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Let's "liven up our dour wardrobes with a few shades of traffic cone"
December 8, 2013 9:57 PM   Subscribe

"Replace the paint of your car and accessories with reflective material" is the first of several suggestions from TriMore, a brilliant parody of the "Be Seen, Be Safe" campaign from TriMet, provider of public transit for Portland, OR.

While advocacy sites like BikePortland have supported "Be Seen, Be Safe" campaigns in the past and agree that there are still plenty of bike ninjas out there, some folks think more of the advertising should be directed elsewhere.
posted by sibilatorix (33 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
These awareness campaigns don't have to be mutually exclusive and there is plenty of money directed at distracted driving awareness.
There’s no appeal for drivers to plaster “reflective stickers or tape” all over their vehicles (though that’d certainly be entertaining to see).
You don't have to appeal for this; motorized transport is required by law to be fitted with reflectors and lights at all corners plus additional requirements for height, length and width once past specified limits. Both reflectors and lights have to meet FMVSS/CMVSS 108 standards. Lights are required by law to be on when it's dark (and many places whenever the windshield wipers are on though most people don't know this).

I don't know what the rules for bicycles are in Oregon (in BC the dynamo lights the author mentioned probably wouldn't be legal) but here the requirements for lights and reflectors on bikes are laughable compared to those on automobiles. On top of that enforcement is lax and compliance rate is low.
posted by Mitheral at 10:23 PM on December 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


I grew up in Portland. One thing I never, ever miss when not living here is the bicycle culture. Maybe I'm a jerk for admitting it, but sentiments like "For starters, any speed where you can’t spot and stop for pedestrians regardless of their attire doesn’t sound “reasonable and prudent” to me." are rediculous. The 'Oregon Basic Rule' for speed means that cops can cite you at any speed, regardless of the posted limit. It's intent was to cover snow, downpour, etc wherein the speed limit may be 55 but visibility or road conditions dictate that it would be prudent to drive slower. Not that drivers need to be doing 10mph in a 25 on the off chance that a cyclist with nothing reflective crosses the vehicle's path.

Regardless of attire? If I cloaked my car in black non-reflective material and blacked out my lights I probably shouldn't be too upset when I'm inevitably rear-ended.

"There’s no appeal for drivers to plaster “reflective stickers or tape” all over their vehicles (though that’d certainly be entertaining to see)." because legally you're required to have lights on in Oregon from dusk until dawn.

"Until we stop trying to put high-viz vests onto straw men" yes like all those complacent automatons that work on road construction.

"Do whatever you can to avoid situations where you rely on a motorist’s sobriety, attentiveness, or lawfulness to ensure your safety. Ride or walk like you’re invisible.

If it fits your sense of style, feel free to dress the part too.
" Hey if that is what you're into, please do. Don't complain when I hit you with a 2000lb machine a 10mph though.

As far as I'm aware in Oregon a cyclist is only required to place a red light anywhere on the rear of his/her bike or body. Front lights are optional I believe.

On preview, and reading some of the comments on that blog, the 'campaign' this guy is looking for might be summed up as a driver's license. You know, where you're supposed to learn the rules of the road and safety. Just like the cyclist's license you need to operate a deadly vehicle.
posted by efalk at 10:43 PM on December 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


DC, which is filled to the brim with a-hole drivers and taxis and diplomats who don't even have to give a damn, has also been playing the pedestrian blame game: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/17541/is-ped-enforcement-campaign-blaming-the-victim/.

The ads are ridiculous scare mongering.

DC has one of the worst citywide pedestrian fatality rates, as per this map from the Federal Highway Administration.

You almost can't fault them for targeting blame for pedestrians. I doubt drivers would pay attention to the ads, I mean, average drivers can't even be bothered to pay attention to where they're driving.

And, in Portland, more than once I've seen Trimet drivers on the downtown bus mall speed up and then mumble about teaching jaywalkers a lesson.
posted by Skwirl at 10:45 PM on December 8, 2013


Oh hey, let's not derail this with some BS about licensing deadly bikes. Go read an actuarial table and maybe read a book about how statistics work and come back to us.
posted by Skwirl at 10:49 PM on December 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


It is incredibly frustrating that North American urban traffic safety campaigns amount to telling pedestrians and cyclists that (despite all reason) they are 100% responsible for their safety, and telling drivers pretty much nothing. Driving is just a force of nature, apparently - there couldn't possibly be anything done to prevent cars from turning left or right into crosswalks with pedestrians, or driving in the bike lane.

In my area, we've been getting periodic police crackdowns at particularly high-collision intersections, which primarily results in pedestrians getting tickets for crossing against the light. This, despite the fact that the stats show most pedestrians who are hit had the right of way.
posted by parudox at 10:50 PM on December 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


mumble about teaching jaywalkers a lesson.
posted by Skwirl at 10:45 PM on December 8 [+] [!]


So someone driving something that weighs in excess of 20,000lbs and is responsible for dozens of lives inside his vehicle might over time get annoyed with a group of people who break the law by walking in front of said 20,000lb vehicle while it legally has the right of way? Crazy!
posted by efalk at 10:54 PM on December 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


The deadly vehicle remark was intended to illustrate that although rare, bicycles are vehicles which can attain great speed and cause harm. I'm not aware of any state that requires any certification for operating one. If you think car drivers are awful, push to up the training requirements to operate one (which I'm for) but really, cyclists flaunt the laws of the road just as well as vehicles do, and unfortunately any collision between the two is not going to work out in the cyclists' favor.
posted by efalk at 10:59 PM on December 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


My town of San Luis Obispo is considered one of the most bike-friendly in California (hey, I watched the Tour of California go past my house this year). But with more bicycle use comes the reports that we have one of the highest per capita bicycle accident rates in California (Top 10 overall, #1 or #2 among cities under population 50,000 for the last several years). The people keeping track have determined that the fault in such accidents (at least around here) are evenly divided between drivers and bike riders, and the last two fatalities of bike riders were determined to be totally the rider's fault (in one of the cases, the guy on the bike WAS legally drunk). Bike advocates are saying that adding even more bike paths will help (and more are being set up at this moment), but while it may bring the total number of accidents down, will it increase the ratio of bikes-at-fault to autos?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:09 PM on December 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the visibility campaigns are kind of over-the-top and potentially harmful. People really, really reject the idea of looking like a fluorescent clown. The problem is, when you tell them they have to do that if they're going to be safe walking, running, or biking at night, they just end up not doing any of those things. Which makes things more dangerous to everyone who keeps doing it, because the drivers stop looking.

I think more sensible precautions are better. Maybe instead of trying to get people to wear neon yellow jackets to bike, try to get them to get some cheap lights. Maybe instead of trying to get people to wear yellow fluorescent vests, try to get them to wear light colors. However, in the end, the cars are the ones presenting the risk and the majority of the instruction and inconvenience should always go to them. Wider roads, more sidewalks, lower speed limits at night, reducing visual obstructions and distractions, etc. are all more helpful than some annoying campaign that everyone will ignore.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:08 AM on December 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


The dream of the '90s is dead in Portland. Also some cyclists and pedestrians.
posted by Token Meme at 12:26 AM on December 9, 2013


In Ireland, in my opinion, the Road Safety Authority push "be safe, be seen" to the detriment of other important road safety advice. The narrative for cyclists is an endless and exclusive "put on a helmet and a high-vis vest to be safe", and the result is that many of my fellow cyclists do wear a helmet and a high-vis but have no lights at night and cycle like clowns.

I could say a lot about how these campaigns shift responsibility on cyclists, demonise cyclists for wearing normal clothing and legally choosing not to wear a helmet, and paint cycle commuting as a kind of extreme sport for which disruptive safety equipment is a necessity, but it's all kind of missing the real issue on cycling education. I'm actually quite in favour of safety campaigns pushing lights for bikes, but I'd most prefer campaigns about how to cycle safely and effectively in city environments using the road framework that's available, because many new cyclists seem unsure how to do so.
posted by distorte at 12:55 AM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


‘Dark means danger, so get yourself seen…’
posted by misteraitch at 2:39 AM on December 9, 2013


cyclists flaunt the laws of the road

heh
posted by ryanrs at 2:42 AM on December 9, 2013


efalk: "I grew up in Portland. One thing I never, ever miss when not living here is the bicycle culture. Maybe I'm a jerk for admitting it, but sentiments like "For starters, any speed where you can’t spot and stop for pedestrians regardless of their attire doesn’t sound “reasonable and prudent” to me." are rediculous. The 'Oregon Basic Rule' for speed means that cops can cite you at any speed, regardless of the posted limit. It's intent was to cover snow, downpour, etc wherein the speed limit may be 55 but visibility or road conditions dictate that it would be prudent to drive slower. Not that drivers need to be doing 10mph in a 25 on the off chance that a cyclist with nothing reflective crosses the vehicle's path.

Regardless of attire? If I cloaked my car in black non-reflective material and blacked out my lights I probably shouldn't be too upset when I'm inevitably rear-ended.

"There’s no appeal for drivers to plaster “reflective stickers or tape” all over their vehicles (though that’d certainly be entertaining to see)." because legally you're required to have lights on in Oregon from dusk until dawn.

"Until we stop trying to put high-viz vests onto straw men" yes like all those complacent automatons that work on road construction.

"Do whatever you can to avoid situations where you rely on a motorist’s sobriety, attentiveness, or lawfulness to ensure your safety. Ride or walk like you’re invisible.

If it fits your sense of style, feel free to dress the part too." Hey if that is what you're into, please do. Don't complain when I hit you with a 2000lb machine a 10mph though.

As far as I'm aware in Oregon a cyclist is only required to place a red light anywhere on the rear of his/her bike or body. Front lights are optional I believe.

On preview, and reading some of the comments on that blog, the 'campaign' this guy is looking for might be summed up as a driver's license. You know, where you're supposed to learn the rules of the road and safety. Just like the cyclist's license you need to operate a deadly vehicle.
"


I grew up in Phoenix and moved to Portland a while ago and I am really thankful for the bicycling culture here. I had people throw objects at me from their cars, verbally harass me, intentionally drive too close to me in order to scare me, follow me, etc. when I rode my bike on roads there. I ended up only riding my bike on the canals. Perhaps since I've lived there things have changed, but it was a disaster for me when I lived there. People literally went out of their way to try to kill me. That's not cool.

I have a feeling yours is the first comment in a long string of comments that end up being cars vs. bicycles in threads like these, and I mostly disagree with your assertions. A big one is needing a license to ride a bike. That would disenfranchise a lot of people from being able to ride bikes if it was required to have a license, especially since a lot of people who ride bikes can't afford cars (which is why they are riding bikes in the first place). Most people I know here, especially native Portlanders, have grown up without learning how to drive and don't have driver's licenses, and if they were required to get a driver's license they wouldn't have an easy way to practice driving in order to do so. If they couldn't ride their bikes they would be spending a lot more money taking public transit. I know you think a bicycle is a deadly vehicle, and in that situation it definitely was one, but large motor vehicles are the number one killer on our streets today, not bicycles.

I shouldn't have to wear large, reflective materials in order to ride my bike around anywhere. There was a post a while back about US cycling from a Dutch perspective and it talks about this amongst other things. He's surprised that people even wear helmets, and laments about our bicycling infrastructure, and how because of the infrastructure bicycling here seems to be more of a race rather than a useful, relaxed activity, one that is filled with people in cycling-specific attire such as reflective jackets, lycra, and helmets. The U.S. has a strong sense of car culture. It's a phenomenon that really represents so many things to people. Bicycling to many people represents liberal, environmentalist, hippy ideals, and a lot of people find it extremely emasculating. It seems that the U.S. is trying to integrate bicycling with car infrastructure and plot around that infrastructure rather than create new and useful bicycling infrastructure like what is available to the Dutch.

As far as I know, in Oregon, you have to have a front light. ORS 815.280:
(c) At the times described in the following, a bicycle or its rider must be equipped with lighting equipment that meets the described requirements:
(A) The lighting equipment must be used during limited visibility conditions.
(B) The lighting equipment must show a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.
(C) The lighting equipment must have a red reflector or lighting device or material of such size or characteristic and so mounted as to be visible from all distances up to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle.


Likewise, before anyone starts talking about cyclists running red lights (I know it'll get brought up eventually): 94% of bike riders wait at red lights.

Quote: "Nearly 94 percent of people riding bikes in Portland, Beaverton, Corvallis and Eugene stopped for red lights, a forthcoming Portland State University-based study of 2,026 intersection crossing videos has found. Of those, almost all (89 percent of the total) followed the rules perfectly, while another 4 percent entered the intersection just before the light changed to green.

Only 6 percent of riders were observed heading directly through the red light.

"This level of compliance ... it's higher than I would have expected."
— Chris Monsere, civil engineering professor and director of Intelligent Transportation Lab at PSU

That compares to, for example, an estimated 36 percent to 77 percent of people who tend to break the speed limit when driving a car on local streets, according to previous, otherwise unrelated research."

posted by gucci mane at 2:43 AM on December 9, 2013 [18 favorites]


To go to my place I have take a one way/one lane street. I frequently turn into that street at night just in time to encounter a cyclist riding in the wrong way in the middle of the street with no lights and very often no reflective panels on the bike. This is seriously suicidal behavior, these people seem to have no idea of how camouflage they are at dark.
posted by coust at 2:58 AM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish bikes came with all the required lights/reflectors as standard. I guess it's a hangover from the early tax on imported bikes if they came with accessories and fenders. Folks just got used to riding a stripped-down bike as standard.
posted by scruss at 4:28 AM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wear an orange coat in winter, partly in the hopes of being more visible during the day to the drivers who insist on thinking an intersection is clear when I'm walking across the road on my light, or while walking on sidewalks that are cruelly separating drivers from banks and parking lots they wish to access now now now now now. It hasn't helped in the slightest.

I'm considering investing in an airhorn.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:52 AM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wish bikes came with all the required lights/reflectors as standard.

I wish all bikes and cars on the same stretch of road would announce themselves to all the other cars and bikes in the area (position, direction, speed, weight, etc.) electronically. How you get that information as a driver or rider would depend on your equipment, but a car could have dashboard warnings and a bicycle could flash visual and electronic warning signals to alert the rider and the oncoming driver. And if you're all sharing information like that, maybe you have a shared black box to help decide who's to blame for any accident.
posted by pracowity at 5:13 AM on December 9, 2013


(Maybe I'm a bad person but the first thing this made me think of was an idiot in southern Ohio who painted his entire house with yellow reflective road paint he'd bought at some state auction, and his neighbors were trying to get the city to force him to repaint it because every time they pulled into the cul-de-sac at night... POW! GLOWING!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:07 AM on December 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Some blowhard on the local NPR station in Chicago gets on the radio occasionally to talk about biking. The most angry I've ever been at a news commentator was when this guy stated, as if it were a given fact, that North American cities are "designed for cars". Which, taken at face value, isn't even historically correct. In Chicago, if you watch the places were the blacktop has worn away, you'll find the cobblestones still down there – pavement once used for horse-drawn carriages. (Note that cobblestone was actually designed to be extra noisy to alert pedestrians to oncoming carriages.)

The "designed for cars" argument is a lazy statement designed to conclude that automobiles are inherently a better way to get around regardless of the length of a trip or where you're going, so anyone using the roads for anything else is a fool. I'm suspicious of these ad campaigns that make cyclists out to be victims or suicidal maniacs. Just slow the fuck down and drive more carefully at night.
posted by deathpanels at 6:30 AM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Note that cobblestone was actually designed to be extra noisy to alert pedestrians to oncoming carriages.)

I don't question that the noise happened to alert pedestrians to oncoming carriages, but it seems unlikely that cities purposely made their streets noisy to protect pedestrians.
posted by pracowity at 7:25 AM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Deathpanels, the "designed for cars" argument is everywhere. It's especially prevalent in here in Toronto, where Rob Ford successfully campaigned for mayor by claiming that streets which have been traveled continuously by streetcars and bikes for decades longer than automobiles were "meant for cars" and the solution to Toronto's persistent gridlock was to eliminate any perceived impediment to cars, like bicycles or anything on rails not buried underground.

It makes me think of an old NFB animated short "What on Earth!", presented as a martian documentary on the life of the earthling.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:12 AM on December 9, 2013


Here's my favorite comedic take on reversed conditions for bikes and cars. Also, some excellent stuff on how to use lights.
posted by asperity at 8:18 AM on December 9, 2013


This is the season when I change my commute path home, to avoid downtown. Everyone is wearing dark pants/tights, coats, and hats, and downtown is rife with right-of-way crosswalks where pedestrians are often lax about looking around before crossing. Add oncoming traffic with lights on, and there's a deadly combination waiting to happen.

All is good until I reach my own neighborhood, which starts with a 200'-high hill with poor sidewalks. So, naturally, those too poor to drive walk up it in the middle of the street. Wearing dark coats and hats. The only advantage I have (beyond expecting them) is that it's easier to stop going uphill.

When I take my (mostly black, dammit) dog out for a walk, I wear a bright yellow hat. And he wears a flasher light. And it's still dangerous.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:26 AM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesus christ this pisses me off. Look I love bikes. I grew up in a city was teeming with bicyclists since the 60s or 70s. I biked a ton for day to day transportation until I moved to the top of a 400 ft, 17% grade hill.

It's really fucking important for bicyclists to know they are goddamn invisible at night if they don't have a light and are wearing black clothes, and that more visible they are the safer they are. No that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of idiots who aren't going to see you, but it does mean you get less idiots, which means safer. So if you are riding around at night, have reflectors on your wheels, use a light, etc. If you are wearing black clothes, know you are harder to see and compensate a little. Because being morally superior doesn't stop you from getting getting dead or injured.

I really think a lot of casual bikers don't really understand just how invisible they can be when it gets dark. Especially on lower visibility days when it's raining or foggy or a new moon. Hell, a car with it's headlights out is almost invisible, and cars are a lot more visible than bikes. Goddamn looking to be offended bikers need to chill the fuck out sometimes and focus on fixing things that matter.
posted by aspo at 10:35 AM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Everyone is wearing dark pants/tights, coats, and hats, and downtown is rife with right-of-way crosswalks where pedestrians are often lax about looking around before crossing. Add oncoming traffic with lights on, and there's a deadly combination waiting to happen.

This. I wish all leashes were required to be reflective, because I have a lot of neighbors who dress all in black with black dogs who I have been startled enough by in my poorly-lit neighborhood that it strikes me as dangerous. I don't have a lot of reflective clothing myself, aside from my walking shoes, so I carry reflective items and try to wear white or at least heather gray. It didn't occur to me to feel oppressed by doing so, but then I don't think I'm entitled to demand other people develop superhuman senses to accommodate me either.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:35 AM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Then there's a social angle to some dangerous street usage. From my experiences, it tends to be more prevalent among young black people than any other groups, but you'll see it in any poor neighborhood - even those with perfectly fine sidewalks.

Young people, walking alone or in groups, will walk in the road deliberately. In a very real way, it's both empowering (they can force a car to stop, slow down, or just plain wait for them) and risk-taking (displaying machismo). They sit at the very bottom of the economic/social ladder (young black males), but can make both your Humvee and a banker's limousine wait on them.

In the poor white neighborhoods I've lived in, using a car to do this (park in the driving lane, beside an empty parking spot, honking the horn or just gabbing) is more common. Same basic idea, different implementation (and less daring, safety-wise).

It's frustrating. Yay, you turned and flipped me off when I had to brake suddenly behind you. Yay you. Yay fake empowerment.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:46 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


WI remember walking in the street when the sidewalk was free, back when I was a teenager. I did it because I didn't want to be jumped, and I knew who I was likely to run into if I was on the sidewalk. Young black people are much more likely to be victimized by violent crime than pretty much any other demographic save trans people. Perhaps sometimes they have reasons for being in the street other than inconveniencing you?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cute, but the point of my post was not "I'm being inconvenienced!!!", but rather: there are multiple, complex social reasons why someone may do something that makes accidents in traffic more likely. You're simply providing one more reason.

But the decently-sized group of teens (4-6) that would flip me off when I tried to drive through the street they were walking down? Nope, I really doubt they were worried about someone hassling them on the sidewalk. They were playing power games.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:33 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Portland bicyclists have been staging free light giveaways for years as a totally grassroots movement that has become a national model. There is no anti-light conspiracy. Bicycle culture is pro-light. Everyone in this thread who is a livid driver denouncing anecdotal stories of those scofflaw bicyclists is really frustrating. We all agree that lights are good, okay? Your confirmation biased anecdotal assumption that there is a majority of anti-light cyclists is not going to lead to good public policy. A lot of new bicyclists with bad habits are poor or have DUIs, so actually spending these ad dollars on light giveaways would be more effective. An effective model that, again, the Portland bicycle culture movement developed, implemented and originated from scratch.

There are a lot of evidence based reasons to believe that othering and neon dorkifying bicyclists and pedestrians will make our streets less safe for everyone (including drivers) because big-V Visibility comes only from numbers and increased cycling and walking is proven to make streets safer for all road users.

Show me the rush to buy neon yellow SUVs and there may be a case.

Public policy needs to account for the mechanism of the risk and the party with the most control over it and that's the pilot of the multi-ton vehicle. Can't see a person walking and wearing black? How the f are we going to legislate what people can wear while they're walking? Do you wear neon as you walk through the parking lot to your car? Meanwhile, if a driver can't see the dude walking home from a black tie soiree, that same driver can't see a downed tree, can't see an animal, can't see a stranded driver and can't see a box that fell out of the pick-up truck down the road. If there are conditions where you can't see, you shouldn't be driving in those conditions. Ever.

But you will keep driving and you will scoff and call me a zealot for insinuating such a thing as "stop driving," but the case I'm making is that our society has made public policy decisions that make the choice to not drive purposefully inconvenient for individuals.

The reason why I sound so ridiculous is because most of America was rebuilt to make the act of not driving ridiculous. All but the most rural of places used to have amazingly efficient streetcar systems. Many drivers can't imagine a world without their car, but without the marketing and meddling of corporations and lobbyists, private cars would be in the minority.

The reason I mentioned bus drivers muttering about jaywalkers and speeding up to give them a scare upthread is because, yes, the jaywalkers may be in the technical legal wrong, but the bus driver is piloting a humongous, dangerous piece of machinery. The idea that efalk described the exact same circumstances that I described and chose to self-identify with the driver's purposeful choice to increase the net risk of a situation says something about our shared Western culture. Apparently it's more important to be technically right than it is to "First, Do No Harm." This is a conflict of values and it is one that prioritizes righteousness over safety.

I may sound righteous in my online ramblings, but that doesn't compare to the righteousness of people who make actual safety reducing decisions out of their disgust for their fellow human beings and the (sometimes stated, sometimes not) wish for a Darwinian final solution for anything that inconveniences their way.

PS -- IAmBroom: Walking in the middle of the street in a disadvantaged neighborhood isn't machismo. It's giving yourself an extra few seconds to react if someone decides to jump you and increasing sight lines for others to witness an attack on your behalf. There may have evolved a machismo element to that behavior, but that too is protective. Good public policy and neighborhood design can address these types of problems a lot better than griping on the Internet can.
posted by Skwirl at 4:20 PM on December 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Lyn Never: " I wish all leashes were required to be reflective, because I have a lot of neighbors who dress all in black with black dogs who I have been startled enough by in my poorly-lit neighborhood that it strikes me as dangerous."

You can get cheap tear away reflective vest here for ~$6. When I'm taking my medium size tan dog for a walk anywhere but the multiuse path a half block from my house (and sometimes even then) I put one of those vests on her. Works great. The tear away vests are one size fits all via Velcro so it's easy to adjust.
posted by Mitheral at 7:39 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bicyclist struck and killed by sheriff's patrol car in Calabasas

"Investigators confirmed to CBS2′s Melanie Woodrow the deputy was on routine patrol and was not responding to an emergency at the time of the collision. They also confirmed that Olin, a prominent entertainment attorney, was in the bike lane when he was struck."

Ex-Napster COO, Milton Olin, killed in cycling crash, struck by cop car

"The former COO of Napster was killed Sunday during a bike ride in L.A. when he was struck by a Sheriff's patrol car on Mulholland Highway.

65-year-old Milton Olin Jr. -- who worked at the famous music-sharing site from 2000 to 2002 -- was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash occurred around 1pm and witnesses say Olin was in the bike lane when he was struck.

As for the Sheriff's deputy -- he was hospitalized for cuts to his face and eye stemming from shattered glass from the windshield of the patrol car.

Cops are investigating -- and so far, officials say neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be involved.
"

Guess he should have had that reflective gear on.
posted by gucci mane at 1:08 AM on December 10, 2013


1 PM. Right. There are so many awful stories about cyclists and pedestrians not being seen.

There's an old cyclist riff about, "Did you hear about the guy who rear ended a fire truck? Lights on, sirens, everything. When the firefighter asked him what happened, the driver said, 'I didn't see you.'"

Happens all the freaking time. What hope do normal people have?

That being said, this story is usually followed up with the admonition: "Ride with the agility of a ninja, but be lit up like Times Square. Always ride in such a way that drivers will always see you but never have to see you."
posted by Skwirl at 4:17 AM on December 10, 2013


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