Comment 75869

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted April 12, 2012 at 04:09:50 in reply to Comment 75856

I know I shouldn't wade into this silly and eternal argument that somehow cyclists are a menace and don't deserve consideration because they flout the law more than motorists.

However, regardless of the "3 second rule" (which is probably what a driving instructor or police officer advised for safety and to make sure you have really come to a complete stop), the law states the following:

  1. Vehicles must come to a complete stop at at all stop signs, and proceed only when safe.

  2. Vehicles must never exceed the posted speed limit.

(Note that bicycles are considered vehicles.)

As a driver and cyclist and pedestrian it is obvious that the vast majority of cyclists and motorists flout rule 1 most of the time, especially when there are no other vehicles at the intersection.

As a motorist, it is obvious to me that almost all drivers exceed the posted speed limit much of the time, when traffic and road conditions permit.

For example, how many drivers drive less than the legal speed limit of 100km/h on the QEW or 401 when traffic permits? Almost none!

In fact, many motorists and motorist organizations complain against enforcement of speed limits, and lobby against speed traps and other traffic law enforcement:

The above site actually states that "Average speeds in BC are almost always over posted speeds." (Note the use of "posted" instead of "legal".), and argues that motorists should only be ticketed when they exceed the 85 percentile speed of actual motorists, which would be about 20km/h over the legal speed limit!

And they try to help each other flout the law by encouraging speeding, which is dangerous to all road users:

and avoiding red light cameras

Talk about flouting the law...

Have you actually tried driving at 100km/h on Ontario's freeways? As we all know, the average speed is closer to 120km/h, about 20% higher than the legal speed limit!

And, as someone else pointed out, motorists are the ones causing the roughly 2000 deaths and 200 000 injuries in Canada each year, not cyclists or pedestrians. Note that I said "caused" and not "at fault", which is a legal determination. It is the car that poses the danger to the cyclist and pedestrian, not vice versa. And excessive speed is the single biggest factor in fatal accidents. Note that a recent University of Toronto study of Police collision reports suggests that motorists caused about 90% of collisions in Toronto:

In 2009, motorists killed 307 pedestrians and 41 cyclists.

To claim that it is somehow law flouting cyclists that is the problem is to ignore reality: both cyclists and motorists flout the law (and in fact most of the time they are the same people!).

But it should be obvious from the statistics and the laws of physics that someone in a 1.5 tonne machine travelling at 50km/h or 120km/h is far more of a risk than someone on a 30kg bike travelling at 20 km/h.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2012-04-12 04:58:07

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