The most annoying comment I have heard recently was from some peanut who, when discussing car-bike crashes, said that "both sides are to blame".
I've been collected twice by a car. In both cases, the Police charged the driver. One copped a dangerous driving charge. I was almost collected coming home last week by a bloke who turned across my path - he was on his mobile phone of course and not watching the road. I've had a near miss with a lady who drifted into the bike lane because she had one hand holding a bowl of rice and another holding a pair of chopsticks as she drove (and ate). I have near misses with tradies on a regular basis who refuse to give way at traffic lights and roundabouts. I could go on and on for hours about the stupidity I witness on a regular basis.
And I am equally to blame for all of this?
The get out of jail card for anyone spouting this sort of rubbish is that "lawless cyclists ride through red lights all the time". Somehow, the actions of a few idiots make me equally to blame when some moron fixated on texting his mate cleans me up.
Just one question - of all the cyclists that do go zipping through red lights, how many end up spread eagled on the pavement after crashing into a vehicle? Are the papers full of stories recounting the deaths of cyclists who disregarded the lights and charged through regardless?
No. Most of the cyclists killed recently around the western world have been killed by drivers overtaking them and then turning left into their path (or right if you're in that funny part of the world) - including turning across marked cycle lanes. Impatient drivers kill cyclists - and they are solely to blame. I'm sick of this "both sides are to blame" crap. Next time someone comes out with that statement, I'll have to ask them why they think rape victims are also equally to blame for being raped.
As a driver, I am required to do my utmost to avoid an accident - even if I have the right of way. It doesn't matter that Fred Loon started crossing on a red pedestrian signal, nor that Kate Twit came up on my left in a turn lane but decided to go straight ahead - if I take them out, I am considered prima facie liable.
Fatigue is a killer, whether you are on two wheels or more.
Some years ago, my wife and I were just crossing the final intersection (on a green light) on my way to a very early start to work.
There was a mighty thump from the rear. We had been hit by a cyclist. He went off his machine, across the boot of the old Commodore,(Tough luck if we had been in my F-100 Van), hit the road and staggered to his feet.
The rider was mostly unhurt. The silly bugger been doing a "dawn" ride and had "spaced out", upright and moving, as he coasted down the gentle slope towards the intersection. Low impact speed and being very "relaxed" probably saved him from serious injury.
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