The Chainlink

Tries to answer the question "How safe is cycling?"

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/how-safe-is-cycling-its-ha...

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While that's a fairly "safe" article, in general it raises all of the challenges of measuring "safety." Illinois has it's own unique challenges and limitations when it comes to crash reporting, and cycling is a bit of a "canary in the coal mine" for the lack of concern Illinois has for the large number of un and under-reported traffic crashes that are seen as the "cost of doing business" in Illinois.

This is a negative aspect of the car culture that we need to change by making it unacceptable.

Charlie Short 11.5 said:

... the lack of concern Illinois has for the large number of un and under-reported traffic crashes that are seen as the "cost of doing business" in Illinois.

That and stop passing cars on the right.

FYI - New Illinois law effective 1/1/14, giving clarification on this issue between bicycles and motorized 2-wheeled vehicles.

Tricolor said:

That and stop passing cars on the right.

Law or no, it's the easiest way to get hit so I still wouldn't recommend it.  Imagine the kerfuffle we'll see the first time someone tries this with a bus, runs into a senior and claims right of way.

Passing on the right <i>does</i> require caution, but there are many situations when it's the only way to get where you're going on some of our busier bike routes, such as Lincoln, Milwaukee, etc.  When I need to do it, I keep my speed down and stay extra alert, watching for any sign that a car could move to the right or a door could open.

I believe in keeping my brakes in good working order and using them when necessary. Going at a slower speed makes it easier to stop, and stopping is much better than dealing with the consequences of a crash.

+1

Anne Alt said:

<snip>

I believe in keeping my brakes in good working order and using them when necessary. Going at a slower speed makes it easier to stop, and stopping is much better than dealing with the consequences of a crash.

'Due care' pretty much puts everything back into limbo when someone gets right-hooked or doored.  I guess lawyers did write the law.  Better than the arbitrary eight foot rule, though, but still no excuse for passing on the right in most situations.

Davis Moore said:


It's as if they already thought of that. As though thepeople involved in crafting legal language were actually professionals, with legal as well as real world knowledge and experience. Imagine that!


9-52-040

(d) Any bicyclist upon a roadway is permitted to pass on the right side of a
slower-moving or standing vehicle or bicycle, but must exercise due care when doing so.
When approaching a vehicle discharging passengers from its right side, a bicyclist must
either yield to the pedestrians or pass on the left.

Charlie has the essential point, I think, about what 'safety' means and how we measure it (fatalities per number of miles traveled? Injuries? Etc.) In addition, safety can have different practical meanings for different types of riding in different places, with significantly different risks. The article refers to all cycling as a 'sport' but of course it is also just transportation for some cyclists. My risk factors are very different commuting around the city than they are when I am riding in the countryside in WI, obviously, and safety does not mean quite the same thing. Never mind 40mph descents in the mountains.

Ever filter up between a line of cars stopped for a light?  Congratulations, you are the beneficiary of the hard fought battle to get the law clarified to allow cyclists to pass on the right.  While it is true that cyclists should use caution when doing so, it makes sense that bicycles should be allowed to overtake cars on the right.

After years of seeing insurance companies denying bicycle claims for bicyclists who were either doored or struck while filtering forward in traffic, the new language is a much needed relief for urban cyclists.  Insurance companies would always claim that the cyclist should have queued up in traffic, which defies logic, but as the law previously existed such arguments were entertained in Illinois courts.

Tricolor said:

'Due care' pretty much puts everything back into limbo when someone gets right-hooked or doored.  I guess lawyers did write the law.  Better than the arbitrary eight foot rule, though, but still no excuse for passing on the right in most situations.

Davis Moore said:


It's as if they already thought of that. As though thepeople involved in crafting legal language were actually professionals, with legal as well as real world knowledge and experience. Imagine that!


9-52-040

(d) Any bicyclist upon a roadway is permitted to pass on the right side of a
slower-moving or standing vehicle or bicycle, but must exercise due care when doing so.
When approaching a vehicle discharging passengers from its right side, a bicyclist must
either yield to the pedestrians or pass on the left.

Lawyers do "write" the law, meaning that they literally write out the text of the bill that ultimately becomes law. This is done by the lawyers and staff at the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) in Springfield. However, the language is usually submitted in draft form by the legislator who is the sponsor of the bill. The sponsor typically gets that draft from the lobbyist for the group (Active Trans, League of IL Bicyclists, etc.).

But if LRB makes substantive or even stylistic changes from the draft form the bill will "read" differently than intended. This happens all the time. Alternatively there can be disagreements on the language used in a bill at the committee level or even when the bill is heard in the House or Senate. (Think back to School House Rock and how a bill becomes a law). Things can get very tricky over the words and phrases chosen and the arguments over seemingly subtle points. One of the key rules of statutory interpretation is what is the "plain language" of the law.

Tricolor said:

'Due care' pretty much puts everything back into limbo when someone gets right-hooked or doored.  I guess lawyers did write the law.  Better than the arbitrary eight foot rule, though, but still no excuse for passing on the right in most situations.

Davis Moore said:


It's as if they already thought of that. As though thepeople involved in crafting legal language were actually professionals, with legal as well as real world knowledge and experience. Imagine that!


9-52-040

(d) Any bicyclist upon a roadway is permitted to pass on the right side of a
slower-moving or standing vehicle or bicycle, but must exercise due care when doing so.
When approaching a vehicle discharging passengers from its right side, a bicyclist must
either yield to the pedestrians or pass on the left.

Here are the key definitions (taken from actual instructions by a judge to a jury in a bicycle vs. motor vehicle case I handled) regarding the idea of "due care" or "ordinary care." These are the definitions the jury is to use after hearing all of the evidence in a case and then apply the judge's instructions to the case.

Due care can change based on the multiple factors at play in given situations. For example what might be consistent with due care on an empty street on a weekend would maybe not be due care on the same street during rush hour on a weekday. The answer is "it all depends."

10.01 Negligence--Adult—Definition

 

            When I use the word “negligence” in these instructions, I mean the failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of something which a reasonably careful person would not, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The law does not say how a reasonably careful person would act under those circumstances. That is for you to decide.

10.02 Ordinary Care--Adult--Definition

 

            When I use the words “ordinary care,” I mean the care a reasonably careful person would use under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The law does not say how a reasonably careful person would act under those circumstances. That is for you to decide.

 


Davis Moore said:


It's as if they already thought of that. As though thepeople involved in crafting legal language were actually professionals, with legal as well as real world knowledge and experience. Imagine that!


9-52-040

(d) Any bicyclist upon a roadway is permitted to pass on the right side of a
slower-moving or standing vehicle or bicycle, but must exercise due care when doing so.
When approaching a vehicle discharging passengers from its right side, a bicyclist must
either yield to the pedestrians or pass on the left.


Tricolor said:

Law or no, it's the easiest way to get hit so I still wouldn't recommend it.  Imagine the kerfuffle we'll see the first time someone tries this with a bus, runs into a senior and claims right of way.

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