Clear Channel DJs advocate violence against bicyclists.
November 2, 2003 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Clear Channel DJs advocate violence against bicyclists. "One caller said her dad had purposely hit a biker on the road on the way to church one Sunday and kept on going. That got laughs." Clear Channel apologizes, but won't release transcripts or tapes of the broadcasts. Don't you love responsible radio journalism?
posted by zaelic (145 comments total)
 
This is a scandalous pox on the hard-earned reputation of my local morning ZOO crew and their innocent drunk bitch news girl.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:03 AM on November 2, 2003


I don't want to jump into the "Clear Channel = Evil" pandora's box, but this is a clear case of right wing talk radio at its primitive best. "Clear Channel... said it was coincidental that similar comments came from three stations. It wouldn't say if the disc jockeys were disciplined."
posted by zaelic at 10:04 AM on November 2, 2003


This is obviously a right wing conspiracy, given they wont release the manuscripts. /stupidity
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:07 AM on November 2, 2003


All cyclists are left-wing? Did I miss a memo?
posted by Stan Chin at 10:08 AM on November 2, 2003


Since when did political position and choice of vehicle merge?
posted by shepd at 10:10 AM on November 2, 2003


Conspiracy or not, this is pretty typical of the hyperactive morning radio show ratings grabbing bullpoop and therefore sad but not surprising.
posted by billsaysthis at 10:20 AM on November 2, 2003


Of course, I don't advocate killing or hurting anyone, but I'll admit to having many daydreams and fantasize about cyclists meeting unhappy ends.

I never had much against cyclists until I moved to New York City. Here, many cyclists refuse to obey traffic laws. I'd be rich if I had a nickle for every time I was crossing the street -- when I had right-of-way -- and a cyclist ran a red light and almost hit me.

I HAVE been hit by cyclists twice.

My usual fantasy involves carrying a stick with me and thrusting it into the spokes of any cyclist who runs a red light, zooms down a sidewalk or goes the wrong way on a one-way street.

Don't worry, I'll never do it. But if I ever witness a cyclist running a red light and slamming into an oncoming vehicle, I just might laugh out loud.
posted by grumblebee at 10:23 AM on November 2, 2003


I hate Clear Channel and try not to listen to their stations, however; DJs are not news anchors. Often he DJs are paid to yuk it up and say stupid stuff. Thus, I feel that should not judged by the standards of news anchor. Hence, while what these DJs did is clearly in poor taste I don't think that a comment like "Don't you love responsible radio journalism" is inapplicable and even inappropriate because DJs do not practice journalism in any sense of the word.

Further what makes hitting bikers right wing? I know plenty of lefties that drive like maniacs and would likely not give a rats ass about bikers.

Even if Clear Channel is not fair, why can’t we be fair in out criticism of Clear Channel?

This is pretty typical of the hyperactive morning radio show ratings grabbing bullpoop and therefore sad but not surprising.

No, it's right in line with what DJs do.
posted by Bag Man at 10:24 AM on November 2, 2003


Frankly, I've never understood the appeal of blathering morons on the morning airwaves. I even find that NPR has become too much blah, blah and not enough substance. I've long since defaulted to music of my choosing via an iPod or CD. What is the appeal of this stuff to everybody else?
posted by shagoth at 10:29 AM on November 2, 2003


Bag Man, how does "pretty typical" not mean almost exactly "right in line"?
posted by billsaysthis at 10:35 AM on November 2, 2003


So what is the ratio of stupid, dangerous antics by drivers as compared to bicyclists, and how much comparative danger do they pose to others as opposed to themselves?

I've never had to slam on my brakes suddenly to avoid being creamed by a bicyclist who was yammering on the phone as they swung wide into traffic. I've lost count of the times I've done it with drivers.

The reason conservative talk radio hosts can safely treat bicyclists as "them" as opposed to "us", is that bicyclists almost by definition aren't a minimum of 70lbs overweight, eight or nine of those pounds being impacted undigested meat in their colons. Unlike their listeners.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2003


Further what makes hitting bikers right wing? I know plenty of lefties that drive like maniacs and would likely not give a rats ass about bikers.

Hitting bicyclists isn't right wing, but hating bicyclists is. Bicycle commuters, as a group, are frequently seen as left-wing nutjobs who put what many consider an inconceivable amount of effort into getting from place to place, largely for environmental reasons. (which is madness, since to the Right, global warming is not real)

So bicyclists aren't just people using slow vehicles that are in the way. They are slow, liberal, bunny-lovers that need to be reacquianted with Mother Earth in a high velocity fashion.

On preview: Or maybe it has something to do with what Geroge_Spiggot said about impacted undigested meat in their colons. It's a tough call, really.
posted by 4easypayments at 10:46 AM on November 2, 2003


Three stations? Three stations? And all this time I thought morning disk jockey's were engaged in un-scripted banter.

This is why we will not see a transcript -- it was a script sent to all similar stations and the shredders have no doubt been hard at work. /speculation

That people would call in though and recount their own tales of harassment... shudder. I've experienced problems with passing motorists while cycling in the US and all I can say is that I would rather be cycling in France, where, at least in the countryside, cyclists are generally given a wide berth, much as if they occupied the same physical space as a car.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:48 AM on November 2, 2003


I'm not right-wing, and I hate bicyclists. I hate anyone who endangers my life as I walk down the street. Bicyclists do this much more regularly than motorists.
posted by grumblebee at 10:50 AM on November 2, 2003


Hitting bicyclists isn't right wing, but hating bicyclists is.

The reason conservative talk radio hosts can safely treat bicyclists as "them" as opposed to "us", is that bicyclists almost by definition aren't a minimum of 70lbs overweight, eight or nine of those pounds being impacted undigested meat in their colons.


what is hating someone who is 'right wing'? sorry, but this hatred of bicyclists is not the sole ownership of any political persuasion.
posted by poopy at 10:58 AM on November 2, 2003


The reason conservative talk radio hosts can safely treat bicyclists as "them" as opposed to "us", is that bicyclists almost by definition aren't a minimum of 70lbs overweight, eight or nine of those pounds being impacted undigested meat in their colons. Unlike their listeners.

Thanks, george. Now we know the reason you don't like conservatives, cause they're fat and eat meat. Good we got that clear so we don't have to bother with political arguments or rational conversation. I'm not a conservative or a talk radio listener, but attitudes like yours do plenty to put people off. No ideology has a monopoly on assholism.
posted by jonmc at 11:03 AM on November 2, 2003


Motorists, remember this. If a bike hits you, scratch and no charges, if you hit them, real possibility of you seeing some jail time. At fault or otherwise, it's going to make your insurance buying a lot more exciting.

Cyclists aren't a homogonous group any more then drivers, they come in all favors and riding styles. The courier that cut you off running a light is no reason to be hitting me.

I don't ride for environmental reasons, I also drive a sports car the rest of the time, it's exercise and a decent rush at speed.
posted by Leonard at 11:05 AM on November 2, 2003


I'm not right-wing, and I hate bicyclists. I hate anyone who endangers my life as I walk down the street. Bicyclists do this much more regularly than motorists.

Wow, bicyclists in the United States get into more than 6 million accidents a year, injuring more than 3 million and killing over 40,000?

Good to know.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:06 AM on November 2, 2003


I walk a lot in NYC, and yes, some bicyclists can be annoying. I feel far more endangered by taxicabs who run red lights than bicyclists who do -- it happens more often, you're less likely to be able to get out of the way, and the consequences are much worse. I've also seen cyclists get doored on Manhattan streets, and it doesn't look like much fun.

I can understand being upset by bicyclists who don't ride in a safe manner. I think it's equally fair to be upset by motorists who exhibit a callous disregard for their fellow commuter and whoever else may be on the streets and siewalks around them. What I don't understand are people getting exercised over bicyclists as a group...most of them are safe riders, don't take up much space, and ask nothing more than a bit of vigilance and caution from the people with whom they share the road.

Also: Interesting profile of the guy (hardly a raving zealot) who spearheaded opposition to one of the radio stations in NC.
posted by Vidiot at 11:10 AM on November 2, 2003


Actually, here's my reasons for disliking bicyclists (I reserve hate for people like Hitler):

- Ignorance of the rules of the road (turning without signalling, weaving, not pulling over to allow faster vehicles to pass, lack of loud warning device, lack of lights, doubling up in lanes, passing other vehicles that are stopped at lights, not getting a license when required, riding on the sidewalk, riding without a helmet, passing on the right (left if you have passing lanes on the right), wearing two headphones while cycling, grabbing onto vehicles to speed up [thank god I don't live in New York], using their bike while it is in disrepair, etc, etc)

- Bike riders have no insurance. It's not fair that I have to take the parents of someone on a bike to court to get the bits skull out of my car when it's the bicyclist's fault, whereas the reciprocal isn't true.

- Deciding they are "better" than be because they use a bicycle. In fact, considering yourself "better" than someone because you ride a certain vehicle is exactly why SUV owners are scorned. Why can't we apply this to bicycle owners?

- The fact that despite these bicyclists ignoring the rules of the road, if I hit one and (more than likely) kill them, *I'm* almost always assumed as the bad guy who needs jail time. If a car driver violated that many rules all at once, and was killed in an accident, nobody would blame the other guy. But when it's a guy wearing black clothes on a fog bike ride without any of the requisite warning devices and a snapped brake cable, oh, that's *MY* fault. The strange thing is it's easier to get away with hitting pedestrians than bikes. Why, I don't know.
posted by shepd at 11:11 AM on November 2, 2003


errr, make that "sidewalks."
posted by Vidiot at 11:13 AM on November 2, 2003


But that's an ad hominem attack, shepd. Not every cyclist behaves the way you describe....just like how not every driver on the road is as good and conscientious a driver as you apparently are.
posted by Vidiot at 11:15 AM on November 2, 2003


Vidiot: Some stats to back up the fact that the VAST MAJORITY (91.2%) of bicyclists are very poor at making safety decisions and therefore endanger lives.

Imagine if only 8.8% of people driving cars buckled up.

Hildegarde, that would be because there's, oh, at least 1,000 times more people driving cars than bicycles at any given time on the road. Or at least that's what it is in my city.
posted by shepd at 11:17 AM on November 2, 2003


A few weeks back some dumbass on a bike was riding along the right side of the road, then swerves in front of me, causing me to brake my ass off so I wouldn't collide into his unwashed mass. I really wish I would've ran him over.

If you're riding a bike, get out of the fucking way.
posted by angry modem at 11:17 AM on November 2, 2003


One caller said her dad had purposely hit a biker on the road on the way to church one Sunday

::: savors the hypocrisy :::

Also, Clear Channel is a pox of tasteless conformity.
posted by rushmc at 11:19 AM on November 2, 2003


Yeah, those dumbass bikers. How dare they use even one inch of a road clearly designated for cars! If you ask me, the bike lane is some kind of Marxist conspiracy devised by granola-chomping hippies. I suggest we pave over their precious bike lanes, open up the sidewalks for automobile use and start mowing down pedestrians and bikers alike, Death Race 2000 style. If these left-leaning fitness junkies really want a workout, then, by God, we'll give them one! Let them sprint and pedal their scrawny little asses away from our gas-guzzling Beamers and SUVs. And let's get some blood gushing onto the grille. Survival of the fittest, my friends. And we can thank Clear Channel for the highly rational discourse they've opened up.

Pollution? Poppycock! Using up the most resources? Balderdash! What this bicycles vs. cars debate is really all about is our constitutional right to act out violence in a social Darwinistic setting when we get bored of playing our PlayStations, while simultaneously kvetching about the blood those bastards spilled on 9/11. Don't you understand? Some lives are worth more than others.

America: Drive A Car or Get Mowed Down.
posted by ed at 11:32 AM on November 2, 2003


And let's not even get started on those damn pedestrians who seem to think they can just walk wherever they want. I say if you step out into the street, it's a freeforall. Can we put that into the consitution?
posted by Hildegarde at 11:45 AM on November 2, 2003


hey, somebody tell the DJ that Reagan said trees pollute more than cars: maybe his loyal listeners will begin to purposely hit trees, too
posted by matteo at 11:46 AM on November 2, 2003


It's really a Northern Ireland/Israel-Palestinian situation: in cyclists v. drivers, both groups are generally assholes. As a cyclist, I'm appalled by the drivers with a sense of entitlement who won't share the road and even resent someone who isn't in a car. As a driver and pedestrian, I hate the cyclists who don't stop at intersections, don't yield at crosswalks and (my personal least-favorite) ride on the sidewalk.

As for the politics involved, don't kid yourself. There is a sizeable chunk of the car-devoted population who see cyclists as pinkos who want to destroy the American tradition of driving two blocks to buy Burger King and cigarettes. However, a large portion of cyclists are self-righteous types with all the stereotypical hippie flakiness and a tendency to preach. I don't want to be trapped next to either at a party.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:46 AM on November 2, 2003


Whew, cyclists are touchy.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:46 AM on November 2, 2003


I used to commute to work by bike daily. I obeyed the rules of the road, and I lost track of the number of times a car would pass me to take a right turn immediately in front of me, sometimes causing me to go into a slide so that I would not hit the vehicle. I've come near to going under the wheels in this circumstance several times. I've been forced by drivers into grates (the wheels of a road bike get stuck) and onto sidewalks. I've also been hit on the back by passengers in cars. Fun, right?

Am I friendly to bikers when I drive? Count on it. When driving, I'm the one that's protected in my leather and metal living room. I do yell at bikers that disobey traffic laws.

Oh.. and why wasn't I driving all that time? It costs a lot more to have and maintain a car.
posted by vers at 11:50 AM on November 2, 2003


This is the kind of publicity Clear Channel loves. I would not be a bit surprised if Monday morning, a bunch of other Clear Channel stations talk about cyclists, and quite possibly more than a few non-Clear Channel zoos as well.
posted by mischief at 12:05 PM on November 2, 2003


lets just stick to the facts here:
  • riding your bike is fun.
  • clear channel sucks.
  • it's not funny to hit people with a car.
  • if you think it's funny to hit people with a car, you're a bad person.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:05 PM on November 2, 2003


Of course, I don't advocate killing or hurting anyone, but I'll admit to having many daydreams and fantasize about morning drive-time DJ's meeting unhappy ends.

I ride. Not to commute anymore, because of how many times I was/was almost run over. In the scope of a year, I had a car door opened on me; a stop sign run right in front of me (I t-boned the car); and physically attacked by a guy who got out of his car to cuss me out, and I just passed him. By law, I could take an entire lane, but I generally do not; it seems this niceness on my part obliges drivers to lay on their horns and try to sideswipe me.

As for driving on sidewalks, I'll admit to doing that sometimes--when the guy in the Civic won't give me enough room to ride on the edge of a ten-foot lane, I'm sure as hell gonna get out of his way.

In some states, lane-splitting is legal, BTW.

Bike commuting is not a right-wing vs. left-wing thing, I don't think...my commuting days were when I was a rightie. My other data point is a pro-life activist who got skull-crushed on his way to work.
posted by notsnot at 12:10 PM on November 2, 2003


I was once attacked by a gang of black teenagers. Ought I dislike all blacks? Or all teenagers? Or all groups of people? Could I consequently attack or attempt to kill any of these types of individuals, without provocation? How about if I come up with some way to justify it? African Americans are disproportionately represented in prison populations -- can I assume that they're all criminals?
posted by waldo at 12:14 PM on November 2, 2003


Republicans usually do
posted by matteo at 12:23 PM on November 2, 2003


Again, hidegarde, my empirical data shows most pedestrians jaywalk despite there being convenient intersections to cross at. That empirical knowledge comes from (again) nearly ripping a drunk fool in half with my car, about 50 feet from the actual intersection.

Why is it that if my brake lights are out, I get a stern talking to by a police officer, perhaps even a ticket, but if he sees people jaywalking across King st. at night, he ignores it?

Jaywalkers vs. cyclists

Moreover, while there is no record of which party is at fault in bicycle-pedestrian accidents, clearly a good proportion of them can be traced to jaywalking, for which the Police Department issued virtually no summonses.

Jaywalkers vs. Automobiles

The majority of accidents occurred in good visibility and weather; 90% were due to pedestrian behaviour.

Any more stats you need? Drivers are not anywhere near as bad as many of you think. Statistics prove it.
posted by shepd at 12:25 PM on November 2, 2003


shepd et all: I have no conception why people choose to hate bicyclists. It's almost shamefully self-serving and ignorant to complain about how inconvenienced you and your resource consuming, pollution producing cars/trucks/SUVs are by having to actually WATCH the road. Yes, there are stupid bicyclists, but in no way do those few people give anyone the right to just mow down or harass anybody on a bicycle.
Ignorance of the rules of the road Like people in cars suddenly know anything about the rules of the road? Like when they "hollywood stop" at intersections (that is, to not stop, but slightly slow down.) Or maybe your thinking of those enlightened drivers who are talking on their phone, playing with their Palm Pilot or eating whatever was on sale at Carl's Jr. People in cars are no more responsible then people on bicycles.
Bike riders have no insurance. It's not fair that I have to take the parents of someone on a bike to court to get the bits skull out of my car when it's the bicyclist's fault, whereas the reciprocal isn't true. Bikers have health insurance. I'm also pretty impressed about your level of humanity on this point. It is to bad you're forced to sue the bereaved parents of a dead bicyclist because they scratched your car on their way to meet God. Sheesh.
The fact that despite these bicyclists ignoring the rules of the road, if I hit one and (more than likely) kill them, *I'm* almost always assumed as the bad guy who needs jail time. Okay, that's just ridiculous. The prison system isn't full of people who accidently hit bicyclists. Of course if someone was speeding along in their SUV while talking on the mobil, playing with the Palm Pilot and eating a Double-Decker Baconandunnamedbeefproductburger® and plows into a biker, there might be some kind of investigation.

And your attempt to compare helmet use to overall safety is laughable. Many bicyclists aren't required to wear helmets, unlike drivers who must buckle up. Comparing a voluntary precaution with one mandated by law doesn't say much about the larger safety issues being discussed in this thread. Besides, maybe those bikers with helmets are wearing them to keep bits of skull from damaging your precious car and hoping you won't be forced to sue their families.

I never thought of the car vs. bike issue as a conservative vs. liberal one, but after reading a few mefi threads and talking to people in real life I've learned better.

On Preview:Statistics prove it. Oh. My. God. So what exactly have statistics proven? Jaywalking is bad? How is that relevant? Do you hate people who walk too? How about kittens?
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:40 PM on November 2, 2003


shepd - im sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but i ran over your mother and daughter this afternoon. But you can kiss my ass 'cause your dumbass daughter was riding her bike in the street and your loser mother was crossing the street too slowly. Its clearly their fault.
posted by H. Roark at 12:42 PM on November 2, 2003


The disc jockeys shouldn't be just disciplined, they should be fired. The stations should both be fined AND have their licenses revoked. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Cycling is bad enough without some dumbass telling people on the radio to treat cyclists even worse than they are now. $10,000 in air time with three stations is peanuts.
posted by whirlwind29 at 12:47 PM on November 2, 2003


people in bikes are:
taking up less space
not polluting
not contributing to the fundamental source of all of these wars we're always talking about
doing something healthy for themselves
constantly risking their lives.

bike lanes? ha ha - that's just the place where you double park your suv or delivery truck. they also make great turning lanes.

in sum you really come to hate motorists when you're a bicyclist.

on preview: elwoodswiles said everything
posted by goneill at 12:54 PM on November 2, 2003


So much for freedom of speech, eh whirlwind? ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:57 PM on November 2, 2003


Hangthedjhangthedjhangthedj..... Hang the Deejay; hang the deejay.... hang the deejay; hang the deejay.... hangthedjhangthedjhangthedj....Hang the Deejay.... etc.
posted by Blue Stone at 12:59 PM on November 2, 2003


Actually, here's my reasons for disliking bicyclists (I reserve hate for people like Hitler):

- Ignorance of the rules of the road (turning without signaling, weaving, not pulling over to allow faster vehicles to pass, lack of loud warning device, lack of lights, doubling up in lanes, passing other vehicles that are stopped at lights, not getting a license when required, riding on the sidewalk, riding without a helmet, passing on the right (left if you have passing lanes on the right), wearing two headphones while cycling, grabbing onto vehicles to speed up [thank god I don't live in New York], using their bike while it is in disrepair, etc, etc)


Many motorists turn without a signal, far more than cyclists. Many are ignorant of the rules of the road. They pass without warning. Not all areas in the country require a license for cycling(don't think that should be a requirement anywhere if you ask me). Many areas don't require a helmet for cycling either(just like many areas don't require drivers to use a seatbelt). I'm not really fond of laws requiring either one. It's not the government's responsibility to enforce laws saving you from yourself.

Cyclists most often ride on a sidewalk only because they have to fear what cars might do to them in the street. Don't see too many cyclists grabbing onto cars but if they do that then it's their fault if something happens.

- Bike riders have no insurance. It's not fair that I have to take the parents of someone on a bike to court to get the bits skull out of my car when it's the bicyclist's fault, whereas the reciprocal isn't true.

How many car drivers are killed by cyclists runing into them each year? I have a feeling it's not as much as the number of cyclists that are hit by cars. How much damage does a bike do to a car? $1000 tops? How much do you think that compare to brain damage one might receive from being hit by a car?

- Deciding they are "better" than be because they use a bicycle. In fact, considering yourself "better" than someone because you ride a certain vehicle is exactly why SUV owners are scorned. Why can't we apply this to bicycle owners?

Or car owners, or anyone that rides a vehicle and thinks they own the road. Why make exceptions for cyclists and suv owners?


- The fact that despite these bicyclists ignoring the rules of the road, if I hit one and (more than likely) kill them, *I'm* almost always assumed as the bad guy who needs jail time. If a car driver violated that many rules all at once, and was killed in an accident, nobody would blame the other guy. But when it's a guy wearing black clothes on a fog bike ride without any of the requisite warning devices and a snapped brake cable, oh, that's *MY* fault. The strange thing is it's easier to get away with hitting pedestrians than bikes. Why, I don't know.
posted by shed at 4:11 PM on November 2


You are a larger vehicle, therefore it's your responsibility to watch out for smaller vehicles. Maybe if motorists weren't in such a damned hurry all the time they might not have to worry about a cyclist coming out of no where. Yes you probably would be doing jail time, and probably should, just as much as if you hit someone walking along that foggy road in all black in the middle of the night.
posted by whirlwind29 at 1:02 PM on November 2, 2003


I think this animosity can be linked to a strong 'us vs. them' mentality, mostly on the part of drivers. Most drivers are not also cyclists. (Whereas most cyclists drive, as well as bicycle.) They are not familiar with either the problems cyclists face, nor the advantages cyclists enjoy.

The solution, of course, is to get more people on bicycles. If more drivers bicycled, even occasionally — on the weekend, with their kids, to the corner store — they might appreciate the value of bicycles as part of their city's transportation system, and start to think of cyclists as people like themselves, not as obstacles or targets.

How to get more people on bicycles is another whole discussion, but there are organizations across the nation that are working toward that goal. (Including, for instance, Portland's Bicycle Transportation Alliance, my hometown bicycle non-profit.)
posted by nacho at 1:05 PM on November 2, 2003


So much for freedom of speech, eh whirlwind? ;-P
posted by mischief at 5:57 PM on November 2


With freedom comes responsibility as well. I can make unfounded slanderous statements about someone but I probably should expect a lawsuit if I do. If I falsely yell "fire" in a movie theater and cause a panic, then I'm probably going to get in trouble for doing so. If I'm on the radio and tell people they should go out and hurt cyclists, then I should be held responsible for that as well.
posted by whirlwind29 at 1:10 PM on November 2, 2003


Things I learned on mefi today:
  • Every time you jaywalk, god kills a kitten.
  • Cyclists = pinko, dirty, vegetarian, criminal hippies.
  • Cagers = blind, psychopathic, eco-raping republicans.
  • Using bicycle h*lm*t statistics, especially those from Avery Burdett, result in rational, calm debate of the issues with no descent into strawman attacks.
posted by bonehead at 1:12 PM on November 2, 2003


It is particularly ironic that roads were initially developed for bicycles, which really needed a macadam surface in order to travel at a reasonable rate. Were it not for bicyclists, automobiles would have had a much more difficult time gaining acceptance, because there would have been virtually no paved roads on which to use them.
posted by waldo at 1:29 PM on November 2, 2003


How many car drivers are killed by cyclists runing into them each year?

How many car drivers are killed by someone swerving or slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting a cyclist? I would guess not that many, but bicycles can cause accidents in ways other than crashing head-on into a car.

I always turn around and look at the bike lane before turning right, and bike-car collisions that happen with drivers that fail to do this are clearly the driver's fault, but as soon as you put the bike lane there, it's not really "same roads, same laws" anymore. You have this extra lane that's on the extreme right, but it's legal to make a right turn from the next lane over. Having bikes and cars on the same roads requires ad-hoc, sometimes arbitrary-seeming laws that can't be reduced to a simple slogan.
posted by transona5 at 1:31 PM on November 2, 2003


People, people, I think we can all agree on one thing regardless if we're in an automobile or a bicycle:

If we see a anybody riding a Segway, we're running him over.
posted by Stan Chin at 1:34 PM on November 2, 2003


If I'm on the radio and tell people they should go out and hurt cyclists
Oh, so you DO have precise transcripts of what the DJs said?
posted by mischief at 1:36 PM on November 2, 2003


Prompted by this thread, I went out and took a lovely bike ride this afternoon. Although it just now occurs to me that I spent much of my bike ride not on the road, but on The Huckleberry Trail. Hm. That is funny.
posted by waldo at 1:42 PM on November 2, 2003


But think of the children!
posted by ed at 1:42 PM on November 2, 2003


Stan, the Segway Anti-Defamation League would like to get in touch with you.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:58 PM on November 2, 2003


Oh, so you DO have precise transcripts of what the DJs said?
posted by mischief at 6:36 PM on November 2

I'm guessing you didn't read the links. But hey, then again maybe it's a big liberal conspiracy against clear channel. We all know shock jocks do nothing but exercise responsible free speech, right?
posted by whirlwind29 at 2:10 PM on November 2, 2003


I don't see the bike thing as a right wing/left wing thing... mostly because most of the people I know who bicycle commute (and use other forms of alternative transit) in this area are not environmentalists or anything like that. They're people who can't afford cars. Hey, I fall into that category. Cars are great things, but there also points at which they become a large, unnecessary expense.
posted by dagnyscott at 2:12 PM on November 2, 2003


People say stupid things all the time, they usually don't get fired for them. The Clear Channel morning commute hosts get paid to say stupid things because stupid people listen to them. Stupid morning DJs aren't the sole domain of Clear Channel either. The reason why there were three similar events like this is most likely because Clear Channel buys ideas from people and provides them to their hosts as not exactly a script, but as an idea of a direction to follow.

Comics seem to also do the same thing, when I used to read the daily comic strips I'd often notice that three or four strips would have remarkably similar story ideas. Usually they didn't joke about injuring anybody however.

So while I agree that they were irresponsible I don't agree that they should be fired unless public opinion is strong enough that the stations are hurt. Sort of like what happened with the Dixie Chicks. They weren't fired from the label for their views, but their record sales dropped off. As far as I know the label still keeps them on because the drop off in sales was a temporary thing. Free speech is a great thing, sometimes it hurts though.
posted by substrate at 2:14 PM on November 2, 2003


Perhaps what is missing here is a bit of mentioning about how things work where I live (I see in the US on this issue things are WAAAAAY different than the usual tiny differences):

- No Fault accident insurance means that your insurance pays for any damage done to you or your vehicle, regardless of fault. That means the bicyclist that is uninsured will have to sue me if they want their brain sewn back together.

- No health care insurance means the only thing bike riders here are likely to have insured is their dental work.

- The law states helmets are mandatory here. And while it's made parents force their 6 year old kids who drive around the block to wear helmets, it hasn't encouraged commuters to wear them all that much.

On the topic of bad motorists, they exist, and I despise them as much as I dislike poor bicyclists. However, the fact that there are bad motorists does not excuse the FACT that 91.2% of bicyclists don't give a shit about their safety, and, with that, the safety of others. 91.2% of motorists did not endanger their lives willy-nilly even prior to seat belts being mandatory.

You are a larger vehicle, therefore it's your responsibility to watch out for smaller vehicles.

WHAT? So, wait a second. If I drive a Camry, I am expected to spend my time looking out for VW Beetles and Corollas? Where the hell does it say that in the Highway Traffic Act? I must have missed it.

How many car drivers are killed by cyclists runing into them each year? I have a feeling it's not as much as the number of cyclists that are hit by cars. How much damage does a bike do to a car? $1000 tops? How much do you think that compare to brain damage one might receive from being hit by a car?

So, the number of fatalities are what makes something wrong, and makes something else not wrong? Them combines must be tools of satan, I tells ya, considering how many rabbits they murder every year.

Many motorists turn without a signal, far more than cyclists. Many are ignorant of the rules of the road. They pass without warning.

And I equally despise them also. Unlike many, I even signal for blind corners. It's an important tool that is far too underused.

However, in my entire lifetime, after seeing multitudes of bicyclists turn, I've only ever seen *ONE* use an turn signal, and even that was done incorrectly.

It's almost shamefully self-serving and ignorant to complain about how inconvenienced you and your resource consuming, pollution producing cars/trucks/SUVs are by having to actually WATCH the road.

This begs the question: Is pollution in your area, caused by vehicles, so bad that you actually are unable to see, and therefore causes accidents? If so, you have a case to mention it. If not, give it a rest.

And how the hell is usage of resources endangering people on bikes? Are they making oil drill sites in the middle of main street or something?

Stay on topic, please!
posted by shepd at 2:17 PM on November 2, 2003


Cars *do* own the road. The nation's road system is designed for, and to a large extent, paid for by motorists, not bicyclists. It's a means of enabling commerce, not for people to make an environmentalist statement.

I believe in the right to travel, but people should travel where it is safe to do so, and in appropriate locations. The disabled fought for years for equal access to sidewalks and places of business, and are just now starting to have that happen. It seems that cyclists have less claim for accommodation than the disabled, yet are much less polite in asserting their "rights."

Maybe you cyclists would get much farther in making the roads safer, even having them redesigned for cyclist safety, if you were a little less hostile toward the people who are paying for the roads. Lobbying by being rude and in the way is not too effective in my opinion. . . Feel free to keep trying that though - see how far you get with it.
posted by BrandonAbell at 2:19 PM on November 2, 2003


whirlwind: I did read the links, and none of them offer any actual quote of what DJs said. For all we know, the Yahoo article is a virtual rehash of a Clear Channel press release. Like I said, this is the kind of publicity Clear Channel loves.
posted by mischief at 2:22 PM on November 2, 2003


Perhaps what is missing here is a bit of mentioning about how things work where I live (I see in the US on this issue things are WAAAAAY different than the usual tiny differences.)

So in Canada it's a good thing when radio hosts advocate the injury (or perhaps worse) of a large segment of the population? Stay on topic, please.
posted by Vidiot at 2:30 PM on November 2, 2003


>So in Canada it's a good thing when radio hosts advocate the injury (or perhaps worse) of a large segment of the population? Stay on topic, please.

Nope, and fortunately, that's not was was mentioned in the broadcast:

They say the morning show hosts at Clear Channel Communications stations in Cleveland, Houston and Raleigh, N.C., also suggested motorists blast horns at cyclists, and speed past them and slam on their brakes in front of them.

It is clear that the DJ simply wants drivers to keep cyclists alert (which, from the 91.2% figure, they need some help on being) and not hit the ones that do break the law.

The speeding past "danger" would depend on the situation, and depend on the exact transcript (forthcoming from a cyclist advocation group, I'm sure).
posted by shepd at 2:35 PM on November 2, 2003


Who shall rid me of these troublesome cyclists?
posted by Vidiot at 2:37 PM on November 2, 2003


BrandomAbell, I'm confused. You seem to be claiming that there is a special motorist tax that goes towards paying for all roads. I used to own a car - and somehow I got out of paying that tax. Are you discussing toll roads that bicyclists aren't allowed on? How do they relate to the roads on which I ride my bike.

Or, are you implying that I am a lazy commie biker and kind of mooching off of your hard earned tax dollars?

Please, clear up this tax issue. I think I might owe some back money.

You drive a car. You don't have special rights that I don't. That's my fucking road.
posted by goneill at 2:40 PM on November 2, 2003


Cars *do* own the road. The nation's road system is designed for, and to a large extent, paid for by motorists, not bicyclists. It's a means of enabling commerce, not for people to make an environmentalist statement.

Brandom, you need to learn some history. The bicyclist movement helped pave the way for good roads in this country. In fact, it was called the "Good Roads" movement, spearheaded by those who felt that the then patchwork system of roads was detrimental to commerce and recreation.

And bicyclists pay sales and property taxes like everyone else does, which pay for local roads. The gas tax funds Interstate highways and state freeways, most of which already do ban cyclists, and for good reasons. But bicylcists should have the right to ride on roads that they paid for, especially when they cause 1/1000th of the damage that an average automobile causes.
posted by calwatch at 2:45 PM on November 2, 2003


This cyclist and MeFi member is grateful he's not overweight as well.
posted by normy at 2:48 PM on November 2, 2003


You hung yourself on that one, Brandom, as gas taxes only pay a fraction of building and maintaining roads.
posted by mischief at 2:48 PM on November 2, 2003


Attention: I would like to take this moment to advocate the brutal murder of radio personalities. I'd like to encourage all you readers out there to hunt down and gut every radio personality you can find.

...if you can hang them with their own entrails, so much the better.
posted by aramaic at 3:09 PM on November 2, 2003


On the topic of bad motorists, they exist, and I despise them as much as I dislike poor bicyclists. However, the fact that there are bad motorists does not excuse the FACT that 91.2% of bicyclists don't give a shit about their safety, and, with that, the safety of others. 91.2% of motorists did not endanger their lives willy-nilly even prior to seat belts being mandatory.

Okay, look, shepd. You can stop harping on that 91.2% figure. You're wrong. It's from a statistically biased sample: those cyclists admitted to a specific ER in Arizona. It says NOTHING about the actual portion of cyclists that do or don't wear helmets. It's probably the case that a significantly higher portion of those that were NOT admitted to the ER were wearing helmets: they're the ones that were smart enough to not get into an accident in the first place. Even if that's not the case, you have no evidence to say anything about it.

However, in my entire lifetime, after seeing multitudes of bicyclists turn, I've only ever seen *ONE* use an turn signal, and even that was done incorrectly.

My entire cycling team does. Apparently your entire lifetime isn't a statistically significant sample.

WHAT? So, wait a second. If I drive a Camry, I am expected to spend my time looking out for VW Beetles and Corollas? Where the hell does it say that in the Highway Traffic Act? I must have missed it.

No, you have to spend your time looking out for ALL OTHER VEHICLES, BICYCLES, AND PEDESTRIANS. Welcome to life, jackass.
posted by The Michael The at 3:18 PM on November 2, 2003


have the walls of the hole shepd is digging for himself collapsed on him yet?
posted by specialk420 at 3:18 PM on November 2, 2003


Would it be churlish to point out that shitty, irresponsible, aggresive, dangerous road users are shitty, irresponsible, aggresive, dangerous road users? Mode of transport doesn't automatically make you shitty, irresponsible, aggresive or dangerous.

I speak as a former professional - now only occasional - driver (truck, van, car & motorbike), cyclist & pedestrian who would prefer to share road space with other folks who try to keep to the rules & act responsibly.

Pay attention & be defensive rather than offensive. Try to keep your personal issues to yourself when you're on the move. Act as you would like others to act towards you. Y'know, act like an adult...
posted by i_cola at 3:25 PM on November 2, 2003


This is why when I ride, I obey all traffic laws and ride defensively.

It pays to assume that any particular driver might be a homicidal lunatic blinded by rage at my cycling on "their" road. Several posters in this thread prove me correct in this assumption.
posted by moonbiter at 3:29 PM on November 2, 2003


These cycle threads always get my goat up because I'm a cyclist and a driver. I ride my bike when my trips are within 15 miles. I wear a helmet. I ride with traffic and follow the safety laws. I keep alert, but I also don't take any crap when it's my right of way. Yes, there are a lot of cyclists who don't act responsibly; they need to be taught to be aware of the rules of the road and follow them. Being on a bike means being another vehicle on the road. Break the rules and get caught, you should get a ticket. Remember that kid who got fined for riding on the wrong side of the road not too long ago? He got what he deserved. His parents should have shut the hell up and been happy their kid got a ticket rather than a trip to the morgue.

Everyone on the road has to be responsible. Cyclists can't cut lights or swerve in lanes or ride on the sidewalks on the wrong side of the road. Same for cars. When DJs go and tell people to honk their horns at cyclists or slam their brakes in front of cyclists. Contrary to what shepd said, that's not behavior that encourages alertness in cyclists; that's the kind of shit that startles people on bikes and causes them to lose control and get hurt. Anyone who enourages people to engage in behavior that would cause other people harm have shown they're not responsible enough to be on the air. They should be sacked. Personally, I'd also like to beat them with my spare tubes, but I know that's not adult and responsible.

And, on preview, what calwatch said: it's my fucking road, too, pal. I paid for it as much as you did. I'll watch out for you, 'cause I know you're not watching out for me.
posted by RakDaddy at 3:31 PM on November 2, 2003


It is clear that the DJ simply wants drivers to keep cyclists alert (which, from the 91.2% figure, they need some help on being) and not hit the ones that do break the law.

Shepd, you should work as a press secretary or something. Your twists of logic and use of statistics that mean nothing about the conversation are truly impressive. It's also really tricky the way you accuse others of being off-topic when it's you who are bringing in random figures that prove exactly nothing. I'm, simply, in awe.

Helmet laws are a good idea, but a bicyclist without a helmet is not going to endanger a driver without a seatbelt. The two things do not correlate. If a SUV hits me as I'm peddling to work, I could be killed wether I'm in a helmet or not. The driver probably wouldn't be harmed at all, even if they were not wearing a seatbelt. Of course, they would be forced to sue my next of kin to touch-up the paint, but that's life!

That said, it is in no way clear that the DJs were trying to encourage safety by telling motorists to harass bicyclists. That is your own extrapolation and a twisted, cynical one at that.

I realize life must be tough, being an oppressed car-owner and all, but I respect how you approach your challenges with dignity.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:33 PM on November 2, 2003


here is sit, mouth agape, rueing the bruise which shall certainly decorate my jaw by morning. "responsible", "radio" and "journalism", all uttered as consecutive words in one sentence. clear channel, i'm sure, would prefer "smart wireless information catering" to describe what is actually "mindless radio-frequency rumor, gossip and hatred mongering".

that said, bicyclists are among the most arrogant, annoying, above-the-rules sons of bitches extant on the public rights-of-way today. get out of the road, you three-abreast assholes. i'm in no mood.
posted by quonsar at 3:43 PM on November 2, 2003


I see the bike nuts have derailed yet another perfectly good thread. Pity.
posted by rushmc at 3:48 PM on November 2, 2003


About to read the thread in it's entirety, but... you guys know you can get 6Music on the web, right?

That should eliminate any 'shock-jock' probs you have right there.


"What do we want? The mobile web!
When do we want it? Now!"
posted by dash_slot- at 3:51 PM on November 2, 2003


For somebody who's harped on statistical abuse to try to prove their point in the past you do a piss poor job of seeing flaws in the statistics when they support your views shepd. By taking the sample from people who've turned up in the emergency room for some sort of trauma due to a bicycle injury the results are skewed. The statistics you've cavalierly misinterpreted would indicate that the use of a helmet reduces your chances of ending up in the emergency room.

Most summers I ride a lot, not to work, but around the area bike trails and such. The majority of riders that I see do wear helmets, as do the majority of roller bladers. As far as I know (I've never checked) the place where I live has no helmet laws. I do know that there are no helmet laws for motorcyclists (and oddly enough most motorcyclists do not wear helmets) Now even this might be an abuse of statistics, maybe people who ride on bike trails are more safety conscious bikers. I don't know. If I wanted a really valid statistical sample I'd probably pick an area and set up people to tally helmet usage as they entered or left the area.
posted by substrate at 3:55 PM on November 2, 2003


I've probably driven and been a pedestrian in the two worst bike areas in the world: New York City and the USC Campus. I'm not going to say that all bike riders are terrible, because that obviously isn't the case. However, there is a trend for cyclists to be selective about which rules of the road they're going to obey. Half the time they follow the rules for vehicular traffic, and half the time they follow the rules for pedestrian traffic.

This is only a major problem at intersections. These are the things I encounter EVERY DAY driving to USC.
1) Bikes running red lights (usually for a right turn).
2) Bikes turning without indicating.
3) Bikes moving from sidewalk to street at will, with little regard to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
4) Ignoring stop signs. (I see this EVERY DAY.)
5) Stopping in crosswalks. For some reason cyclists think they don't have to stop where the rest of vehicular traffic stops. They get to stop in the middle of a cross walk, and I've seen several pedestrians hit in this manner.

I don't agree with the shock-jocks that cyclists should be harassed. However, I do wish bicycle commuters were required to pass a safety test, and get a license. I also wish they were given traffic violations.
posted by kcalder at 4:05 PM on November 2, 2003


that said, bicyclists are among the most arrogant, annoying, above-the-rules sons of bitches extant on the public rights-of-way today. get out of the road, you three-abreast assholes. i'm in no mood.

I stay on the sidewalks and bikepaths whenever possible considering the caliber of those issued driver's licenses.

I walk a great deal, too--my experience is that cars block crosswalks far more than bicycles and bicyclists rarely run red lights when people have started to cross the street. Cars, on the other hand, do frequently, especially during rush hour.

I have never had a person on a bike try to run me down in a crosswalk--drivers, yes, but never a bicyclist. On foot, I have had to deal with assholes on bikes but compared to the number of assholes in cars I've encountered in the same context, their numbers are minuscle.
posted by y2karl at 4:18 PM on November 2, 2003


I have a road bicycle and I ride a few times a week during the warm months of the year, witha cycling club. We go out of our way to observe all rules of the road. Why? Cuz its dangerous riding on the road with cars.

As anyone who rides the roads in my area, at least, will tell you... there are a lot of people on ther oad who actively harrass riders for.no.reason.at.all.

Its ugly, its dangerous, and its a variant of the behavior we've all seen in which people, perhaps in a bad mood, decide to let out their frustrations on the road by behaving towards others in a way they would never have the nerve to do face-to-face.

If you find yourself declaring hatred for anyone you've essentially had only momentary interaction with, serious introspection if not therapy should be indicated. Its textbook antisocial behavior, indefensible whatever the generalzed grievance which spawned your hatred.

:) Share the Road :)
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:27 PM on November 2, 2003


Oh beautiful

... for amber waves of grain
... but less and less on other fronts

Often he DJs are paid to yuk it up and say stupid stuff.

Sure, why not, TV newsanchors do it. And GOD KNOWS we need encouragement for more stupidity in America.

Bicycle commuters, as a group, are frequently seen as left-wing nutjobs

They must be. Look at those Red Chinese, they all bike. Why wouldn't a Real American (TM) drive an SUV?

It's not fair that I have to take the parents of someone on a bike to court to get the bits skull out of my car

Let's see. You just killed somebody with your car, and you're worried about how your car looks.

Getting hard to love. Must be time to leave.
Switzerland they're saying, or Sweden.
posted by Twang at 4:31 PM on November 2, 2003


It's good to know who I might be on the roads with.

Bite my tires.
posted by vers at 4:37 PM on November 2, 2003


Note, too, that the study to which shepd refers was conducted solely for the purpose of determing what correlation that there is between helmet-wearing and law-following. It was the result of this study that helmet-wearing bicycle riders were 260% as likely to stop at stop signs and 710% more likely to use hand signals. These results are certainly consistent with my experiences.

Additionally, note that that these statistics are based solely on data gathered "during daylight hours" (that is, they're not necessarily commuters, FWIW) and, most importantly, "near the campus of a major university." In my experience, college students tend to be significantly less responsible than the population at large. Although it is interesting that only 8.8% of college students in one particular town on one particular day wore a helmet while riding a bicycle, I wouldn't believe for a second that there's any logic is assuming that this data is representative of the population on the whole.
posted by waldo at 4:52 PM on November 2, 2003


I love this 'claim'
Ignorance of the rules of the road

Ok, hard to argue with

not pulling over to allow faster vehicles to pass,

Please provide where this is the 'law'.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:54 PM on November 2, 2003


Shepd's statistics are not terribly useful, but why is everyone misrepresenting them? It's not a sampling of people admitted to an emergency room, it was a sampling of people who happened along three different intersections in some college town in Arizona.

There have been a few studies done, and it appears he cherry-picked the one with the very lowest helmet usage he could find. Here are a few more:
North Carolina - 17% overall
Consumer Product Safety Commision - 50%
etc...

Of course I'd say the bigger issue is why this is relevant? Would anyone advocate throwing bottles at cars driven by people who aren't wearing seatbelts? Would we laugh at a story about someone driving a motorcycle off the road because the rider wasn't wearing a helmet?
posted by mragreeable at 5:19 PM on November 2, 2003


"'not pulling over to allow faster vehicles to pass'

Please provide where this is the 'law'."


Utah Code Section 41-6-55:

On any highway:

(b) the operator of an overtaken vehicle:
(i) shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle


Good enough for you?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:46 PM on November 2, 2003


I am a responsible bike rider. I stay to the right side of the road, don't run redlights, and use hand signals. However, I was recently yelled at for no reason at all by some asshole in a car who yelled at me to "get on the sidewalk!" Doesn't he know that riding one's bike on the sidewalk is illegal?

I fail to understand the hostility some in cars show toward those on bikes, but I think shepd's attitude sheds some light on it:

Deciding they are "better" than be because they use a bicycle.

No, shepd, I do not think I am "better" than anyone for riding a bike. The fact that you fear that bicycle riders think they are better than you bespeaks some pretty serious insecurity. Only the insecure worry that others might "think they are better" than them.

---

Unfortunately, I have seen some really irresponsible cyclists on the streets of my city; driving the wrong way down one-way streets, etc. I do agree that there should be classes and licensing, just like there are for cars. (Maybe make it for those 16 and over; little kids should be allowed to ride bikes without a license, as they're usually not the ones causing problems).
posted by spacewaitress at 5:56 PM on November 2, 2003


My favorite topic.

All I have to add is that I, for one, cannot wait for gasoline to hit $5/gallon.

*signals left. turns. pedals off into sunset.*
posted by Fezboy! at 6:49 PM on November 2, 2003


All I have to add is that I, for one, cannot wait for gasoline to hit $5/gallon.

That's pretty masochistic, conisdering it will make virtually everything you buy significantly more expensive.
posted by kindall at 6:54 PM on November 2, 2003



From my experience, in order of general stupidity:

1. Pedestrians (brain dead rude idiots)
2. Car drivers
3. Cyclists (champs)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:11 PM on November 2, 2003


For whoever said the roads were created for cars... Well, actually the Interstate Highway system was created to help with the nation's defense... Sort of.
posted by drezdn at 7:19 PM on November 2, 2003


"Tragedy is I stub my toe. Comedy is you fall in a manhole and die." - Mel Brooks.

Motorists find tragedy befalling a cyclist amusing. Cyclists find tragedy befalling a motorist amusing. This isn't leftwing or rightwing.. Sadly, it's instrinsically human.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:43 PM on November 2, 2003


Cyclists find tragedy befalling a motorist amusing.

Where do you get that? I think car accidents are grisly and horrifying. I imagine most who ride bikes feel the same way.
posted by spacewaitress at 8:03 PM on November 2, 2003


You know, until I read this thread, I disagreed with Critical Mass.

Now? I'm all for it.
posted by eriko at 8:17 PM on November 2, 2003


If someone could dig up a statistic for percentage of all miles bicycled, bicycled by helmeted riders, it'd be a damn sight more than 8.8%.
posted by Zurishaddai at 8:56 PM on November 2, 2003


Why are we all so anti death and maiming? People need to relax and learn to enjoy the small things in like, such as the ka-ka-thunk-kloosh of a motorist running over a bicyclist or pedestrian and crushing his/her skull, brain-matter bursting onto the pavement as if from a melon.

Except cats. When cats get hit, that's sad.
posted by The God Complex at 9:03 PM on November 2, 2003


As a rider who's already (?) contributed, I thought I'd add this quote I ran across:
The cyclist cursed and swore at him from a higher moral ground that cyclists alone seem able to inhabit.
-Douglas Adams, The Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul
posted by notsnot at 9:39 PM on November 2, 2003



On preview: I'd rank Motorcyclists the politest, most intelligent road users.

Wonder why?!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:26 PM on November 2, 2003


Not only is it not responsible nor journalism, but they can and should be sued with:

• Incitement to assault.

• Promoting discrimination against all bicycle riding Americans.

The DJ, as an employee of ClearChannel, should not only be fired, but Clear Channel sued for planning, authorizing, aiding, and engaging in such hostilities or attacks against the American bicycle rider.

The DJ, as an agent of ClearChannel should be summarily sued for the same. If it's a breach of faith, it's treasonous. If a bicycle rider sues a car driver with assault for throwing a bottle at him, and the car driver's defense is that a DJ said he should do just that, could that not be interpreted as a breach of faith? Given the car driver has absolute faith in doing exactly what the DJ told him to do.

As for getting transcripts of exactly what the DJ's said on air, under the Patriot Act, SEC. 212. EMERGENCY DISCLOSURE OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND LIMB.
Sec. 2702. Voluntary disclosure of customer communications or records';
`(C) if the provider reasonably believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure of the information without delay.'
`(4) to a governmental entity, if the provider plaintiff believes that an emergency involving immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person justifies disclosure of the information;
and because of
SEC. 215. ACCESS TO RECORDS AND OTHER ITEMS UNDER THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT.
SEC. 501. ACCESS TO CERTAIN BUSINESS RECORDS FOR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AND INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM INVESTIGATIONS.

Therefore, ClearChannel seems to be obliged to keep records.

Backed up with the statements of the callers, which I found hilarious and huge lies, but for the case, I totally believe the bb gun shooter of American bicyclists and the [now repentant, no doubt] churchgoer who sideswiped an American bicyclist as proof of all these charges against the DJ and ClearChannel.

If someone spilling hot coffee on themselves from a McGlomerate sues and wins, then this case should be an easy bike ride.

Clearly it is a violation of state criminal law, prosecute!

I am disappointed how some car drivers don't want to share the road. By what god given right do you feel that the road only belongs to cars [YOU] and not bicycles and skateboarders and rollerbladers as well as pedestrians [they're all on streets in Toronto]? So what if someone is jay walking or bicycling the wrong way on a one way street? What are you, cop or vigilante to all that you don't approve of or dislike?

It's about sharing space and the air you breathe too. Some are right fucking selfish, I tell ya.


[I'll acknowledge H.R. 3162 for the wording]
posted by alicesshoe at 11:08 PM on November 2, 2003


Word, alicesshoe. Word.

It's about sharing space and the air you breathe too. Some are right fucking selfish, I tell ya.

Damn right.
posted by dazed_one at 11:46 PM on November 2, 2003


Bear in mind that the worst sound you will ever hear in the your life is the sound of a mother grieving for her dead son or daughter. You might not want to be the cause of that if you like a peaceful nights sleep.

As for the DJs, I s'pose I'm pissing in the wind here but it'd be cool if people were encouraged to think about stuff rather than just react to it. [Now why does my soon-to-be-ex-boss come to mind here?]
posted by i_cola at 12:38 AM on November 3, 2003


By what god given right do you feel that the road only belongs to cars [YOU] and not bicycles and skateboarders and rollerbladers as well as pedestrians [they're all on streets in Toronto]?

Well, maybe because if it was designed for bicycles and skateboarders and rollerbladers and pedestrians, IT WOULDN'T BE FORTY FRICKEN FEET WIDE!
posted by kindall at 12:38 AM on November 3, 2003


Bear in mind that the worst sound you will ever hear in the your life is the sound of a mother grieving for her dead son or daughter. You might not want to be the cause of that if you like a peaceful nights sleep.

Are you saying men aren't capable of grieving, that they're inherently the least emotionally expressive of the two sexes? Traditionally, this might be true, but your inclusion of "will ever hear" leads me to believe that you don't think these gender roles can every be reveresed. This ideology is a tragedy beyond all measure, a blight against your previously sparkling record.

Plus, I bet someone having his/her skin peeled off makes a wicked awful noise. This would make for a lively (deadly?) debate.
posted by The God Complex at 12:51 AM on November 3, 2003


Oh my. I didn't realize what a raw nerve the issue is. Maybe I should have left the word "journalism" out of the original post. It's still criminally irresponsible radio, IMHO, and I worked in public radio in the US for 11 years.

Interesting how bicycling seems to attract the label "liberal." Obviously the idea of environmentally friendly transport has few friends in the oil industry. But how does this get into right vs. left, and what the heck do those terms refer to in America anymore?

In the Netherlands the law is clear - if you drive a car and hit a biker, you are the guilty party. And Dutch bike paths often share the sidewalk with pedestrians. Safety is matter of common respect and courtesy. There is no legal justification for hitting a biker. Their taxes pay for the roads as well.
posted by zaelic at 3:28 AM on November 3, 2003


Wow. I've read every single comment here, and I must say that the best point made by i_cola.

Now, I'll just blather a bit about something only slightly related: I live in Greece, and despite being normally a pretty courageous person, anything having to do with traffic and vehicles here scares the pants off me. There are not a great many bikers where I am, but motorcyclists here, as a matter of course, go the wrong way on one-way streets, ignore stop signs, use the sidewalks, pass between lanes of traffic as well as on either side, and speed through pedestrian parks where toddlers and elderly people are, to the best of their abilities, roaming around.

Now, of all this, whatever regular cars can do, they will do. You will frequently find cars speeding down the emergency breakdown lanes of highways, and the regular traffic lanes themselves are viewed as mere "suggestions". When I first moved here I was once nearly mowed down by a car backing down a one-way street at high speed. We actually have "triple parking" here. With my now preternaturally acute senses, most U.S. streets would seem like the Elysian Fields...
posted by taz at 3:30 AM on November 3, 2003


Is there an investigation into the caller who allegedly ratted out her father's hit and run? Seems to me a little CallerID and a show transcript could close an attempted murder case.
posted by srboisvert at 4:31 AM on November 3, 2003


That's pretty masochistic, conisdering it will make virtually everything you buy significantly more expensive.
posted by kindall at 6:54 PM PST on November 2


Not really. I don't buy much of anything and most of what I do has been locally produced. YMMV.
posted by Fezboy! at 5:32 AM on November 3, 2003


As an avid road cyclist, I favor violence inflicted upon inconsiderate motorists (throwing water bottles, at the very least). Also, against loud motorcycles à la Harley Davidson.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:40 AM on November 3, 2003


Safety is matter of common respect and courtesy.
Such concepts are foreign to the collective American conscience.

... and we're damn proud of it, too!
posted by mischief at 6:05 AM on November 3, 2003


Any body ride in Dallas? From my experience, this place is so car governed, they'd run you off the sidewalk here.
posted by thomcatspike at 7:11 AM on November 3, 2003


The God Complex: The original draft of that post used 'parent' instead of mother. However, the worst sound I have ever heard was a mother grieving for her daughter (both good friends of mine BTW) so that's probably why I ended up with that version. I don't think that it's about gender & ability to grieve or express grief, just the sound I heard one morning that made me weak at the knees.

As you say, there is indeed another debate in there.

'...a blight against your previously sparkling record.'
Damn. I may have to go the Blair Hornstine route ;-)
posted by i_cola at 7:30 AM on November 3, 2003



"'not pulling over to allow faster vehicles to pass'

Please provide where this is the 'law'."

Utah Code Section 41-6-55:

On any highway:

(b) the operator of an overtaken vehicle:
(i) shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle

Good enough for you?

And HIGHWAY law has bearing on cyclists exactly how?

Multi-lane freeways have signs in many areas that say 'Bicycles prohibited' and have a Min. speed of 45. So unless you are Lance Armstrong, you arn't getting to the 45 min. Let alone the 'prohibited' part.

Looks like the original poster whining about 'law breaking' then giving the 'pull to the right' as 'breaking the law' doesn't actually know what he/she was talking about.

Go re-look at the law Mr. crash davis. See if bikes are even allowed on the highway.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2003


Hey Kindall, it's forty feet wide so that there is room for everyone...not just cars.
posted by Dantien at 7:48 AM on November 3, 2003


I have never had a problem with cyclists acting stupidly on the road, and I take pains to give them as wide a berth as possible. And I distrust anyone who claims they have purposefully injured a cyclist on the road. That would, after all, be vehicular assault at least, and a sudden, ugly legal problem for the driver. Plus it's just silly. My neighbors cycle. I have friends that cycle. I'm going to start taking thwacks at them with the passenger side door? That's nuts.

Locally speaking - what's with the vicious stereotyping of conservatives? Idiot DJs who get yucks from their equally idiotic listeners by telling tall tales of running over bicyclists is now "right-wing" radio? I mean, I don't like musical theater, but I don't immediately assume everyone involved in the latest performance of Starlight Express votes Democratic.
posted by UncleFes at 8:12 AM on November 3, 2003


And HIGHWAY law has bearing on cyclists exactly how?

Multi-lane freeways


Highway <> freeway. Highway = road between two towns. Highway often = 2-lane country road nice for biking. Highway also often = 4-lane road in town.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:51 AM on November 3, 2003


I ride 15 miles every day in NYC, mostly on the excellent bikepaths of Manhattan.

Here is my experience:

Pedestrians are constantly walking 5 across on the bike paths, even when a perfectly good sidewalk is 5 feet away. This is OT but it is pretty infuriating at times. Much more so than a single bike on the right of a street would be to a motorist.

I am very nearly am in an accident with a Taxi about once a week. Usually they turn left right in front of me and then stop (because the traffic is backed up.) Taxi drivers are very dangerous. Far more dangerous to bikes AND other motorists than bikes are to cars.

I've been purposely pinched out by cars many times and actively jeered at a few times. I've *never* been pinched out by a delivery truck or anything driven by a professional driver, who you'd think would be far more upset by bikes on the road. Usually it is someone from Jersey.

I *do* occasionally go through a red light... BUT only when there is no traffic coming and ONLY for the purpose of getting ahead of (and out of the way of) a long lone of traffic going crosstown. Maybe I ought not do that, but it is more dangerous by a longshot to ride to the right of a line of traffic in Manhattan than to carefully advance through a red. There are car doors AND asshole drivers to worry about when you are sharing the road. I never, ever cut off a pedestrian or come anywhere near them except...

when pedestrians as a matter of practice cross against their lights when a bike is coming. Always, always, always. I constantly have to stop when I have a greet and snake my way through peds that have a don't walk.

Let's talk about the drivers, shall we -- I think that it is an easy case to show that the average driver poses much more danger to themselves and those around them than a bike does.

Speeding. Pretty much everyone speeds. I don't have a car so I personally don't. Speeding is far more dangerous than dealing with bikes or anything I do on a bike. Speeding anywhere increases your chances of killing someone quite a bit. As was previously mentioned the only one I can easily kill on my bike is me. A speeding car is much more likely to kill people than a car staying inside the limit. Put them together and you have jerks rolling down 33rd street a 50 mph almost hitting bikes and pedestrians, or idiots going 100mph on the highway taking out whole familes.

Running red lights. Autos run red lights constantly in NYC. For some reason people don't think that when they try to make a yellow and it turns red before they make the intersection that counts. In NYC cabs will run a red if there are no cars coming... they do this all the time -- bikes be damned.

Double parking. This causes a great deal of danger for bikes and is a Driver-behavior.

I could go on but I won't. I hope that this opens some eyes to the fact a lot of typical driver behavior is more dangerous than what this post has indicated as reckless bike behavior.

I am a careful rider, I ride on the paths when I can and I've been involved in three accidents. One when a Benz ran a red and *hit me* one when a taxi decided to back up in a line of traffic when I was behind him and one when a car zipped around me and then turned right in front of me. I fail to see how drivers as a group should hate me when this is my experince.

These DJs ought to be fired, but then so should Bill O'Reilly. I guess this is what happens when you live in a society that tolerates such a corrupt morally backrupt media. But then I'm just a typical liberal on a bike, I guess.
posted by n9 at 9:08 AM on November 3, 2003


Darn, at first I thought this was about hurting people on those loud, obnoxious motorcycles. That would have been cool.

Seriously, reading this:
encouraged drivers to throw bottles at bike riders or hit them with open car doors

I conclude that evidently every one of these djs and listeners were the dumbest guy on a small-town high-school football team.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:23 AM on November 3, 2003


Speed (& stupidity) kills.
posted by i_cola at 9:55 AM on November 3, 2003


thomcatspike, I visited Dallas back in March. I was absolutely horrified. It's one of the worst-planned cities that I've ever seen. It has been created entirely for the automobile -- anybody without a car would be completely screwed. My girlfriend and I drove Preston clear to Oklahoma and south to downtown, jaws distastefully dropped until we were at last 40 miles clear of the city limits. Downtown, incidentally, was very nice. Totall abandoned, but nice. Not surprisingly, we didn't see a single cyclist the entire time.
posted by waldo at 10:08 AM on November 3, 2003


Would it be fair to argue that the separation of bicycle and other traffic would be seen as advantageous to all parties? It seems amazing to me that we, living in countries which enjoy a surfeit, should have a problem with an issue that could easily be solved with the application of a little funding and thought. I tend to vote for the political candidate who shares my views on this issue which effects me every day whether driving, or cycling.
Cycling in traffic is dangerous, but when I was sideswiped (by a man in a van executing a left turn at a junction where the options are 'straight ahead' or 'right'. There is no 'swerve left from a dead stop without indicating into the cyclist carefully passing on the left because they know that the only options at this junction are straight ahead or right' lane.) I was the only other vehicle on the road for half a mile in either direction, and when my sister was almost killed she was hit by a driver performing an illegal maneuver on a bright morning with maximum visability.
Some people do not know their car's size, or handling abilities, they are a threat to safety on the roads, I advocate advanced driving lessons for all!
posted by asok at 10:17 AM on November 3, 2003


From the Institute for Advanced Motorists:
For 4x4 read SUV, it is a british publication siting british statistics.

'One in five children injured on the road is hurt during the hours of the school run, which typically sees
rush hour traffic swelling by nearly 20 per cent.
Although over a million children a day are driven to school in private cars, only a tiny fraction of the
parents at the wheel have ever done anything to improve their driving skills. Instead they rely on their
general driving experience.
“With larger vehicles there comes a larger responsibility – and that applies especially to the roads
around schools. While any car is potentially lethal if driven badly, it has to be said the handling
characteristics and the weight and size of these 4x4s together pose a potential additional road safety
risk when there are child pedestrians around,” said Bryan Lunn, IAM Chief Examiner. Mr Lunn said
4x4 drivers should bear in mind:
· Where narrow roads and parking prevent two vehicles passing, it is far better to give way
rather than mount the pavement in order to “squeeze” past. Driving on the pavement is
illegal, damages the pavement and you could injure a pedestrian.
· If “bull bars” are fitted on the vehicle, consider removing them. They are increasingly
unfashionable and pose a needless additional risk for pedestrians, especially children.
· Those who choose 4x4s in order to make their own children safer inside should give equal
consideration to the child pedestrians outside. Around schools, speeds lower than the posted
limit are increasingly appropriate.'

It would be funny, if the problem wasn't so serious.

I met a guy the other day who was hit by an SUV when he was 4 years old. He still has a chunk missing from his waist and one of his legs is longer than the other one, twenty years on.
posted by asok at 10:31 AM on November 3, 2003


"And HIGHWAY law has bearing on cyclists exactly how?"

I knew someone would try this tack, so I point you to the relevant section of Utah code where the terms are defined:

(15) "Highway" means the entire width between property lines of every way or place of any nature when any part of it is open to the use of the public as a matter of right for vehicular travel.

Now I suppose you'd like to quibble over "vehicular"?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:57 AM on November 3, 2003


i_cola: I wasn't actually serious. Although the idea did occur to me that there might be worse sounds. I think your point makes sense, but I prefer arguments that don't appeal to emotion in such a manner; the odds that someone is thinking about someone's family before they willingly run them down in a car seem slight to none, and it probably wouldn't make a lick of difference to a person like that anyway.

Now, if you'd slipped "smited by God" in there somewhere, you would have at least appealed to the one fellow.
posted by The God Complex at 11:13 AM on November 3, 2003


Not surprisingly, we didn't see a single cyclist the entire time.
waldo Wow did not see a cyclist. Can't knock Dallas too hard as it's county produced Lance Armstrong. Next time your in Dallas check out White Rock Lake, you'll see plenty. Think the weather here can be faulted for the lack of riders then finding bike path/lane access from home. Notice most Dallasite bicyclist drive then ride their route.

anybody without a car would be completely screwed.
that's what they told me, yet did it for a year added I was new to the city;P
posted by thomcatspike at 11:23 AM on November 3, 2003


Something that just occured tome: the whole anti-cyclist attitude may be the result of a demographic study or something, where they figured out that you're much more likely to be listening to the radio in a car, than on a bike. It's all academic to me since I either walk or take the train. As a matter of fact, since I really don't enjoy driving much that's one of my favorite things about living in New York.
posted by jonmc at 11:50 AM on November 3, 2003


I hate anyone who endangers my life as I walk down the street. Bicyclists do this much more regularly than motorists.

Not true. Look at these stats.

Collisions and Fatalities in New York City Traffic Accidents, 1986-1992

Pedestrian Fatalities due to Motor Vehicle Collisions: 2308

Pedestrian Fatalities due to Bicycle Collisions: 8
posted by jonp72 at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2003


Now I suppose you'd like to quibble over "vehicular"?

Not exactly. A bicycle is a type of vehicle, but you neglected to research the laws that apply specifically to bicycles. Oregon has seen fit to codify exceptions to the law you state.

Utah Statute 41-6-87

It basically says on a bicycle you must ride as far right as is practical. Specifically, it says in 41-6-87(1)(d) that if the lane is to narrow for a car and bicycle to share, the bicycle is entitled to the entire lane.

From my understanding of the law as a non-lawyer, if one law specifically permits you to do something, a contradictory and more general law can be ignored.

So, yes, a bicycle is a vehicle. However, laws specifically for bicycles can override more general vehicular laws.

That being said, you always seemed like a nice chap to me Crash. Why would you condone the advocation of throwing bottles at or running over cyclists(me)? Criminal assult doesn't seem your style.
posted by jester69 at 2:44 PM on November 3, 2003


Oregon has seen fit to...

Er, Utah not Oregon. Sorry.
posted by jester69 at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2003


The Michael The, I'm living out in the country near a major city. Most professional cyclists aren't motoring about downtown streets when they can simply drive 10 minutes and enjoy biking in a far safer part of the land. I know this because professional cyclists here join clubs like Ziggy's who advertise runs out in the country.

Whether professional cyclists use turn signals or not, I can't comment. They simply aren't found turning a whole bunch on straight roads.

However, in the city, where cycling is dangerous, they aren't signalling. Then again, they aren't professionals. And that would be why I advocate licensing bicyclists. Then groups such as yours don't get tarred with the same brush as you'd be licensed, and they'd be fined.

next one (this IS a big thread, isn't it?)

Just because one hasn't paid the lion's share of taxes on something doesn't mean you don't have the complete right to use it for your purposes, assuming you follow the rules.

spacewaitress, sorry for generalizing. It has been my experience that bike riders feel that car drivers are somehow beneath them because cars use fossil fuels. It's a churlish attitude, and wrong. If you don't hold it (unlike some people who have participated in this discussion!) then count yourself out! :-)

i_cola, I can back up, with statistics for an entire Canadian province, rather than a part of a city, that speed is the least likely thing to cause accidents. On the "more likely" list is following too closely. Which goes along with what most people like me are saying: "Agressive drivers kill".

jonp72, how many bikes were on the road compared to cars? 0.001% perhaps, if that, from my experience. On an average week, for me, I pass more bicyclists than most (as I live in the country). Which means I pass about 3 a week. I must pass at least 3,000, maybe even 10,000 cars every week, though.
posted by shepd at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2003


" Why would you condone the advocation of throwing bottles at or running over cyclists(me)? Criminal assult doesn't seem your style."

jester, a person asked for a law that said slower vehicles must move over for faster ones, and I provided a link to one. How that becomes "condoning" anything...well, I leave that as an exercise for the reader.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:16 PM on November 3, 2003


Oregon has some pretty well codified bike laws, too, though, thanks to the granola-chomping metropolises of Portland and Eugene being the two largest cities.

I find that, in general, auto drivers have very little idea of what is and isn't legal where bicyclists are concerned. One of our newspapers had a pretty lengthy debate centered around a photo of two bikes riding abreast, one on the shoulder and the other on the line, and drivers were fuming about these horrible bicyclists with no idea of the law, &c, as we have seen. But what ends up happening is the cyclists often (we exclude the idiot college student on a kid's BMX) know the laws governing their own safe use of the road while drivers assume that they follow exactly the same rules that they must.

Here in Eugene, police encounters with Critical Mass were a problem until the CM crew went to the police commission with complaints of police writing blatantly incorrect citiations and arresting people for things not even in the books. The result is that at the last ride, we were warned by the police that anyone without a proper headlight would be promptly ticketed.

I go on Critical Mass because there are parts of town that are impossible to get to without using large, over-trafficked roads lined shoulder-to-shoulder with belligerent drivers in diesel pickups, eager to run you off the road for the mere realization that a ten-thousand horsepower engine isn't neccesary to get from one place to another. These people need to take some of the money spent promoting their penises and buy a fucking clue.

That said, Eugene is a great town for cycling, exactly because of the number of cyclists out there (idiot students or otherwise). Cars know they are out there and are generally more intelligent for it.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:26 PM on November 3, 2003


I love how people here have a fetish for refuting a statement people never even made in their post, then agreeing with that irrelevant refutation in droves. . . Then after finding one thing they disagree with in your comment they ignore the rest of it. I take it the rest was irrefutable?

I never said that bicycles and cars couldn't coexist on the same road, just that the roads are unsafe for that *now*.

Then I get some daft comment from calwatch that refers me to some historical tidbit from when roads were still made out of cobblestones. That relates to the current issue how exactly? I would complain about a horse and buggy on the road the same as I would about a bike.

For me bicycles on roads (as they are currently designed and used) is the same as large SUVs and Semis on roads. They really don't belong there. It's not a liberal versus conservative issue, it's a square peg in a round hole issue.

Let's just work toward changing the roads to be designed for different kinds of traffic to coexist *safely*. That includes better training for car drivers, and mandatory training for bicyclists, tricyclists, bigwheel riders, pogo stickers, etc. who would think themselves entitled by "right" to be on the road with everyone else.

BTW, I don't think it's acceptable for anyone to be aggressive to others on the road, including cyclists and pedestrians. The festering anger is from people that are getting tired of the latter getting a free pass on road rudeness.
posted by BrandonAbell at 4:41 PM on November 3, 2003


It has been my experience that bike riders feel that car drivers are somehow beneath them because cars use fossil fuels. It's a churlish attitude, and wrong.

but, shepd, drivers *are* beneath me because cars use fossil fuels, and i don't. why is that so complicated? or "churlish"? (i'm not sure how you mean "churlish"? maybe childish?) i'm not completely ignoring the fact that some people, especially companies, *need* to use automobiles. i'm just painfully aware that *most* people do not (at least in my city), and do so only for selfish, personal reasons. some of my best friends are drivers, and my parents! i still love them, but it doesn't mean they're not "beneath" me on this issue. (and that's not even counting the spitting and the cigarette throwing).

i would certainly agree that i (who uses natural gas) am "beneath" someone who sacrifices lots of money and convenience to heat their home with non-fossil-fuel energy sources, at least in regard to that issue. why wouldn't a driver agree that they're beneath me on this issue?

redux: no matter how many red lights i run, how many one-way streets i ride down backwards, or how many times i weave through various lanes, i'm still way better than all of you drivers. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 6:47 PM on November 3, 2003


Well, maybe because if it was designed for bicycles and skateboarders and rollerbladers and pedestrians, IT WOULDN'T BE FORTY FRICKEN FEET WIDE! -kindall
Not a valid reason for not sharing the road, kindall. When they built many roads the population and vehicular traffic wasn't the same. Roads in new suburbs are wider whereas in older parts of town, narrower thereby all part of the charm. Want wider roads? Live in the suburbs. Meanwhile, downtown, they're adding bicycle lanes. It's about the will of the people. For others, a mental adjustment.
posted by alicesshoe at 7:16 PM on November 3, 2003


What about when the road DOES have a bicycle lane and drivers still swerve to hit me, or throw beer cans at my head, or shout obscenities? Is it still okay to run me down?

I'd like to know when I can depend on my fellow man to share the road with me. Someone let me know (especially BrandonAbell).
posted by Dantien at 9:21 PM on November 3, 2003


Crash:

If you hadn't noticed the entire thread is about Clear Channel advocating violence against cyclists. Me.

For some reason I got the impression you were on that side of the debate, but upon re-reading the thread perhaps I leapt to a conclusion that was not warranted by your posts, for that I apologize.

I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine why you chose not to comment on the Utah law regarding bicycles that contradicted your citation.
posted by jester69 at 7:02 AM on November 4, 2003


"And HIGHWAY law has bearing on cyclists exactly how?"

I knew someone would try this tack, so I point you to the relevant section of Utah code where the terms are defined:

(15) "Highway" means the entire width between property lines of every way or place of any nature when any part of it is open to the use of the public as a matter of right for vehicular travel.

Now I suppose you'd like to quibble over "vehicular"?


And again I ask to be shown the part of the code claimed not pulling over to allow faster vehicles to pass. Given you claim this is part of the 'highway code', show where cars (or bikes) have to PULL OVER to let faster vechicles to pass.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:46 AM on November 4, 2003


What part of "...shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle." are you failing to parse, ashlar?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:39 PM on November 4, 2003


jester, the basic premise is still the same for all vehicles, as shown here:

"On all roadways a vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic under the existing conditions shall be operated in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. "

Substitute "bicycle" for "vehicle" and you've got almost word-for-word the same statute you quoted. Slow-moving traffic (bicycles, tractors, cars having mechanical trouble, whatever) are to remain as far to the right as is practical.

I don't see how that's a contradiction to yielding to the right when being passed.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:51 PM on November 4, 2003




I don't see how that's a contradiction to yielding to the right when being passed.

Well, Utah statute 41-6-87(1)(a)-(d) gives several specific circumstances when the bicycle does not have to move to the right.

For example, if I am travelling on a road where it is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane according to that statute, I have no legal obligation to move over.

That is a very specific and codified contradiction to your citation. If the lane is too narrow, the cyclist does not have to yield to the right. He or she may take the entire lane for as long as the road remains narrow with no duty to yield.

If you read 41-6-87(1)(a)-(d) closely, you will see there are other exceptions to the stay right rule for bicycles including but not limited to:
when passing a slower moving vehicle
when preparing to make a left turn
when avoiding hazards, other vehicles etc.

Hope that helps.
posted by jester69 at 3:06 PM on November 4, 2003


rough ashlar wanted to know where the law said a cyclist must pull over to allow faster vehicles to pass. I provided a link to that law. You're now saying "Wait, bicycles get exceptions for X, Y, and Z." Well, so does every other vehicle on the road, according to 41-6-53.

That still doesn't negate the basic tenet, which is the same for all vehicles, that other than in the specific circumstances listed above, slower vehicles are required by law to yield to the right when being overtaken.

Good hell.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:53 PM on November 4, 2003


Crash, 41-6-53(2) is very similar to the bicycle statute, with a few exceptions.

That being said, we could argue this till we were blue in the face. I interpreted your point as being cyclists must always get out of the way of cars.

My only point was that in some circumstances the bicyclist has no duty to yield to the right. Sometimes the car will have to just slow down and wait until it is safe to pass. In my experience most drivers feel that cyclists have to get off of the road and on the sidewalk if the street is to narrow, and that is just not the case. Though cyclists can be required to keep to the right side of the thoroughfare, they never are required to leave it.

That sometimes the car just has to wait was something you did not note in your original post, and I felt was worth elucidating.
posted by jester69 at 8:44 PM on November 4, 2003


Well then, I guess we agree. And it only took us, what, four days to hash it out? I think that's a new Metafilter record!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2003


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