What Happened

From the news article: Investigators “are still trying to understand exactly what happened,” Ouimet said.

I’ll tell you what happened.

A bicyclist got hooked (not your standard right-hook as shown below) in a bicycle track because the infrastructure put him into conflict with turning traffic. He probably died thinking he was safe.

Check out the street view — a 2-way track on one side of a divided street. Really bad.

Such facilities are more dangerous than riding in the travel lane with traffic. And the city officials who design, build, and vote for such dangerous facilities are acting immorally – they are willing to risk the lives of citizens to gain mode share.

At this late date in the history of building bicycle facilities — and with so many right-hook deaths in cities with poorly designed lanes and tracks — one can no longer claim not to know that building a lane or track up to an intersection is a terrible idea.

We’re lucky in Springfield. Our traffic engineers know better.

UPDATE: More from Khal Spencer.

Here’s the classic right-hook — a real killer:

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Comments 41

  1. dkmnow wrote:

    I got right-hooked at Grand & South, thirty-two years ago. Since that day, I’ve never trusted a motorist to follow the rules of the road. And I’ve never had so much as a close-call since.

    Posted 31 Jul 2012 at 10:51 pm
  2. Angelo Dolce wrote:

    These are still common designs despite the known problems. I gather current plans for Washington DC include through bike lanes to the right of double right turn (only) lanes. After years of planning a new South St. bridge, in Dec. 2010 Philadelphia put bike lanes to the right of right turn only lanes onto I-76 (where the bicyclists will never be turning right).

    I think this is a pretty clear indicator these facilities are really designed for motorists to get bicyclists out of the way.

    AD

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 2:26 am
  3. Steve A wrote:

    Let’s see – cyclist had the right of way. motorist didn’t see cyclist so no charges there. Does that mean we will see negligent homicide charges against the facility designer? Nobody would accept such nonsense in “roads meant for cars.”

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 2:33 am
  4. Ian Cooper wrote:

    Interestingly, Christophe Columb Avenue is one of the streets studied in last year’s infamous Lusk study “Risk of injury for bicycling on cycle tracks versus in the street” (available here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3064866/?tool=pubmed ).

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 5:32 am
  5. Ian Cooper wrote:

    I guess I should clarify my previous post. The Lusk study was the one that claimed an increase in safety on bike paths when the reference streets were obviously not comparable to the streets with bike paths. The streets with bike paths either had much fewer intersections, or they were on far less busy roads than the reference streets.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 5:37 am
  6. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Wow. I guess when it comes to being hit by a truck, a right hook or head on crossing crash will both do the trick.

    Once again, reality trumps the assertions that these facilities are “safe”. They are not “safe”, because they reinforce bad practice, i.e., separation in practice reinforces separation in thought. Serious residual risk remains, as the cyclist discovered.

    There is no way I know of, short of completely separate facilities, to keep cars, trucks, and bikes from occasionally crashing into each other. Shit happens. People space out, screw up, or break the law. Except in a perfect world, you cannot control all outcomes.

    Short of complete separation, the question isn’t how do we effect half-assed separation (cycletracks) but how do we make vehicle operation most intuitive, because that, to me, will reduce crashes.

    Condolences.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 5:41 am
  7. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Ok, if cycletracks are supposed to protect, why didn’t the cyclist have a protected traffic light cycle?

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 5:56 am
  8. Ian Cooper wrote:

    Based on the news article (if I’m reading it right), it would seem this was a left cross:

    http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/06/13/animation-preventing-the-left-cross/

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 6:12 am
  9. Ian Cooper wrote:

    Sorry – I’m wrong. Apparently the bike lane here is two-way on the same side of the street. So the cyclist was hit while in a contra-flow situation. How a motorist could have missed seeing him is incomprehensible to me. He was right in front of him the whole time.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 6:30 am
  10. Khal Spencer wrote:

    It looks to me like it was still a crossing crash, if not the classic one. The southbound cyclist (thru) would have been crossed by the northbound truck turning West across the cycletrack.

    One can ask how the hell the truck driver missed the cyclist, since the cyclist was not in a blind spot. Inattention? From the comments on the Gazette, one could wonder if the police did a lousy job investigating.

    Also, I wonder if the truck was signalling a turn and if the cyclist was paying attention to the truck, or if the cyclist, reinforced by bad design in his “safe” separate facility, was paying little or no attention to motor vehicle traffic. I don’t know, but I suspect Montreal doesn’t teach S-E-E to cyclists.

    The problem I have with the design is that it introduces the “sidewalk rideout” hazard by putting cyclist and motorist on separate facilities and not managing right of way properly, i.e., both cyclist and truck driver had the green. The cycletracks alongside streets I saw in Europe had protected crossing cycles. Obviously, this creates delays for everyone, so I suspect they are glossed over here in the US and Canada.

    Bottom line: Were the two principles paying attention to each other?

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 6:41 am
  11. Ian Cooper wrote:

    Actually, I can see how a motorist could easily have not been able to see a cyclist. This shows the truck’s point of view as it approached the turn:

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=45.549082,-73.626978&spn=0.001653,0.002808&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=45.549147,-73.627126&panoid=9rtHMr1Ak79eb6D-Bhe5KQ&cbp=12,168.81,,0,22.44

    Those three signs on the traffic light post could easily have obscured a cyclist coming towards the intersection. As the truck approached, the signs could have masked an approaching cyclist.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 6:46 am
  12. Khal Spencer wrote:

    You are right, Ian. There is a lot of visual clutter.

    Plus, the truck driver would have to be watching to avoid the classic right hook from northbound thru cyclists. And watching where he was going. And watching for peds.

    Its inexcusable that one could design such a facility and then have both the truck and bike have the same green light cycle (see original Google link Andy provided–you can see the little green cycletrack light). AASHTO doesn’t like this design for a reason–its basically a bicycle sidewalk. Without a dedicated protected crossing cycle, its not much different in crash type than a sidewalk rideout crash.

    The so called advocates extoll NACTO for pushing this crap? As John Allen has said, if you do this stuff, you need to do it right. If you do it half-assed, you kill people because inexperienced and gullible riders count on the design to keep them safe. I know roads are not always safe and I know drivers are sometimes clueless. By requiring bicyclists to ride in the real world rather than in some mythical Land of Oz, we keep them alive. That is what the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Saavy Cyclist, and Traffic Skills teachers do.

    Sadly, the cycling teaching goes against design practice supported by advocates more intent on putting butts on bikes than on making sure the designs work as advertised and that the new cyclists are indeed Saavy.

    Wow. Now I am getting almost as angry as Andy. Immoral indeed.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 6:58 am
  13. Khal Spencer wrote:

    My last grump on this: http://labikes.blogspot.com/2012/08/cycletracks-safe-until-you-are-dead.html

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 9:01 am
  14. Andy Cline wrote:

    Geez … I can’t be gone a minute without you guys filling up the comments! Keep it up!

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 9:24 am
  15. John Schubert wrote:

    They call them “protected.” The definition of “protected” is “hiding collision participants from each other until the moment of impact.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 2:21 pm
  16. Kevin Love wrote:

    The solution, of course is to do intersections right the first time. Here is a video of proper intersections compared to bad examples in the USA.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_870602&feature=iv&src_vid=rBwMRGxtZ9k&v=FlApbxLz6pA

    Here is a video of proper intersections compared to bad examples in the UK and Germany.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBwMRGxtZ9k

    And here are several “live” examples of proper intersections in use.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 6:12 pm
  17. Ian Cooper wrote:

    While the Netherlands videos look very appealing on their surface, they are disingenuous, since they fail to compare the Dutch system with a road without cycle infrastructure, probably because any road with cycle lanes or paths will suffer by comparison.

    Also, they fail to show the dirty little secret of Dutch infrastructure. What if I don’t want to be treated like a pedestrian? What if I don’t want to push a pedestrian-style button to get a light to change so I can go across what is essentially a zebra crossing for bikes? What if I want to use the rights I’m guaranteed under US and British law – to be treated equally as a vehicle operator on the ROAD? The so-called ‘cyclist superiority’ in the Netherlands is not true superiority – it’s based on a kind of affirmative action program for cyclists. It’s reverse discrimination and to be honest, I find it as offensive as the usual kind of discrimination. I don’t want special privileges – I just want fair and equal treatment and free access to public rights of way – something that is not permitted in the Netherlands.

    For cyclists who are used to integrated cycling, the Dutch system is slow and ungainly. It has no proven advantages in terms of safety and it tends to slow bicycle traffic. While there are a few routes in the Netherlands that truly give an advantage to bicycle traffic over motorized traffic, these routes are the exception, not the rule. The rule is a kinder gentler form of cycling inferiority and it’s not something that I could ever see as an improvement over what I enjoy right now.

    Posted 01 Aug 2012 at 8:45 pm
  18. Andy Cline wrote:

    What I saw/experienced in Amsterdam: From an engineering standpoint, these intersections worked as advertised — as long as there were no more than 4 or 5 bicycles per minute moving through (as we see in this video). The mode share in Amsterdam is much higher. So these intersections get clogged easily and, depending upon the location, stay clogged. And then people begin making stupid and dangerous decisions.

    The Dutch promotional video I refer to in my documentary trailer talks about how the Dutch rose up in the 1970s to demand accommodation for bicycles in the face of growing automobile use. Given the bicycle mode share in Amsterdam, its tragic they settled for so little space.

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 7:20 am
  19. Khal Spencer wrote:

    “… Given the bicycle mode share in Amsterdam, its tragic they settled for so little space.”

    My sentiments exactly. If cycling grows on its own or via government encouragement, one would think it deserved the same level of accomodation as anyone else.

    The Level of Service indicator would be a good place to start. If cyclist and motorist have the same LOS grade, say D, one would say they were equally inconvenienced. If motorists have a B and cyclists an E, the cyclists are being screwed. So I would measure space not in terms of square footage, since a bicycle is much smaller than a car, but on the basis of the actual delay time for bicyclists.

    The definition for an intersection LOS as well as general LOS is here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_service

    I detest the new “bicycling level of service” because it is not based on delay or congestion, but on some touchy-feely stuff like cycling comfort level rather than an objective indicator such as minutes of delay.

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 7:32 am
  20. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Bicycling level of service refs.

    http://www.enhancements.org/download/trb/1538-001.PDF

    http://www.sprinkleconsulting.com/Images/UserSubmitted/BicylceLevelofServiceModel.pdf

    http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/docs/bci.pdf

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 10:01 am
  21. Kevin Love wrote:

    I find it fairly safe to predict that anyone who claims Dutch cycle traffic speeds are slow has never actually been to The Netherlands. If they actually have, I would be curious to know where. As someone has been there, I can say that I’ve never travelled faster in my entire life.

    This is particularly true in the car-free downtowns of most cities. Suddenly traffic lights and almost all traffic control devices are gone. Not needed. Getting rid of cars freed up huge amounts of space for all road users to get around quickly, easily and conveniently.

    One major “Big City” problem with Amsterdam is that it does not have a well-thought-out car-free downtown. Yes, that is something of an understatement! Although I do understand that they are working on it.

    I feel safe in predicting that anywhere cyclists do not have enough room on the road, there is an extremely high probability that one of the root causes of the problem is that far too much road space has been given to cars. Making the road car-free should usually solve that problem.

    Even in non-car-free zones, many cycle routes are planned to completely avoid traffic lights. As pointed out in the videos, making right turns in such zones is done without any interaction with motor vehicles whatsoever.

    I am not the only person who has observed this. See:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/search/label/speed

    And, of course, The Netherlands is the safest place in the world to cycle. See:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/search/label/dutch%20safety%20figures

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 11:53 am
  22. Andy Cline wrote:

    Kevin … Re: speed Exactly. I’ve never had my butt kicked by so many old ladies in my life :-) The Dutch are NOT slow-pokes. Although I would contend that in some circumstances they ride too fast for the conditions.

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 11:59 am
  23. Ian Cooper wrote:

    I’ve been to the Netherlands on a number of occasions. I’ve cycled over 500 miles there. I cycled from Hoek van Holland to Roermond, from Breklenkamp (north of Enschede) via Amsterdam to Haarlem and to Vlissingen.

    The only places I cycled at any reasonable speeds was where I was permitted to use the road.

    At a guess, I’d say the amazing speedy cycle facilities you’re such an advocate for are not in as many places as you seem to think.

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 12:04 pm
  24. Ian Cooper wrote:

    As for NL being the safest place to cycle, that may be true, but that doesn’t prove that NL bike facilities are themselves safe. There could be a number of factors that make cycling in the Netherlands safe.

    And it’s not like there’s much in the way of peer reviewed studies of Dutch bike facilities to go on. The Dutch government seems to be very happy to proclaim their facilities’ safety, but they seem kinda wary of letting people actually put their facilities to rigorous testing.

    The Danes are not so reticent, and what they find seems to paint a different picture than the conventional wisdom that ‘bike facilities are safe’:

    2007 Jensen: Bicycle Tracks and Lanes, a Before – After Study (Copenhagen, Denmark)
    “The safety effects of bicycle tracks in urban areas are an increase of about 10 percent in both crashes and injuries. The safety effects of bicycle lanes in urban areas are an increase of 5 percent in crashes and 15 percent in injuries. Bicyclists’ safety has worsened on roads where bicycle facilities have been implemented.”

    2008 Agerholm: Traffic Safety on Bicycle Paths (Western Denmark)
    “the main results are that bicycle paths impair traffic safety and this is mainly due to more accidents at intersections.”

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 12:18 pm
  25. Ian Cooper wrote:

    But here we’re talking about cycling in the US and Canada, where people’s attitudes to cycling, and the laws under which cycling happens, are quite different from the situation in Holland or even Denmark. The best data we can get to show what happens in terms of safety on US and Canadian roads is by looking at studies in North America itself, and in countries like the UK, where traffic laws and attitudes differ only slightly from those of North America:

    1998 Aultman-Hall: Commuter Cyclist On- and Off-Road Incident Rates (Ottawa-Carlton, Canada)
    “The relative rates for falls and injuries suggest it is safest to cycle on-road followed by off-road paths and trails, and finally least safe on sidewalks… Results suggest a need to discourage sidewalk cycling, and to further investigate the safety of off-road paths/trails.”

    1999 Aultman-Hall: Bicycle Commuter Safety Rates (Toronto, Canada)
    “The relative rates for falls and injuries suggest these events are least common on-road followed by off-road paths, and finally most common on sidewalks… These rates suggest a need for detailed analysis of sidewalk and off-road path bicycle safety.”

    1999 Franklin: Two Decades of the Redway Cycle Paths (Milton Keynes, UK)
    “…the most alarming experience of the Redways is their accident record. Far from realising gains in safety, they have proved over many years to be consistently less safe than even the ‘worst case’ grid roads for adult cyclists of average competence. This is not an accolade for the grid roads, for their safety performance is not good in relation to lower speed roads of more traditional design. But the segregated Redways have proved to be worse. ”

    2001 Wachtel: Risk Factors for Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Collisions at Intersections (Palo Alto, California, USA)
    “Bicyclists on a sidewalk or bicycle path incur greater risk than those on the roadway (on average 1.8 times as great), most likely because of blind conflicts at intersections… intersections, construed broadly, are the major point of conflict between bicycles and motor vehicles. Separation of bicycles and motor vehicles leads to blind conflicts at these intersections.”

    2009 Reynolds: The Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on Bicycling Injuries and Crashes: A Review of the Literature
    Cherry picking data: review claims increased safety on bicycle specific infrastructure, but the review cherry picks and misrepresents data – only the 2009 Daniels study (out of 26 studies reviewed) concerned bicycle specific infrastructure safety, and the review misrepresented its findings.

    2011 Lusk: Risk of Injury for Bicycling on Cycle Tracks Versus in the Street (Montreal, Canada)
    Selection bias: study claims increased safety on bicycle specific infrastructure, but its street comparisons are flawed – the streets compared were in no way similar other than their general geographic location. Busy downtown streets with multiple distractions per block were twinned with bicycle tracks on quieter roads with fewer intersections and fewer distractions.

    2011 Reid: Infrastructure and Cyclist Safety (UK)
    “…evidence suggests that the points at which segregated networks intersect with highways offer heightened risk, potentially of sufficient magnitude to offset the safety benefits of removing cyclists from contact with vehicles in other locations.”

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 12:57 pm
  26. Andy Cline wrote:

    Ian… As I said in my initial posting following my return from Amsterdam, bicycling there is safe because bicycling is safe, not because the facilities make it safe. I thought the facilities in Amsterdam were terribly dangerous made more so by a shocking general lack of bicycling skill. And yet it is safe.

    Thanks for posting that research. Do you have any links you can share?

    Posted 02 Aug 2012 at 8:29 pm
  27. Kevin Love wrote:

    Laws and attitudes vary all over the place within North America. For example, Ontario has Dutch-style “Strict Liability” laws that deem motor vehicle drivers to be automatically liable in any crash. The car driver has the burden of proof to establish that he wasn’t liable. See:

    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90h08_e.htm#BK289

    An excerpt:

    “When loss or damage is sustained by any person by reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle.”

    This is one of the reasons why Ontario’s roads are the safest in North Anerica. See:

    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/orsar/orsar08/overview.shtml

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 12:45 am
  28. Ian Cooper wrote:

    I’m trying to post the studies with the links, but the blog keeps returning a server error. It might not like the size of it.

    I’ll try again later.

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 6:48 am
  29. Ian Cooper wrote:

    I put it up at my blog ( http://ianbrettcooper.blogspot.com/2012/08/bicycle-infrastructure-studies.html ).

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 7:27 am
  30. Andy Cline wrote:

    Ian… Thanks!

    Kevin… Yet I’ve read Dutch bicycling advocates who say that strict liability laws have nothing to do with their level of participation or safety. I think that’s poppycock. I wish we had such laws. thanks for the links.

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 10:04 am
  31. Kevin Love wrote:

    Andy,

    Strict Liability laws are not the be-all and end-all.

    What Dutch cycling advocates such as David Hembrow correctly write is not to exaggerate the importance of Strict Liability.

    I agree with Mr. Hembrow. Strict Liability is only one small part of the complete safety package.

    Which is more important, being able to sue the pants off a motorist who hits me, or a five-ton concrete barrier to prevent him from hitting me in the first place?

    I know which one I would pick…

    Fortunately, it is not an either/or situation. We can have both safe infrastructure treatments and laws that place the responsibility for the harm they do squarely upon car drivers.

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 11:21 am
  32. Kevin Love wrote:

    By the way, here are the concrete barriers to which I referred in my previous post.

    The form the remains of a car-only segregated highway that was converted to a bike-only path.

    There’s just so much that I love about that…

    See:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/masachiba/2537322527/

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 11:25 am
  33. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Concrete barriers work OK until you get to a curbcut or intersection. Then its back to interacting with Mr. Traffic. As John Schubert likes to say, they hide you from traffic until the point of impact. So I see these as having limited usefulness, as this fatal points out, and not very cost effective.

    The advantage to strict liability is that the motorist will be more careful once a few cases make the news and that care will translate to all those parts of the country where barriers are not affordable or impractical, such as the entire length of Old Route 66 east of Albuqerque.

    Improving driving behavior as a solution may be scary to some, but its one reason fatality rates are lower in places like Europe, where draconian penalties apply. Right now, the laws in most of the US are so lax that all sorts of bad habits are reinforced because there is little to dissuade folks from engaging in these habits (i.e., speeding, red light running, driver distraction).

    We just had a case go to trial in New Mexico. A four time repeat drunk driver finally killed someone. Only then did he actually lose his driver’s license. Not to mention, he is facing homicide charges. But too little, too late.

    Concrete monoliths would not have protected the victim of that drunk. Victim was a pregnant mom who underwent an emergency C-section to try to save the baby after that senseless crash with the drunk. Baby died of massive head injury after the C-section, hence the homicide charge.

    AFAIC, and this may offend some “pure” cyclists, but its not just about us and the sooner we learn that and stop acting so self-absorbed, the sooner we might have allies in this war–and its a war. Its about all the other victims of shitty driving, too. You can’t put up enough barriers. You have to deal with the assholes, too. Sorry for the foul language, but living in New Mexico, one wonders how low standards can really go. They are, to be sure, pretty low for cyclists, too, but in the Darwin Award competition, bad cycling is usually self-correcting, as truly bad cycling is good at getting the cyclist out of the gene pool.

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 12:15 pm
  34. Ian Cooper wrote:

    On a related note, I just heard Christy Littleford – the woman who killed MD politician Natasha Pettigrew, then drove a few miles home with Natasha’s bicycle lodged under her car and showering sparks, then made up a lame excuse about thinking that she hit a deer – was finally sentenced today.

    She got a year in prison, 3 years suspended and a $1500 fine. She wasn’t cited for dangerous driving, following too closely, failure to yield right of way, or even improper passing – all of which she must have been guilty of – apparently, she was charged only with leaving the scene of an accident.

    http://uppermarlboro.patch.com/articles/upper-marlboro-woman-sentenced-in-fatal-hit-and-run-incident

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 2:15 pm
  35. Ian Cooper wrote:

    Oops. I missed the ‘several charges’ bit. I guess they did charge her with other stuff.

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 2:19 pm
  36. Kevin Love wrote:

    Meanwhile, around here, we have the case of Mr. Vladimir Rigenco. Mr. Rigenco did not kill anyone. He did not injure anyone. He did not even crash his car.

    What he did do was drive unsafely fast in a residential neighbourhood in the community where he lived. Specifically, 140 km/hr in a 40 km/hr zone.

    Mr.Rigenco then bragged about this deed on an internet web site. Someone reported this to the police.

    Immediately a team of police officers sprang into action. They canvassed the neighbourhood, knocking on everyone’s door to find witnesses to Mr. Rigenco’s behaviour. The police were successful in this search, and after a through police investigation, Mr. Rigenco was charged with the criminal offence of “Dangerous Driving.”

    The criminal offence of Dangerous Driving is punishable by up to five years in jail. Mr. Rigenco pled guilty to the lesser offence of Careless Driving and was sentenced to 12 months probation and a $1,000 fine.

    In addition, his driver’s license was suspended for six months. Also, if he should choose to apply for another driver’s license after six months, he was required to first take a driving course.

    Not in the article is the fact that to get car insurance after a conviction for Careless Driving will cost him at least $5,000 per year.

    See:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/845967–gta-man-convicted-of-careless-driving-after-bragging-online-about-speeding

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 6:55 pm
  37. Khal Spencer wrote:

    If there is lemonade in this lemon, Kevin, its that it was someone on the BMW chat list where Rigencio bragged about his outrageous behavior who reported him to the authorities. Peer pressure is important. Links below. Thankfully this guy didn’t kill anyone. Not everyone is so fortunate.

    Thanks for the story.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/845967–speeding-boast-online-costs-19-year-old-his-licence

    http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/careless-driver-convicted-after-boasting-online-1.540792

    Posted 03 Aug 2012 at 9:20 pm
  38. Kevin Love wrote:

    The point of the story of Mr. Rigencio is that for every time that a car driver kills or seriously injures someone, there are 23 previous “near-misses.” In each of those 23 previous near-misses, the driver behaved in an illegal, negligent, reckless and careless manner. But due to luck alone the car driver did not cause a crash and did not kill or injure anyone.

    Around here, the police goal is to lay criminal charges and to criminally prosecute dangerous drivers for each of the 23 near misses so that the crash that kills or injures someone never happens. Never happens because the driver is in jail or banned from driving when he would otherwise causing the crash.

    This is why every time I see a near-miss and call the police, a team of police officers springs into action and does their level best to criminally prosecute the car driver. This includes canvassing the neighbourhood to find witnesses to the crime.

    If I get the car driver’s licence plate number, then I know that the car driver is going to spend a rather uncomfortable evening in a police interrogation room. Even if the car driver lies and denies everything and the police can’t find any other witnesses or evidence to support criminal charges, being taken down to the police station and interrogated is not the world’s most pleasant experience.

    And the car driver’s wife and family and neighbours all saw him being taken away by the police. So there’s some social shame going on there as well.

    Posted 04 Aug 2012 at 4:50 am
  39. Kevin Love wrote:

    Andy wrote:

    “What I saw/experienced in Amsterdam: From an engineering standpoint, these intersections worked as advertised — as long as there were no more than 4 or 5 bicycles per minute moving through”

    Kevin’s comment:

    I’ve been a couple of place like that in Amsterdam. The root cause of the problem is that too much road space has been given as accomodation to cars. Here is an example of an intersection with a far higher volume of bicycle traffic. There is no problem because bicycles have been given adequate room. See:

    Posted 04 Aug 2012 at 5:45 am
  40. Khal Spencer wrote:

    Those 23 near misses would be called leading indicators of a crash. Sadly where I live, they are glossed over with hand slaps at best.

    Posted 04 Aug 2012 at 6:55 am
  41. Ian Cooper wrote:

    I’ve been investigating the Montreal accident further. The accident occurred at 6:50am and the sun was almost certainly shining in the driver’s eyes. Before he made the turn, everything ahead of him would have been that much more difficult to see. This, and the fact that the traffic light has obscuring signs on it, might go a long way to explaining what happened.

    Posted 05 Aug 2012 at 12:04 pm