Morning Links: AAA says hit-and-run crashes rise nationwide, and BOLO Alert for a stolen bike

No surprise here.

A new study from AAA shows that hit-and-run crashes are at an all-time high in the US. Something that is born out by simple observation these days.

It should also come as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of fatal hit-and-run victims — nearly two-thirds — were bicyclists or pedestrians.

And 20% of all pedestrian deaths are the result of hit-and-run drivers.

The only surprise is California was not one of the worst states for the crime, which was led by New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida.

Then the report dips into absurdity by offering drivers advice on how not to flee the scene following a crash.

AAA said drivers can avoid hit-and-run crashes by being aware of their surroundings, yielding to crossing pedestrians even if they’re not in designated crosswalks and giving cyclists “plenty” of space when passing them on the road. Should drivers get involved in a crash with a pedestrian or cyclist, AAA State Relations Director Jennifer Ryan said they should stay on the scene because the penalties for fleeing are “significantly” more severe, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.

Actually, the way drivers can avoid being involved in a hit-and-run is to just take their foot off the gas and stop their damn car.

Seriously, is that so hard?

But the problem is, while the penalties for fleeing may be more severe than the drivers might otherwise face, they may be less severe than other factors, such as driving under the influence or without a valid license or insurance. Which can actually give a driver an incentive to flee.

And some drivers just assume that they’ll never get caught — and in most cases, they’re right.

Of course, while AAA did a great job of highlighting the problem, they were silent on any real solutions.

I’ve already offered my suggestions.

But something has to be done. Now.

Because politely asking drivers to stick around just isn’t good enough.

………

Be on the lookout for a beautiful 2017 Specialized Allez DSW DL Sprint Expert stolen from the CSUN campus Wednesday.

This one belongs to a friend of a friend, so I’d consider it a personal favor if you spread the word.

………

Local

The LA Daily News reports that bicycling deaths have tripled in Los Angeles this year, compared to just two this time last year.

Best wishes to endurance cyclist and nutritionist Matt Ruscigno for a full and fast recovery, after he was seriously injured when he was left-crossed by a driver while riding his bike two weeks ago. Ruscigno is the founder of LA’s legendary hill climb competition Feel My Legs I’m a Racer.

Continuing today’s theme, no surprise here either, as car-supremiscist traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving is trying to fight long-standing plans for a road diet and bike lanes on Aviation Blvd near LAX.

As we mentioned last week, nonprofit group Bikes 4 Orphans is holding a fundraising concert next week to raise money to provide 110 bicycles for an all-girls school in Kenya. You couldn’t ask for a better cause.

 

State

Costa Mesa tries out a pop-up protected bike lane on Merrimac Way.

San Diego students and faculty morn the Grossmont College professor killed by an allegedly sleeping driver while riding his bike last week.

Men’s Journal looks at the coolest bikes and gear they saw at last weekend’s Sea Otter Classic.

San Francisco’s Tenderloin District gets its first protected bike lane.

The formerly staid Wall Street Journal says adults on tiny electric scooters are terrorizing San Franciscans. Yes, we’ve all seen the news reports of panicked Bay Area residents fleeing what remains of the city laid waste by cute little dockless scooters.

Napa Valley will be home to CampoVelo this weekend, described as a three day celebration of “food, wine, cycling, music and philanthropy.”

 

National

Vision Zero has just gone national. The US National Safety Council has set a goal of eliminating all traffic deaths nationwide by 2050.

The American Prospect calls for limiting cars in American cities to shift the focus on our streets to moving people, not cars.

Apparently there’s not much reasoning going on at Reason these days, as the conservative website says don’t blame WAZE for shifting traffic onto neighborhood streets, blame local officials for not building more freeways and traffic lanes. In other words, keep doubling down on the auto-centric planning and induced demand that got us into this mess.

A new documentary examines a coast-to-coast bike tour dedicated to living beyond diabetes.

Next City asks if congestion pricing can be equitable, as Seattle considers becoming the first US city to implement it.

Houston bike advocates are calling for changes at the intersection where a woman was killed while riding her bike, at the same spot another rider died a year earlier. Meanwhile, an Op-Ed from a Houston writer says why bother writing yet another Op-Ed about yet another bicycling fatality.

A community college instructor complains about the abysmal bike infrastructure in Port Huron MI.

No surprise here, as the survivors of the 2016 Kalamazoo massacre say they have little memory of the crash allegedly caused by an allegedly stoned driver now on trial for the alleged murders.

Philadelphia plans to fight bicycling deaths by quipping all new trash trucks with side guards, larger mirrors and 360 degree cameras.

They get it. An Op-Ed in the New York Times says cars are ruining our cities.

 

International

Mark your calendar for June 3rd, which is now officially World Bicycle Day.

A leading climate change expert says don’t bother making a case for bicycling because we’re all doomed anyway.

A Columbian town has banned gravity biking, and will confiscate any bike with modified handlebars for maneuvering around sharp curves.

Cars built in the European Union will now include a cyclist detection system developed by the Netherlands.

Dublin bicyclists stage a die-in to call for safer streets, as over 100 people participated.

Apparently having nothing else to be afraid of, Edinburgh residents are living in fear of scofflaw bicyclists riding on the sidewalk.

For the first time, more people in the Netherlands are now being killed riding bicycles than in cars, led by a rising tide of older men riding ebikes involved in solo crashes.

Twelve Israeli cycling trails to add to your bike bucket list.

Dubai plans to build over 500 miles of bikeways in the next 12 years. Let’s remind them that sharrows don’t count.

An Aussie state scraps a proposal for presumed liability after police stats show bicyclists were at fault in 41% of traffic collisions involving bikes. Which has little to do with it, of course; presumed liability simply assumes the driver of the more dangerous vehicle has a greater responsibility to avoid crashes, and should be held at fault unless it can be shown that the other party was responsible. But that last part usually gets ignored in the resulting uproar anytime someone proposes it.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Barrio Logan cycling race returns on Saturday.

Once again, the Cutters team that was made famous in the film classic Breaking Away has won the famed Little 500 at Indiana University.

Austrian cyclist Bernhard Eisel had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain caused by a subdural hematoma, apparently resulting from a crash in the Tirreno-Adriatico classic back in March.

Former Dutch pro cyclist Karsten Kroon admitted to doping during his career, which ended four years ago. At this point it probably makes more sense to do breaking news stories on the riders who didn’t dope. If they can find any.

Colorado Public Radio talks with ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who went from disgraced doper to medical dope entrepreneur.

Sad news from USA Cycling, which announced that pro cyclist Jacquelyn Crowell has died after battling a brain tumor.

 

Finally…

Evidently, shorts-clad bike cops chasing miscreants is comedy gold. When you have no idea what the hell you’re doing, the easiest solution is just to ban something — like ebikes, for instance.

And who says you need skis to go skiing?

2 comments

  1. Charles Hudak says:

    A point of clarification…the Barrio Logan Grand Prix is on Saturday not Sunday

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