[*BCM*] Be the change you want to see in the world & SUVs
trevay at massbike.org
Wed Jun 7 14:55:37 EDT 2006
>On 6/7/2006 at 10:55 AM Jon Ramos wrote:
>So when an oversize suv nearly runs me off the road because it is too wide
>to pass me safely, I should shout "I LOVE YOU!" ?
At the risk of picking a nit, let's understand a few things --
1) The SUV didn't pass you so unsafely. Its driver did. The driver made the decision to pass you, even though it was not safe to do so. The driver could have made a better decision, regardless of what he or she drives -- scooter or 18-wheeler.
2) Clearly, it is more difficult for a motorist to pass a slower vehicle in an SUV than a Mini. This difficulty is a natural consequence of the decision that driver makes when they get behind the wheel of this vehicle.
3) Our society does a lousy job at communicating this consequence, and its attendent responsibility for safe operation, to drivers. The car ads show their motors whizzing down empty roads and highways; driving education does not adequately teach motorists how to pass safely or to tell students that they must not pass cycists if it cannot be done at a "safe distance and reasonable and proper speed," as is required by MGL ch. 90 sec. 14; and our police and legal system often fail to hold drivers accountable for their irresponsible passing behaviors.
Although we can agree that the roads would have more lateral space on them if we one-and-all drove Minis (or smaller), the responsibility for safe passing is first on the motorist. It is secondly on traffic educators and testers, and on the police and legal system, who should train and require motorists to drive better than they do. These factors are independent of the vehicles on the roads.
Since these things are the primary problems, we would probably do our best to increase passing safety if we focus on improving driver education and demanding better traffic enforcement.
Of course, if cyclists choose to obey or disobey the laws as they choose, and allege that they should not be held to those laws they want others to follow ... well, it kind of undermines the education and enforcement argument.
... who never "loved" a bike, let alone a car, in his life. But I had a dream about a female mechanic last night ... oh, never mind!
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