Morning Links: Petition urges tougher hit-and-run penalties; an LA cyclist says you’re not above the law, either

A new petition urges tougher penalties for hit-and-run drivers who injure or kill bicyclists, runners or pedestrians, in the wake of the gentle wrist-caress plea deal given the drunken killer of cyclist Andy Garcia.

If you’ve been coming here for awhile, you know I’ve offered my own suggestions on how to put an end to hit-and-runs once and for all.

Meanwhile, another petition calls for an end to the common practice of driving — legally — without plates, which makes it virtually impossible to identify drivers who flee after injuring or killing someone. Although some people want to remove the requirement for a front plate entirely because it reduces aerodynamics and might get dinged during a car wash.

Seriously.

But if some driver takes off after running over my ass, I want the cops to be able to read the imprint of the jerk’s license plate embedded on my butt cheeks.

One way or another, though, something has to be done now to stop dangerous drivers from running away like the cowards they are after colliding with another person or vehicle.

And force them to take responsibility for their actions.

Willingly or not.

……..

An LA bike blogger offers a word of advice to his fellow bike riders:

JUST QUIT BREAKING THE DAMN LAW, PEOPLE!

It’s a good read. And he’s got a point.

Though I might argue with the suggestion that the distain some drivers have for cyclists is justified by our own bad behavior.

But I’ve had the same experience he has of obeying the law only to watch another rider blow through the red light or stop sign I’ve stopped for. Or pausing to observe a motorist’s right-of-way only to have a cyclist swerve dangerously around me and cut the car off — then flip off the driver for the chaos he created.

And yes, it’s inevitably a he.

Granted, traffic laws were not written with cyclists in mind. And sometimes safety dictates observing the spirit, rather than the letter of the law.

But we can’t expect others on the roads to obey the laws we choose to flaunt.

There’s absolutely nothing that says traffic regulations don’t apply to you. Or me, for that matter.

And let’s not forget that if anything bad does happen, you’ll likely lose any chance of an insurance or legal settlement if it can be shown you were even partly in the wrong. Regardless of what the other party may or may not have done.

It may not be fair.

But that’s the world we live in these days.

……..

Local

Flying Pigeon shows how it’s done when they successfully bike the vote at the recent NELA Neighborhood Council elections.

Bodacious Bike Babes visited Union Station in advance of its 75th — not 25th — anniversary.

UCLA celebrates Bike Week next week.

The annual Palms Bike Rodeo takes place this Saturday.

 

State

The OC Register reports on Sunday’s Dana Point Grand Prix that left five women riders injured.

Bike riders take over San Diego’s Barrio Logan for a full day of all-ages bike racing.

In a nice gesture, a San Jose writer suggests naming a bike boulevard after a local priest who was killed while riding his bike.

 

National

Sadly, Silicon Valley actor and “fanatical” cyclist Chris Welch succumbs to the cancer he’d battled since 2010.

Streetsblog remembers bike-friendly former Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar.

A Las Vegas driver faces DUI charges when he hits a 12-year old bike rider before and after slamming into multiple parked cars, then fleeing the scene.

A Portland bike rider files suit against the city after she’s injured on streetcar tracks trying to avoid people standing in the bike lane.

New York cyclists celebrate the Blessing of the Bicycles; LA riders will celebrate ours next Tuesday as Good Samaritan Hospital honors Ghost Bikes LA. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

As helmets become more common for kid’s activities, including bike riding, they still do nothing to prevent concussions. As I’ve learned the hard way.

 

International

A UK rider points out the indignities women have to put up with when she’s slapped on the ass from a passing motorcycle. Unfortunately, that’s a story I’ve heard too often from other women, as well.

Now that’s more like it. British drivers who kill while driving with a suspended license will now face 10 years in prison. Then again, I’d vote for prison time for anyone who continues to drive after their license has been revoked.

Nice promo for the inaugural Women’s Tour of Great Britain this month.

 

Finally…

Top women’s pro cyclist Evelyn Stevens is just the latest to offer a video on how to change a flat tire — after the proper nourishment, of course. And a new video shows how not to lock your bike like an idiot.

 

5 comments

  1. Buddy Hernandez says:

    On “JUST QUIT BREAKING THE DAMN LAW, PEOPLE!” ..

    I live in Long Bch, bile trails and lanes all over the place. Not always in the most useful places for me but they are available and well marked.
    But still, ever day, I see fellow bikers (male and female) racing on sidewalks with little regard to walkers and drivers; speeding through red lights and stop signs with barely a pause, if any, to check for on-coming traffic; and showing an increase in aggressive behaviour toward drivers when the rider is obviously in the wrong.
    So who do I hold responsible when the driver is on my tail, or close to side swiping me, or laying on the horn at an intersection because I am in a safe and legal position while waiting for the green?
    Aggressive and/or illegal behaviour on both sides is wrong, but it is also increasing.

  2. “And yes, it’s inevitably a he.”

    Oh no it’s not, sad to say. I recently avoided being T-boned as I started to cross La Brea at Fourth Street on the green…by a pretty young woman on a bike. She just breezed through a solid red light, and I had to slam on the brake to avoid a collision. She was in full Liz Hatch mode, but at that moment she was about a sexy as a half-starved pit bull jumping out of a dirty alley.

    I don’t “get” red light runners anyway. I sometimes ride along with them for miles, catching up to them between lights as they saunter along. They’re obviously in no hurry, so why blow lights? Has rudeness been institutionalized in LA bike culture, the way it has among drivers?

  3. […] Daily Ted has interesting links. Morning Links: Petition urges tougher hit-and-run penalties; an LA cyclist says you’re not above t… Lots of good stuff there, […]

  4. StupidRedLights says:

    Traffic Lights wouldn’t be needed if there were no cars, or at least if the motor vehicles were limited to about max 12mph.

    Traffic lights are stupid and unneeded in human urban environment.

    Demonstrate your displeasure for world made for cars, by ignoring motor traffic specific stupidity like traffic lights and stop signs!!!!

    Ride one, roll on….

  5. Ralph says:

    Having bounced my head on pavement a couple of times with no memory there of except realizing I’m laying on the road when I was just riding…. I’ll continue to wear my imperfect helmet. Closed cell foam inside the polystyrene would be a good choice but it won’t pass the heat cold requirements. Perhaps having helmets with temperature ranges… One helmet was being touted to have an outer shell which moved a bit to reduce rotational forces. Don’t know the answer but having helmets for kids learnign to walk is beyond the pale and probably makes it harder for the kid to learn to walk…

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