The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby sumgy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:29 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:A law as an unenforceable awareness campaign? May as well just throw a few million at the AGF so they can continue their good work while the body count continues to climb. Awareness has done nothing.


But where is there awareness?
Where is the awareness of cyclists rights?
Where is the awareness of the road rules in relation to cyclists?
Where is even the awareness that rego does not pay for roads?

If there are any it is not because of any prolonged campaign by any advocacy group or government.
The reason there is awareness of drink driving etc is because there is significant and prolonged advertising campaigning.

And if awareness has done nothing then tell me what would have happened if there was a 2 beer limit rule put in place with no campaign around it, no way to test it and no penalty for breaching it unless you killed or injured someone after going over it?
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by BNA » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:45 pm

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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:45 pm

Xplora - yes.

To be honest - I get ready to hit the submit button and just think about how my comments may be misunderstood or misintrepreted.... or even how they will be misinterpreted. That said, I feel that my comments on the legislation that will have more value in raising awareness has value - in learning to drive, new drivers will learn that they need to give more space when passing... and it has to be 1 metre (or more). Realistically it is hard to enforce and though it can be potentially used in a court of law, I expect that only in exceptional cases would a driver be fined.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Howzat » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:57 pm

The 2nd Womble wrote:[1.5m can mean the difference between a driver having to change lanes rather than trying to squeeze through. Preferred Australian standard lane width is 3.5m. The typical cyclist rides 1m from roads edge when left to their own devices and not riding defensively. Now, legislate only 1m to pass. This leaves a 1.5m invitation for the motorist to "squeeze" through. RIP.
A metre may matter when you're dead, to the driver who hit you (depending on the penalties for doing so).

Wouldn't that mean that cars could no longer overtake bikes legally where there is only a single lane?
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:19 pm

trailgumby wrote:From experience, change management programs built on carrots alone just don't work. You need some big sticks as well.

Sticks alone will sometimes work, because avoidance of pain is a stronger motivator than pleasure (or altruism in this case - "do the right thing")

What works best is an awareness campaigns backed with a monstrously big stick.

So if we get this law, we'll have both. We *need* both.


The carrot approach doesn't work anymore - so you are indeed right, a big stick approach is needed. It's the only way people will change their attitudes. IE - when it financially hits them, or they lose their ability to drive a vehicle for some time.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:20 pm

Howzat wrote:
The 2nd Womble wrote:[1.5m can mean the difference between a driver having to change lanes rather than trying to squeeze through. Preferred Australian standard lane width is 3.5m. The typical cyclist rides 1m from roads edge when left to their own devices and not riding defensively. Now, legislate only 1m to pass. This leaves a 1.5m invitation for the motorist to "squeeze" through. RIP.
A metre may matter when you're dead, to the driver who hit you (depending on the penalties for doing so).

Wouldn't that mean that cars could no longer overtake bikes legally where there is only a single lane?


That's my thought too (given a lot of my riding is on narrow rural roads), i'm assuming there would need to be something in there to say it's ok if the cyclist directs the motorist to pass when safe, in the same way vehicles are required to stop when a horse rider raises their hand. Of course in the real world a lot of vehicles act in a very dangerous manner around horses in spit of what the law says.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Howzat » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:08 am

Preferred Australian standard lane width is 3.5m. The typical cyclist rides 1m from roads edge when left to their own devices and not riding defensively. Now, legislate only 1m to pass. This leaves a 1.5m invitation for the motorist to "squeeze" through. RIP.


To be clear, wouldn't that mean that cars could no longer overtake bikes legally within a single 3.5 metre wide lane?
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby queequeg » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:16 am

Howzat wrote:
Preferred Australian standard lane width is 3.5m. The typical cyclist rides 1m from roads edge when left to their own devices and not riding defensively. Now, legislate only 1m to pass. This leaves a 1.5m invitation for the motorist to "squeeze" through. RIP.


To be clear, wouldn't that mean that cars could no longer overtake bikes legally within a single 3.5 metre wide lane?


In NSW the current law is that you must change lanes to Overtake. Trouble is, it is never enforced and even the police are not consistent in being aware that this is the case.
When asked on parliament, the then Transport/Roads minister stated that a 1m rule was not required because the current law already requires a full lane change.

So, I can't see the point introducing a 1.5m law if the police are just going to ignore it. The same standard applies after an accident as all you would have to show is that the driver was in the same lane as the cyclist.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby baabaa » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:50 am

A long post but worth putting out.
http://albertmcwilliams.com/post/540159 ... ll-someone

You're Going to Kill Someone
If you keep driving like that, you’re going to kill a cyclist. When you do, it’s going to suck as much for you as it does for them. When you drive by my head at 50 mph I can’t have this conversation with you, so I’m going to do you a favor and talk you through all of your arguments as to why you’re driving wrong (you are) and then you won’t end up killing a human. So read on; you’re welcome.

It’s not if it’s when. You are going to kill or seriously injure someone. You are. Someone’s father, brother, mother, daughter - you are going to end their life, forever, like permanently dead. You’ll be a murderer.

You can save those lives. You need to do two things:

Slow down.
Move over.

A few facts you might not be aware of:

When you pass a cyclist without crossing the yellow line you are breaking the law.
When you pass a cyclist while oncoming traffic is present you are breaking the law.
When you pass a cyclist in a no-passing zone you are breaking the law (this should be obvious yes? Because it’s called a “no passing zone.”)

This law wasn’t made up because the state hates you, or cars, or getting places quickly. This law was enacted because squeezing by a cyclist in the same lane is incredibly dangerous – to the cyclist. It’s not dangerous to you, unless you don’t like jail, or fines, or being a murderer.

NOW YOU MIGHT SAY:

“But, I have places to go and people to do! You’re in my way! Too slow!”

Okay, great, I appreciate your sacrifice. Let’s look at the math. This is math mind you and not subject to opinion. I’ll be generous and assume you’re on a 45mph speed limit road (most cycling takes place on much slower roads, but I’m in a giving mood, because I care about you). When I ride I’m traveling around 20mph. So you’re going 25mph faster than me, or about 55% faster. Again, being generous, you might be stuck behind a cyclist for 8 seconds. Usually much, much less. I know it seems like a long time, but it’s not. It’s 8 seconds. That’s with heavy oncoming traffic. However, you’re not stopped for that time, you’re traveling at 20mph. This means that slowing down, waiting for traffic to clear and passing the cyclist safely costs you about four seconds… max. Do you want to risk my life (permanently) and you being a murderer (forever) for four seconds? Really?

“But, you ride too far out in the lane, you’re supposed to ride single file, all the way to the right. You’re an !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !!!”

Legally, you’re wrong (in Michigan at least). Let’s leave the law out of this though. Go ahead and see above and know that I’d rather you be annoyed than me be dead. You’d rather that too, because this way you don’t have to go home and tell your kids they can’t have a swimming pool because you paralyzed a cyclist from the waist down. Riding further out in the lane forces you to slow down and wait for traffic to clear to pass me. You’re less likely to hit me on purpose than because you drive like an inconsiderate bag of dicks.

“But, I pay taxes/registration fees/gas tax.”

This one is really dumb. See, you pay usage fees because your heavy-ass car destroys the road. Guess what, bikes don’t wear out roads like cars do. And guess what else (this is going to blow your mind) nearly everyone you’ve ever passed on a bike also has a car, and registration fees, and gas taxes (crazy huh!). However, I use my car less and cause less than my share of wear on said road than I pay for. You see where I’m going with this? You should take this argument and hope no one ever hears it because it works against you.

“But, Cyclists disobey laws all the time, they run red lights and stuff, so screw them!”

Yes, I do. I ride my bike safely. The rules say I’m supposed to pretend that I’m a car, but see, that’s dangerous if I’m the only one obeying that rule. I’m pretending I’m a car, and you think I’m a bike, and you run over me and kill me with your car. This is bad for both of us. So, the minute you treat me like a car, I’ll start acting like one. In the meantime the difference between when you break the law and when I do is that you’re endangering my life, and I’m endangering your … wiper blades? Maybe? Probably not even that.

“But, I live in Ann Arbor and Bike Lanes! Fix our roads first! Uppity Cyclists! I pay for this !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !! and I hate you! Bikes slow my commute! Get them off the road!”

(for reference, read the comments section here)

Here’s the thing. You’re being shortsighted. Imagine if all those people on bikes that you hate commuted downtown one-per-car. What would that do to your commute? What would that do to your parking availability downtown? What would those additional heavy cars do the pavement condition (remember that my bike doesn’t wear the road at all) ? I’ll give you a hint … you’re a lot better off with the cyclists. They’re doing you a favor. They’re saving you money. They’re paying the same as you for that road, but using it less. You should be thanking them. You should be handing me a cupcake through the window.

“But you’re wrong!”

Nope. I’m not. Who do you think knows more about cycling, the guy on the bike or the guy in the car?

So to wrap it up:

Slow down.

Move over.

And for !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !!’s sake stop texting.

This way, I won’t be dead, and you won’t be a murderer.

You’re Welcome.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Howzat » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:43 am

baabaa wrote:...you’re going to kill a cyclist. When you do, it’s going to suck as much for you as it does for them.

Or not.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Xplora » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:45 pm

Howzat wrote:
baabaa wrote:...you’re going to kill a cyclist. When you do, it’s going to suck as much for you as it does for them.

Or not.

The only people that won't be ruined by this event are psychopaths. Normal, functional humans can't kill other people without remorse. There is a reason why a solid third of all serving military are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Even trained professional killers can't handle it.
There is serious trauma. Murdering someone will haunt you forever, and the writer is right to remind them of it.
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Re: The SCA Minimum Safe Passing Distances Survey

Postby Howzat » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:30 am

Xplora wrote:
Howzat wrote:The only people that won't be ruined by this event are psychopaths. Normal, functional humans can't kill other people without remorse.

Quite right, Xplora, and I agree.
But feelings of remorse might not be enough to balance the scales. The courts will let people escape consequences for running over a cyclist, apparently. Plenty of people have different ideas of what is a safe passing distance, with the sociopathic amongst us willing to close-shave cyclists, and to risk feeling bad (or having to cry crocodile tears) if someone else gets hurt.
All good reasons to support a minimum passing distance law. Penalties apply for getting too close, opinions of perceived risk notwithstanding.
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