Morning Links: San Diego cyclists get blamed for collisions, and accused Eagleson killer enters not guilty plea

Evidently, it’s our fault.

Mostly, anyway.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, an analysis of San Diego bike crashes since 2011 shows cyclists at fault in nearly 60% of collisions.

Of course, those stats are based on police collision reports. And as the story notes, the results are subject to question.

Their accuracy depends largely on the individual officer’s knowledge and interpretation of bike law, ability to properly investigate bike collisions — especially when the injured cyclist is often unable to give his or her side of the story — and a lack of bias.

The simple fact is that few California police officers receive adequate, let alone in-depth, training in the rights and responsibilities of bike riders, as evidenced by the frequency with which riders are ticketed for things that aren’t actually illegal, such as riding in the traffic lane or two or more abreast.

And none are trained in the unique forensics of bicycle collisions, which differ dramatically from typical automobile crashes.

As for bias, with the exception of bike cops and officers who ride on their own time, most cops see the world from the same windshield perspective as other motorists.

All of which means that stats like this may provide support those who want to write bike riders off as law-breaking scofflaws.

But until we demand better bike training for traffic investigators — and police officers in general — they will have little basis in reality.

………

Local

Not even zoo animals are safe from LA’s hit-and-run drivers, as a big horn sheep is killed after escaping its enclosure, and the jerk behind the wheel just keeps on driving.

Velonews reports on the first day of the CXLA Weekend at the Greek, with victories by Katerina Nash and James Driscoll in the elite races. Cycling Across LA offers video of the race.

A ride will be held on December 7th to honor fallen cyclist Milt Olin, roughly three months after the DA dishonored him by refusing to file charges in the case.

BikeSGV delivers their monthly newsletter filled with upcoming events in the San Gabriel Valley

 

State

Neil Storm Stephany entered a not guilty plea Friday in the alleged intoxicated hit-and-run death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson in Newport Beach last month. Stephany faces a well-deserved murder charge based on a prior DUI conviction.

Short-sighted San Clemente votes not to include bike lanes in a coming reconstruction of Calle Frontera, apparently not realizing that giving people an alternative to driving could reduce traffic.

‘Tis the season: A Pismo Beach man donates 57 bikes to the local sheriff’s department to give away for Christmas.

 

National

Great news from Tucson, as former Rep. Gabby Giffords gets back on her bike three years after the near-fatal shooting.

A road raging Seattle driver faces just three to nine months in jail following her conviction for second-degree assault for intentionally running down a cyclist in a horrific attack.

An allegedly very drunk Chicago bike share rider is critically injured after being hit by two cars.

Turns out that Wolverine-playing song-and-dance man Hugh Jackman is one of us, as he goes for a cold weather ride on the streets of New York.

A father and daughter finish their 4,200 mile trip from Washington to Key West to benefit wounded vets.

 

International

E-bikes are on a roll in Europe, but just starting to catch on in the US.

Bikes will be banned from a bucolic garden bridge over the Thames because they would allegedly spoil the peaceful walking atmosphere. And as we all know, it’s impossible to ride a bike peacefully.

Caught on video: A London cyclist captures a first-hand perspective of what it’s like to be hit by an unseen cab; the footage is evidence in a civil case.

Down Under girls just want to have fun on fixies. That is, if they’re not collecting a menagerie of bikes.

A newborn Aussie baby is safe, thanks to the cyclists who discovered him hidden in a storm drain where he had been abandoned up to five days earlier.

 

Finally…

Turns out rocket powered cyclists are nothing new. British cyclists have a better knowledge of road safety than motorists do; not surprising, since people on bikes are a lot more vulnerable on the roads those who can rely seat belts, air bags and crumple zones.

And a Boston man confronts the thief who’s stealing his bike, and wins.

 

8 comments

  1. teacherlady says:

    Thank you for your service to the cycling community. I discovered this blog when I was recovering from a very bad crash more than two years ago, and it has been a daily read since then. I hope that you have a good Thanksgiving in spite of your pain.

  2. Just want to ask if you have heard the latest conspiracy theory re Bono? That he was actually hit outside Central Park and they are blaming a bicycle rider inside the park for the wreck? Apparently the thinking goes that CP on any Sunday os fairly crowded, especially the bike paths, and a wreck that horrific would have attracted a great deal of attention, but there was absolutely nothing on any of the social media about even an anonymous wreck in CP. I don’t do the twitter thing but there was nothing on FB about it that I could find, and none of my news feeds has any witness accounts either. Also there are no pictures of the wrecked bike…

    I don’t normally entertain conspiracy theories, but I thought this one was entertaining.

  3. Brent says:

    As to the fault issue, it’s so hard to know how to call the issue. Take the Ali Mirage case, in December 2013. He was hit from behind and killed. As you wrote at the time, it appeared that he was in the bicycle lane.

    http://bikinginla.com/tag/ali-mirage/

    However, the official CHP record (SWITRS data) has this incident as his fault, “improper turning.” This designation would seem to indicate that the officer determined Mirage had left the lane and swerved in front of the driver. But how many witnesses were there? Was this a SWSS? So many questions…

  4. Vox_Populi says:

    I’d like to be the first to refute the San Diego Tribune article. First of all about fifty-percent of their advertisers are automobile dealerships. Second, that report does not take into account those automobile drivers that hit, injure and/or kill cyclists. The article does not take that data into account? Third and compelling. I’m getting fed of the media grouping commuter, casual and vagrant/transient bicyclists into the category of — cyclist –. I am a cyclist, one who wears a jersey, clip on shoes, front and back lights, and follows the rules (hand signals) of cycling to the tee. Been doing it by the book since 1974 at considerable distances. When somebody asserts that “…seen a cyclist whiz through a stop sign.”, as the article states it is almost never a cyclist in my classification. This article doesn’t make any effort to classify cyclists therefore whenever I see an accident I can reasonably assume the cyclists is a transient, vagrant, or commuter cyclist. We athletes those that cycle for exercise need to show that we are the better class of cyclists.

    And bikinginla I hope your pain issue is soothed by that hands of God and our prayers. We love you 🙂

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