Friday, May 15, 2015

Bike to work, at least you won't kill anyone

Apparently, it's Bike To Work Month right now and today is the Bike To Work Day. I suppose this is aimed at those who could bike to work if they really wanted to, but are too lazy to try. For the rest of us, biking to work is either impractical (too long distance) or a regular thing we do everyday. Like brushing teeth. Therefore, we just call this day Friday.

BikeSnob wrote:
The greatest hope we cyclists have for Bike to Work Week is that it might make a few people into more considerate drivers.
That's true. Although, to be honest, I don't really have high hopes for it. One week or even a month is just not enough time to change behavior of most drivers. Especially that 93% of all collisions with bicycles are driver's fault. At least in Vancouver. Not to mention those (fortunately, rare) situations where drivers deliberately hit people on bikes, such as this hit and run in Australia. No matter how hard you try you won't make such motorists more considerate.

Speaking of Australia (We, cyclists, love to make fun of Australians because they give us many reasons to do so.), their politicians must really have their brains upside-down if they come up with some crazy shit like this - a call for cyclist licenses. Like their mandatory helmet law was not enough, now they want to license all cyclists as well, despite the fact that it didn't work anywhere else in the world. Shit like this must make Bike to Work Week (and cycling in general) as popular in Australia as beetle taxidermy classes.

Bicycle licensing is just plain stupid. It's costly and it won't stop cyclists from breaking the law just like it doesn't stop motorists from doing it. But I'm sure any reasonable argument won't convince Aussie politicians. They "know" their styrofoam hats are the solution for all the dangers on the road. Even though data shows mandatory bicycle helmet laws have little impact on safety among children, who should be the most vulnerable.

So if we can't make certain motorists more considerate towards other, more vulnerable, road users, maybe at least we could penalize those who are clearly at fault for killing people? Wouldn't that be nice to make more drivers aware that the 2-tonne vehicle they drive is like a loaded gun? You don't swing it around because you may kill someone, so stop doing the same with your car. Like this guy, who killed 3 kids in a crosswalk. He faced no criminal charges, despite the fact that he deliberately ran a red light at 40mph. How come driver's licensing didn't make him think twice before he broke the law? Aussie politicians are trying to answer that right now.
Looks like we will need more time to put more people on bikes. Not to make them healthier but to take them away from their cars. So while Bike to Work Day is nice, Bike to Work Month is even nicer. How about Bike to Work Year then?

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