Re: [CF] Treat-cyclists-special crowd gets it backwards, again
On Friday 31 March 2006 11:44 am, J. Bruce Fields wrote:
I think those are both good points. However, I think most drivers are
unconsciously looking for reasons to feel nervous around cyclists so that
they can further the argument that bicyclists should be kept on trails. I've
actually heard the "bicyclists are out there running red lights" argument
I think that most people are concerned that they might run over a bicyclist in
a moment of inattention, and everyone, deep down inside, would rather be able
to blame it on the cyclist. Now I know that even the most drug-addled
teenager who hates just about everything (and I apologize for the caricature)
does not want my blood on his low-rider Honda Civic. But the less reason I
can give him or her for feeling nervous around me, or for justifying wanting
me off the street, the better. If every bicyclist seemed to be law-abiding
and bicycling safely, then drivers would be put in a position of accepting us
as part of the traffic flow and accepting 100% of the responsibility for
accidents. (Which, of course, they should be doing anyway). Seeing a few,
or many, cyclists breaking the law sets up more of an us vs. them mentality,
and somewhere in the twisted psyche of the motorist makes it more of the
bicyclist's fault if an accident occurs, even if the accident is not through
the fault of the individual cyclist.
> I've become increasingly skeptical of this sort of argument, if for no
> other reason than that drivers have a responsibility to drive safely
> regardless of whatever everybody else does, and I don't like to give the
> impression of condoning driving badly just because somebody else put you
> in a bad mood.
> And in practice (though we've all seen or heard of exceptions), I think
> that very few drivers will actually knowingly compromise their safety
> and the safety of others just because somebody pissed them off the day
- --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "whistling_lass" <whistling_lass@...>
>TF: Consensus, within the cycling community, of a succinct-enough-to-
> What's your ultimate goal for this document?
leaflet-the-country-with summary of what cyclists want.
When I first cooked the document up in 1990, I thought that that'd be
easy. As it turns out, it's anything but.