Morning Links: New law should make hit-and-run vehicles easier to identify, and LA gets new cold brew coffee bike

Finally.

In a big step forward in the fight against hit-and-run drivers, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring all motor vehicles sold in the state to have temporary license plates when they roll off the lot.

Currently, drivers only have to display a small bill of sale, which can’t be read at a distance to identify a driver trying to flee the scene, or report them to the police for some other reason.

However, the question is whether the law will also apply to cars leased by brokers, where the actual title of the vehicle isn’t transferred, and drivers therefore aren’t required to register them. Which explains why you see so many expensive cars without license plates.

While the Times reports that consumer and civil rights advocates fear disaster when the law goes into effect in 2019, similar laws have been in effect in other states for decades without the sky falling.

Including Colorado, where I grew up and drove a number of cars with temporary plates until the regular license plates arrived in the mail, without incident.

Thanks to Lila Kalaf for the heads-up.

………

The Wall Street Journal asks if the Tour de France needs a financial fix to keep rich teams from dominating the race, as Team Sky did this year. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

Sports Illustrated says the US women’s track cycling team should have an edge in the Rio Olympics, thanks to their new high-tech bicycles with the gearing on the left side.

Columbian cyclist Nairo Quintana pulls out of the Rio Olympics due to illness.

A Canadian Paralympian gets one of her two stolen bikes back in time for the Rio games.

Brit cyclist Emma Pooley says she ain’t gonna shake hands with no damn Russians if she wins gold in Rio. Wait, not even this one?

………

Local

LA is about to get a new cold brew coffee dispensing bike cart from a new Boyle Heights coffee company. Correction: I originally wrote this was the first coffee bike like this, but I was reminded this morning that The Wheelhouse has a coffee bike, and Bicycle Coffee has a bike at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market every week.

Downtown News names DTLA Bikes Downtown’s best bike shop; Just Ride LA was the runner-up. Speaking of which, Just Ride LA will host the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on August 7th.

A Glendale street gets fresh Kermit with a 1.3 mile green bike lane on Sonora Ave.

A Pomona man accepts a plea of life without parole for murdering his girlfriend; he was arrested two days later while riding his bike, still carrying the bloody knife. Note: The story contains gruesome details of the crime, which you may not want to know. I’m still trying to get that image out of my head.

 

State

San Diego’s troubled bikeshare system may finally be getting new docking stations, even as efforts continue to remove to successful stations from the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Double bad luck. After a Bakersfield bike rider suffers a broken leg in a hit-and-run, police say he was high at the time of the crash. And yes, biking under the influence is illegal in California.

The handlebar-mustachioed San Francisco Critical Mass rider who attacked a Zipcar with his bike lock got off with time served and three years probation.

Streetsblog offers photos from Oakland’s Pedalfest.

A Rio Linda cyclist was killed when he allegedly swerved into the path of a car; his riding partner was injured when the force of the crash knocked him into her.

 

National

The LA Times recommends a handful of backroads bike tours up and down the West Coast.

High times indeed. Writers for a marijuana magazine take a dope bike tour of the Left Coast.

An 81-year old Denver woman mysteriously dies just days after killing a 14-year old boy and seriously injuring his friend as they stood in a bike lane. After receiving news of her death, authorities magnanimously dropped all charges against her, rather than propping her up in the defendant’s chair before a jury of her peers.

Iowa’s governor says he plans to address traffic safety and bicycling fatalities in the next legislative session. Meanwhile, California’s current governor doesn’t seem to have even noticed the carnage on our streets.

A Boston bike rider got her stolen bike back after spotting it on Craigslist.

Evidently, a ten minute discussion of bike lanes by the Charlotte NC city council was too much for impatient Black Lives Matter activists in the audience.

Atlanta gets the nation’s first bidirectional bike intersection to accommodate two intersecting cycle tracks.

 

International

That’s one way to boost bike sales. Canadian bike shops are seeing an increase in sales from people buying bicycles to play Pokémon Go.

An Icelandic psychology professor says to go easy on the caffeine. They’ll get my oversized coffee mug when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers.

Caught on video: A British cyclist catches the crash on his helmet cam when a driver pulls out in front of him during a high-speed descent.

Police in the UK are looking for a jerk on a bike who punched a woman driver in the face. Seriously, there’s never any excuse for violence, no matter what the driver did to piss you off. Although at least he had the courtesy to knock first.

A new Norwegian study says you’re safer riding in the summer months when more bike riders are out, because the safety in numbers effect really is true.

Does a backward letter reflect a backward approach to Aussie bike infrastructure?

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a taxi driver gets just two weeks in jail and a four year driving ban for fatally right-hooking a cyclist.

 

Finally…

Caught on video, too: Close calls don’t get any closer than this. Now you can finally build that Airstream-style DIY bicycle trailer you’ve always wanted.

And we may have to deal with piggish drivers, but actual pigs? Not so much.

 

2 comments

  1. Harv says:

    Regarding temporary license plates for motor vehicles in California, when did that requirement go away? Several decades ago, a large paper license plate would be prominently displayed on each new car when it rolled out of the lot. It would be scotch taped either to the bumper or windshield. It had large numbers and was easily read. Then, the dealers started folding the paper plate so that only a few numbers where visible. Then only one number. Then they stopped using these paper plates altogether. Apparently the auto industry lobby had the requirement tossed out. Other California Vehicle Code requirements were also overturned by the auto industry. Without getting too detailed, two of these were the requirements for sealed beam headlamps and separate bumpers capable of withstanding low-speed collisions. Both of these were for the safety of road users.

    But I suppose nowadays the convenience and profit of the auto industry supersedes any safety requirement.

  2. Ralph says:

    I can’t cry over the loss of the old sealed beam headlights. I like the brighter more dependable lights now. As for the bumpers I think they went away with crash worthiness. Now the bumpers are covered and are a part of an integrated system. Many covers are easily replaced, but not cheap. I don’t think the old bumpers ere very safe for pedestrians.

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