Cyclists do not have to die. We can change the laws to protect them and prosecute drivers who tune them out and ultimately kill them. First, I must add that military bases do a better job of protecting pedestrians and cyclists than any community in the country. Many of the safeguards that are standard protocol in the military should be adopted by all communities and enforced by law.
1. Premis for new cylist law. The driver of the motor vehcile is always at fault. This should be obvious. A cyclist can not crash into a car and destroy it. Therefore, it behooves drivers to be more cautious, and understand that they are liable, if they strike a pedestrian or cyclist, first time, and every time. There will be no appeals, or judicial double-talk. We have drivers who deliberately run down pedestrians or cyclists, and say it was an accident. These criminals walk away from murder as free men or women. This is a class war as pedestrians are frequently homeless. Drivers resent having to see poor pedestrians walking, and they frequently bombard 911 operaters with false reports. Police harass pedestrians by following them or removing them from the roadways. This is class warfare which is currently sanctioned by state and Federal Laws. You take away a person's job, he loses his house and car. And ends up a pedestrian, who then suffers the humiliation and jeers of drivers who think they are somehow better than pedestrians.
2. Liability of the Federal, Sate and local governments. Traffic control must be taken more seriously. Our government creates accident situations by its inaction on recommendations from their own traffic smart guys. I asked these experts why they do not suggest changes to certain intersections, and I was told they do make recommendations which are voted down in budget committees. Our own government is waging class warfare on the poor and indigent people who rely on public transportation. They are forced to cross intersections which are designed to kill them. Yet they have no choice but to cross. As they cross the intersection, they are met with evil stares and a veil of indifference. The laws have to be rewritten to wake up the politicians, whose decisions not to fix the workings of road intersections, kill and kill again. Not just once, but a month later the same accident happens again for the same reason, ad infinitum.
Law Enforcement. Lawmen are allowed descretion. Frequently, law enforcement officers allow drivers to walk when it is clear that they killed a cyclist. This is because the officers are drivers, and have empathy for the driver who may be trumatic over what they have done. But this is a symtom of class war. When the dead cyclist can not speak for himself, the drivers spin the truth in their direction. This is a case of justice running towards the devil. It is obvious that someone is dead, and that the driver was inattentive. Should he not pay for his crimes. Any officer who feels sorry for the driver should resign his badge, if he can not enforce the law. And any officer who helps cover up the guilt of the driver should be prosecuted. It is always the fault of the driver. It is inattntiveness, it is speed, it is sometimes premeditated. The law should be clear that if you kill someone accidentally or otherwise, you will stand before a judge to explain what is unexplainable, and not be let off scott free by a sympathetic policeman.
3. Insurance companies. Insurance should always cover the cyclist injuries 100%. It is unacceptable that driver error caused a cyclist to become a bed patient the rest of his life, and insurance is saying he's not covered. This is class war fare. The insurance company is saying, drivers are covered, but pedestrians and cyclists are not. Again, we find Americans punishing the less fortunate of our society.
4. Bycycle routes: It is a crime against reason for cities to announce bike routes without putting a 100% effort in making these routes safe for the bikers. Besides liability incurrences, death and mayhem result when drivers are unprepared to share the road, because of inconsistencies in design of the roadways. It should be law, that there will be no right on red at a designated bicycle intersection route. Speeds should be lowered to 35 mph approaching bike intersections, and cars should have their flashers on indicating their concern for safety. Signs should be overwhelming in favor of bike safety.
5. Driver's Education: All driver's Education classes should include at least 10 hours of bicycle instruction. If a driver can not understand bike rules, he should not be given a driver's license. Make share the road a reality and not just a sign on the roadway which drivers ignore. When someone fails to get a license because they do not understand Bicycle rules, it sends up a red flag that this is someone who will get into an accident with a bicycle.
6. Children who ride bikes: Here you can see some effort to protect children on bikes. But it is a token effort, as if the government wanted you to think they were actually interested in protecting children on bikes. I say, make it clear that if you do not slow down, and pay attention around school buses, student crossings, school zones, you will lose your license for a year or more. Enforce child safety zones and put offending drivers in jail.
In conclusion, we can do much more to protect the unfortunate, remove unsafe drivers and save lives. We need only rewrite our laws to ensure that our pedestrians and cyclists are protected.
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