Listen to this sobering NPR report on the tumultuous on-road relationship between cars and bikes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic crashes killed 716 cyclists last year and injured 52,000 people riding bikes, trikes and unicycles.
“These bicyclists are extremely rude, and they take up the road — four, five people at a time,” complained one caller to NPR member station KPCC’s show AirTalk. The caller said he lives in Mandeville Canyon, and he has had it with cyclists.
“When you pull up alongside them and ask them to stay out of your way, they yell at you,” he said. “They’re extremely provocative, they’re asking for trouble, and this is not the worst case that’s going to happen. Someone’s going to get killed, and to be frank with you, the residents aren’t going to feel too bad about it.” (NPR)
In Chicago, Thomas Lynch slammed on the brakes of his truck in front of some bicyclists in order to make them crash into them. Why am I posting this? Because he’s from Florida. Fort Lauderdale, to be specific. Read the article here. More importantly, read the 75+ comments from many people who thought the bicyclists deserved to crash. And we thought Miami Herald or Sun-Sentinel commenters were bad!
I’m surprised we don’t have more of this intentional harm around here, although I am pretty certain I experienced some last week. I was riding in an undesignated bicycle lane coming up to a red light, slowing down, when the passenger in a truck I was passing opened his door right in front of me. Needless to say I went down, luckily with little more than a scraped knee due to my low speed. Since the truck had just passed me and I was wearing a neon yellow jacket, I found it hard to believe that he didn’t know I was there. I was ready to punch the guy in the face but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Next time I will probably call the police just to see if they’ll give the guy a ticket. They may try to give me a ticket instead, but it’s worth a try. So check your mirrors if you ever open a car door on the road. This is the second time I’ve been doored that way and I won’t let the next person get away with it, intentional or not.
“Miami motorists said they saw other drivers slam on their brakes, run red lights and talk on cell phones, according to AutoVantage, a Connecticut-based automobile membership club offering travel services and roadside assistance.”
Let’s not forget: One finger salutes, driving on the shoulders in heavy traffic, illegal u-turns, cutting off, total disregard for traffic laws, pedestrians, traffic signals, or anything else which attempts to hamper “progress,” nanny-nanny Boo-Boo Faces, drag racing…am I missing anything?
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