do accept the lights sequenses, cause we have to by law, but sometimes I seriously doubt their effectifness of their time sequenses.
There is a lot ofroom for improvement there.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:24 pm

lturner wrote:This is a perfect example of the mindless and stupid blame the victim mentality that exists in Australia regarding cycling.

The woman in the above article was killed because she was struck by a 1.5 tonne car probably travelling at 50 or 60km/h, which had gone through an orange light.



There are many easy to find "perfect example" but htis in=s not one of them.

I think the message presented is worthwhile and does no shame to the media (in this case). Going thru a red light (as this appears) with buds in ears (again as it appears) is a cliche ready to become a tragedy and is every bit as much a stereotype as media misrepresenting cyclists to our disadvantage.

In the fullness of time a different story may emerge but, for the time being, the media went with what they had. More than likely with the intent of the police to get a message out when it might be noticed.

It is unfortunate that the paper saw fit to squeeze in another matter unrelated to it other than a cyclist was involved. I never claim that the media are not tacky.

Another tragedy and more people having to live with the nightmare of a loved one being lost unnecessarily. And a driver who will be having a very hard time of it too.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby lturner » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:24 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:There are many easy to find "perfect example" but htis in=s not one of them.

I think the message presented is worthwhile and does no shame to the media (in this case). Going thru a red light (as this appears) with buds in ears (again as it appears) is a cliche ready to become a tragedy and is every bit as much a stereotype as media misrepresenting cyclists to our disadvantage.

In the fullness of time a different story may emerge but, for the time being, the media went with what they had. More than likely with the intent of the police to get a message out when it might be noticed.

It is unfortunate that the paper saw fit to squeeze in another matter unrelated to it other than a cyclist was involved. I never claim that the media are not tacky.

Another tragedy and more people having to live with the nightmare of a loved one being lost unnecessarily. And a driver who will be having a very hard time of it too.


The reason why this is such a "perfect" example is that there are all these other things muddying the situation and distracting everyone from what is the real cause of death - getting hit by a car.

This main thrust of this story is that it was all the cyclists fault. She should have been wearing a helmet and lights, because as the policeman was at pains to point out these things "save lives". In this case, helmets and lights may not have made any difference - in fact there is probably a good chance it of.

If you had the power to change any one thing about this situation, would you say: I wish she had a light on her bike? Or a helmet on here head? No. You would stop the car running into the person. We can do many things which will reduce these sort of accidents from happening, but many of them involve changing the driving habits of motorists, which is all a bit hard. So it's far easier for police and transport departments to put the focus onto things like helmets and lights.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:43 pm

lturner wrote:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:If you had the power to change any one thing about this situation, would you say: I wish she had a light on her bike? Or a helmet on here head? No. You would stop the car running into the person. We can do many things which will reduce these sort of accidents from happening, but many of them involve changing the driving habits of motorists, which is all a bit hard. So it's far easier for police and transport departments to put the focus onto things like helmets and lights.


I think you have just argued against your original complaint.

The things that the rider did have the power to change were the subject of the article. Those same things that you and damhooligan seem to think we should not be reminded of. Rather we need to be reminded that drivers may be inattentive, that drivers may play their car radio loudly, may run red lights, may ...

Telling me as a rider about those things that a driver may do gives me zilch ability to improve my position. The items like buds in ears, lights and stuff ARE what I can affect.

The article is NOT about blaming anyone even if you read it that way. It is about warning. NO point warning me about things that are bad but totally out of my control. As I said before this is not a "perect example" of the media gratuitously bashing cyclists. Not even close.

I hope you can see it for what it is - authorities taking an opportunity to publicize something that is thankfully on their radar. They do the same thing for drink driving, walking across lights and so forth. IMO though cyclists are one of the biggest at-risk groups and so I welcome a fair bit of attention to our risky behaviour. Indeed extra attention to us as one of the more at risk goups.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:50 pm

I want to hear the cops telling drivers not to race the lights. :idea:
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:43 pm

il padrone wrote:I want to hear the cops telling drivers not to race the lights. :idea:

Which I would have thought these days should be fairly easy to spot with cameras located appropriately. And then book those who, for example, speed up on approach to lights by a certain amount when already travelling at a normal speed. So, for example, recording shows that a driver accelerates from 50 to 55kph after the amber light comes on. And a driver accelerating from 50kph to 60kph within, say, 50m of the stop line at the lights on a green light (indicating rushing to beat the light change).

A competent person could set up something like this on his own PC with a couple of cheap cams. I can't believe that it would be that difficult or expensive to set up the real deal.

The down side however is that if they did then everyone gets shirty and claims it is only about generating revenue, so they can't win anyway.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby Toolish » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:58 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
il padrone wrote:I want to hear the cops telling drivers not to race the lights. :idea:

Which I would have thought these days should be fairly easy to spot with cameras located appropriately. And then book those who, for example, speed up on approach to lights by a certain amount when already travelling at a normal speed. So, for example, recording shows that a driver accelerates from 50 to 55kph after the amber light comes on. And a driver accelerating from 50kph to 60kph within, say, 50m of the stop line at the lights on a green light (indicating rushing to beat the light change).

A competent person could set up something like this on his own PC with a couple of cheap cams. I can't believe that it would be that difficult or expensive to set up the real deal.

The down side however is that if they did then everyone gets shirty and claims it is only about generating revenue, so they can't win anyway.


Neither of those situations break the law providing the speed up keeps them under the speed limit.

Moving up to the speed limit to make sure you get a green is totally fine and I can't see how that could possibly be made illegal.

The whole point of an amber light is to give a driver time to react to the light becoming red. I know personally there have been times where I have been caught out by an amber and gone through it when possibly I should have stopped. Unless you are watching the lights all of the time then it is impossible to know exaclty how long a light has been amber and at any time there the driver has to make a split second decision. I can not see how speeding up (without breaking the limit) to make sure you get through before i light goes red could be made illegal and not create a massive grey area.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby lturner » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:16 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
I think you have just argued against your original complaint.

The things that the rider did have the power to change were the subject of the article. Those same things that you and damhooligan seem to think we should not be reminded of. Rather we need to be reminded that drivers may be inattentive, that drivers may play their car radio loudly, may run red lights, may ...

Telling me as a rider about those things that a driver may do gives me zilch ability to improve my position. The items like buds in ears, lights and stuff ARE what I can affect.

The article is NOT about blaming anyone even if you read it that way. It is about warning. NO point warning me about things that are bad but totally out of my control. As I said before this is not a "perect example" of the media gratuitously bashing cyclists. Not even close.

I hope you can see it for what it is - authorities taking an opportunity to publicize something that is thankfully on their radar. They do the same thing for drink driving, walking across lights and so forth. IMO though cyclists are one of the biggest at-risk groups and so I welcome a fair bit of attention to our risky behaviour. Indeed extra attention to us as one of the more at risk goups.


You misunderstand.

All of those things are within our power to change, as a society - through our social conventions and our laws. We can improve safety by doing many things - driving at lower speeds, placing greater responsibility on motorists to avoid running into people on the road, improving the infrastructure and conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. All of these things have been tried in other countries and they work. They reduce risk by addressing the source of the danger - motor vehicles.

What do we do? Tell pedestrians and cyclists that it is their responsibility to keep out of the way of the dangerous things. Jaywalking, helmet laws - punishing us for not protecting ourselves adequately from the dangers posed by cars. All the while, drivers in our country have the notion that they own the road. As long as they don't speed or drive drunk, many think that is where the responsibility ends.

We have been doing this for decades and it hasn't worked and never will. We have some of the most hostile roads for cyclists and walkers in the world. Our method only works to the extent that it actually stops people from going out on the roads on foot or bike. We have tragically low cycling and pedestrian rates.

When the representative of the Victorian police force - which is a part of the Victorian government - puts all of the focus and attibutes the cause of the accident to the absence of helmet and lights as he does, it is a symptom of this terrible mindset amongst our governments and community, and also serves to re-inforce it.
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Re: Blame the victim mentality

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:03 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:
il padrone wrote:I want to hear the cops telling drivers not to race the lights. :idea:

Which I would have thought these days should be fairly easy to spot with cameras located appropriately. And then book those who, for example, speed up on.....

You have really missed my point completely :| .

After such horrific collisions, even when the cyclist may have done the 'wrong thing', I would like to see the police taking a pro-active step and telling drivers that racing the lights is bound to be likely to cause just such a collision. Actually telling drivers, on public radio/TV/Newspapers to slow the f#*& down and stop on the amber where-ever possible ie. not 'amber means go faster' :roll:

That's what I want to hear.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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