Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the road"

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Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the road"

Postby Howzat » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:24 pm

Came across a well-written article on the importance of cyclists being seen to be model citizens when out on a bike: link here. It's from the US, but is applicable in large parts to a local context.

But others know the laws and instead offer elaborate rationalizations for their behavior. These are frequently variations upon the theme, “I’m actually being safer/smarter/helping traffic flow better.” It’s that smug ‘actually’ that galls, because buried therein is a root of bicyclists’ image problem: the perception that we think we know better. We reinforce it by reinterpreting laws to make our behavior appear safe or noble.

Well, sorry, that’s not how civilization works. And it contributes to a stressful street climate of vindictive, they-started-it behavior that gets people hurt.
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by BNA » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:09 pm

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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:09 pm

Absolutely correct - there should not be any money spent on roads until there is a significant reduction in the incidence of going through red lights and speeding. In NSW in 2009/2010, there were 612,159 speeding offences detected & 210,651 red light ofences. That's some fairly high numbers for a state with a total population of 7 million.

If you prefer anecdotal evidence, every day in the Sydney CBD I see pedestrians crossing against red lights

The double standard is the expectation that cyclists are somehow different to other people & need to be perfect in order to be considered legitimate. There is no evidence that, as a group, cyclists are any better or worse at following the road rules than the rest of the population
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby outnabike » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:55 pm

Warning lateral thinking thing displayed here and may offend. :D

You take a “person” out of his bed and put him onto a corner where that “person” can blindly walk on the left or right or cross over against the lights and call it a “pedestrian”...... A dumb pedestrian

You take that “pedestrian”, put it on a bike and is it suddenly imbued with superior brain power and has more privileges than the pedestrian? ...... Off course it has.

You take that “Cyclist”, put it in a car and its powers of perception double again. It becomes a legacy of, ..... “I own the road” Short cuts and speeding are ok,..... but not for cyclists!

So all facets of travel superiority grow with the power of the mode of transport, and whichever you are engaged in at the time. This becomes your world of law and its perception. That individual then righteously expounds on the right to do whatever is necessary to get where they are going.

The funny thing to me is that within these groups a few actually try to get along,....... so as not to get booked.
Seems to work out just fine.
But what is the answer to the problem of education? Well it’s pretty obvious!

No point punishing a person after he has done the wrong thing and either killed himself or others.
Get the mongrel while it is in it's bed, and beat it with a lead pipe...tell it to behave whilst walking, riding or driving. That folks, is an example of lateral thinking. :lol:
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Howzat » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:10 pm

find_bruce wrote:The double standard is the expectation that cyclists are somehow different to other people & need to be perfect in order to be considered legitimate. There is no evidence that, as a group, cyclists are any better or worse at following the road rules than the rest of the population


It's not a double standard. It's a single standard. All road users are expecting to follow the rules - as the proliferation of red light and speed cameras catching drivers evidence.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:44 pm

I'm just waiting for human 909 to arrive............... :mrgreen:
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:04 pm

Howzat wrote:
find_bruce wrote:The double standard is the expectation that cyclists are somehow different to other people & need to be perfect in order to be considered legitimate. There is no evidence that, as a group, cyclists are any better or worse at following the road rules than the rest of the population


It's not a double standard. It's a single standard. All road users are expecting to follow the rules - as the proliferation of red light and speed cameras catching drivers evidence.

The double standard is that such behaviour from other road users is hardly noticed by the other road users. Stand on any busy street corner and you'll see a distressingly high incidence of outlawed by all groups. but it seems that the only ones that get noticed and broadly condemned use wheels but no engine.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:08 pm

And before anybody wants to jump on me for defending naughty boys and girls on bikes, come for a ride with me and listen to my comments when I see them at it...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby g-boaf » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:32 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:I'm just waiting for human 909 to arrive............... :mrgreen:


Or Ron! :D

We could do with cycling clubs not doing sprinting on the roads in among traffic. That was quite bad not only for the unlucky guy who crashed - but it tarnishes the image of us all in the eyes of others.

Personally - I can't do much, I don't do much riding on the road like the commuters do, most of mine is on dedicated cycling tracks like M7.

If I am on the road, I try and do the right thing. Which is more than can be said for the Mr Ordinary on Merrylands Road this afternoon on his ordinary bike, wearing sandals and ordinary shorts and t-shirt, happily mixing it with traffic - with his helmet hanging from the left handlebar!!!! I kid you not! Later, he then took to the pedestrian only footpath - which is also illegal.

And another happens to be a nearby resident who is nearing 80 and cannot drive anymore. He rides his bicycle everywhere - on footpaths only, even where it is not allowed. So, breaking the law! Throw the book at him, hey Mr Scruby?

I use this example to show how the local area and parts of Sydney are not set up to cater for this kind of commuter who clearly isn't wanting to ride on the road for his old age frail nature and the fact he isn't very fast, of course.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:32 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:I'm just waiting for human 909 to arrive............... :mrgreen:


You called? 8)

Well, sorry, that’s not how civilization works. And it contributes to a stressful street climate of vindictive, they-started-it behavior that gets people hurt.

It seems that somebody's understanding of "how civilization works" is a bit off. Not to mention failing to recognise that the perception that cyclists break rules isn't mirrored by the equally true statement that drivers break rules.

Personally, I will continue to break numerous laws whether it be on foot, bike, car or sitting on my couch. The laws I break almost universally are ones that do not harm others or damage society. I will not sit with smug superiority over others simply for stopping at a red light. This is about as absurd as being smug about having a bell attached.

But none of this discussion will affect the terrible ( :roll: ) law breaking behaviour of the young female commuter in a skirt on a 3-speed that I followed down St-Kilda Rd a few weeks ago. Her and others like her will continue to take up cycling in greater numbers and continue to recognises the absurdity of stopping for a red light on an empty pedestrian crossing. Fighting to stop such law breaking is a fight against common sense.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby martinjs » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:01 pm

human909 wrote:
gorilla monsoon wrote:I'm just waiting for human 909 to arrive............... :mrgreen:


You called? 8)

Well, sorry, that’s not how civilization works. And it contributes to a stressful street climate of vindictive, they-started-it behavior that gets people hurt.

It seems that somebody's understanding of "how civilization works" is a bit off. Not to mention failing to recognise that the perception that cyclists break rules isn't mirrored by the equally true statement that drivers break rules.

Personally, I will continue to break numerous laws whether it be on foot, bike, car or sitting on my couch. The laws I break almost universally are ones that do not harm others or damage society. I will not sit with smug superiority over others simply for stopping at a red light. This is about as absurd as being smug about having a bell attached.

But none of this discussion will affect the terrible ( :roll: ) law breaking behaviour of the young female commuter in a skirt on a 3-speed that I followed down St-Kilda Rd a few weeks ago. Her and others like her will continue to take up cycling in greater numbers and continue to recognises the absurdity of stopping for a red light on an empty pedestrian crossing. Fighting to stop such law breaking is a fight against common sense.


And there in lies the problem, as usually it's you who doesn't get it. What's to stop cars drivers thinking the same way, fair dinkum you should move to somewhere that suits your style, all those Indian is a pretty good place for you. Road rules barely exist over there, it's riders like you and said mention female rider that gives Cyclist a bad name. The trouble is you in you arrogants don't seem to realize although you think no ones about there is always some looking out a Window, walking along the footpath, who see's what your doing and thinks "look another silly law breaking cyclist" Well from me at least THANKS FOR NOTHING CLOWN!

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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby wilddemon » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:58 pm

^ yeah agree. I think the root of this arrogance is "I'm right and refuse to be convinced otherwise". This unwavering stance is typical of what a lot of drivers think cyclists assume.

Now to take some acid and wait for xplora :D
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:07 pm

g-boaf wrote:
gorilla monsoon wrote:I'm just waiting for human 909 to arrive............... :mrgreen:


Or Ron! :D

Oh I don't know. Clearly there are plenty of others here with a working moral compass so no need for any additional comment from me.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:38 pm

martinjs wrote:And there in lies the problem, as usually it's you who doesn't get it. What's to stop cars drivers thinking the same way

Nothing is stopping car drivers from thinking the same way. And if a car driver safely drives through and empty intersection against a red light I don't see that as the end of the world.

martinjs wrote:it's riders like you and said mention female rider that gives Cyclist a bad name. The trouble is you in you arrogants don't seem to realize

Its not arrogance. Riding through an red light empty intersection at 4am when the sensor isn't working while nobody is looking isn't arrogant. Does it suddenly become arrogant if the sun is up and somebody is looking out a window?

martinjs wrote:although you think no ones about there is always some looking out a Window, walking along the footpath, who see's what your doing and thinks "look another silly law breaking cyclist" Well from me at least THANKS FOR NOTHING CLOWN!

Many cyclists will continue to behave in a harmless way while breeching some innocuous laws. (I also don't have a bell on all my bikes.) If you want to cast judgement then so be it.

RonK wrote:Oh I don't know. Clearly there are plenty of others here with a working moral compass so no need for any additional comment from me.

I'd be interested to hear your "moral" justifications. This sounds a very curious take on morality..... :?
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby Philipthelam » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:49 pm

human909 wrote: Riding through an red light empty intersection at 4am when the sensor isn't working while nobody is looking isn't arrogant.


IMO riding through an empty intersection because the sensor is not working is OK. However riding through an empty (or not empty) intersection where the sensor still works is Not Ok. These are two completely different things.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:04 pm

Philipthelam wrote:IMO riding through an empty intersection because the sensor is not working is OK. However riding through an empty (or not empty) intersection where the sensor still works is Not Ok. These are two completely different things.


So it seems breaking the law and going through red light is sometimes ok. :idea: I guess we just have different threshold of what makes it ok. I personally don't see what was wrong with the young lady going through a pedestrian crossing with not a pedestrian in sight.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby jcjordan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:17 am

Philipthelam wrote:
human909 wrote: Riding through an red light empty intersection at 4am when the sensor isn't working while nobody is looking isn't arrogant.


IMO riding through an empty intersection because the sensor is not working is OK. However riding through an empty (or not empty) intersection where the sensor still works is Not Ok. These are two completely different things.

+1

The fact is every time a cyclists jumps a light it harms all of us.

It goes towards creating a sence of disregard towards all laws in the eyes of the majority. This then gives them the right (at least in their opinon) the right to treat us with less respect.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:35 am

I am glad I live somewhere where commonsense prevails... well at least when it comes to riding a bike.

There would be riots on the streets if all cyclists suddenly started stopping at every red light holding up traffic :P .
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby jcjordan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:10 am

toolonglegs wrote:I am glad I live somewhere where commonsense prevails... well at least when it comes to riding a bike.

There would be riots on the streets if all cyclists suddenly started stopping at every red light holding up traffic :P .

You are lucky enough to live somewhere where more people ride and see the bike as a transport tool rather than a kids toy. This is not the case in Australia.

We also have a much greater sence of entitlement by our road users. This is not just reflected in how cyclists are treated but other road users.

Personally I see the cause is our weak driver training requirements and slack enforcement of laws.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:57 am

jcjordan wrote:The fact is every time a cyclists jumps a light it harms all of us.

It goes towards creating a sence of disregard towards all laws in the eyes of the majority. This then gives them the right (at least in their opinon) the right to treat us with less respect.


The fact is every time a motorist runs a light/speeds/fails to stop at stop sign it harms all of us motorists.

Why does this not work?

Rule-breaking cyclists harming me, a law-abiding cyclist is just a huge load of bollocks. You are only responsible for your own actions. If you get some flack from work colleagues or friends, deal with it. Don't feel responsible unless your actions are irresponsible.

Like human909, I don't regard crossing through a failed red signal as being irresponsible. It can be done perfectly safely,if you use your eyes and judgement well. Even some real red signals are questionable. For example near me we have pedestrian lights that often trigger when there is no-one within cooee. I think there is some link with traffic from a side street, but often they will go red and hold up traffic for 20-30 seconds and no person crosses, nor do any vehicles turn out. In the car I am sorely tempted to ignore them (but I don't). The same would apply on the bike.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby jcjordan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:38 am

il padrone wrote:
jcjordan wrote:The fact is every time a cyclists jumps a light it harms all of us.

It goes towards creating a sence of disregard towards all laws in the eyes of the majority. This then gives them the right (at least in their opinon) the right to treat us with less respect.


The fact is every time a motorist runs a light/speeds/fails to stop at stop sign it harms all of us motorists.

Why does this not work?

Rule-breaking cyclists harming me, a law-abiding cyclist is just a huge load of bollocks. You are only responsible for your own actions. If you get some flack from work colleagues or friends, deal with it. Don't feel responsible unless your actions are irresponsible.
.


It may not harm you in a physical since but it harms us as a group in terms of how we are perseved. You only need to see the comments made by so many. They all have a comment about how we are all law breakers because a minority break the law.

The reason that you doubt see it as much about motorists in general is that you don't normally generalise blame on a group in which you belong as this would lay blame on yourself. You can see something similar within subsets of the motorists community in how they see P platers and fancy cars
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:55 am

jcjordan wrote:You only need to see the comments made by so many. They all have a comment about how we are all law breakers because a minority break the law.

Words! Meh!

I ride my bike in a safe, confident, reasonable and legal manner. As long as drivers treat me with the legally required care, overtake safely and give way where required, I care little what words they are muttering behind the wheel.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby jcjordan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:23 am

il padrone wrote:
jcjordan wrote:You only need to see the comments made by so many. They all have a comment about how we are all law breakers because a minority break the law.

Words! Meh!

I ride my bike in a safe, confident, reasonable and legal manner. As long as drivers treat me with the legally required care, overtake safely and give way where required, I care little what words they are muttering behind the wheel.


The fact is that as they are muttering those words they don’t feel the need, but do feel justified, in not giving way to cyclist as they should, coming to close to them and similar actions.

As long as their opinion is that we are a nuisance on the road and not law abiding they will see no reason to obey those laws that relate to us.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby human909 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:31 am

jcjordan wrote:It may not harm you in a physical since but it harms us as a group in terms of how we are perseved.

Haters will hate. If they choose to hate for a unjust reason then that is no reason to change behaviour. Tour'd'france wantabes, hipsters, overweight people in Lycra, MAMILS, bearded recumbent, unicyclists, BMX riders with low seats or 3 speed riders trundling safely through a red light. Many of these are perceived by others as being stupid behaviour.

I'm not going to shout out and complain about all these groups harm others perception of cyclist. That is not my problem nor is it any of my business how others if they are not harming others.

toolonglegs wrote:I am glad I live somewhere where commonsense prevails... well at least when it comes to riding a bike.

Common sense seems to prevail most of the time where I ride too. :-)

jcjordan wrote:The fact is that as they are muttering those words they don’t feel the need, but do feel justified, in not giving way to cyclist as they should, coming to close to them and similar actions.

As long as their opinion is that we are a nuisance on the road and not law abiding they will see no reason to obey those laws that relate to us.

Can we please stop this notion that if EVERY cyclist obeyed EVERY rule then suddenly everything will be rosy! How about simply holding everyone responsible for their own actions, and not holding people responsible for OTHER people's actions!
Last edited by human909 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:32 am

jcjordan wrote: they will see no reason to obey those laws that relate to us.

In general, I have little concern with the problem you refer to. At least 99.5% of drivers give way to me where required.
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Re: Advocacy article: "We need to follow the rules of the ro

Postby The 2nd Womble » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:51 pm

If its a law, for chemists sake just obey it. What harm is there is being the bigger man? Someone has to be, and yet half in here are waiting for the other guy to make the first move. It's puerile in the extreme.
And yes, every day I drive AND ride I do my utmost to obey the road rules. Why? Because its one less Richardhead for everyone else to contend with. Shock horror if everyone did likewise we'd all be fine.




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