Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Traffic Chlordane

Right of way? Have you heard of it? Ever read Driver Education Manual? One shouldn’t enter an intersection with no chance of clearing it. This blocks all vehicles and slows flow for you, too. Sometimes happens when a light ahead is red; offenders aren’t going anywhere, but insist on holding spot in queue by blocking cross streets or parking lot exits. Whenever arriving at any intersection with an intention of turning left, be prepared to come to a full stop. Aggravates others when you angle into oncoming traffic; all that does is increase your own wait. Anonymous inside cars, aggressive scofflaws forever trying to recover lost time due to poor planning incite road rage.

Motorists habitually hinder other motorists. Why hold exposed bicyclists to a higher standard? Toxic traffic codes in some states demand that bicyclists “never encumber cars” by going single file and sticking to right within a yard of road edge. Must mean when cyclists aren’t themselves impeded by parked cars and poorly kept shoulders. Furthermore, must call “road edge” the boundary of travel lane, since use of gore areas, gutters, and parking spaces is prohibited for all moving vehicles. Any attempt to regulate two-wheelers resembles pesticide use. As a motorist if you feel beset by bicyclists, blame poor infrastructure and state neglect of federal laws, why pedalers, acutely aware they’re vulnerable, might salmon and shoal despite incessant unnecessary warnings.

Licenses are issued to protect everyone from the brutal horsepower and crushing weight of vehicles. Did you ever drive distracted or tipsy? Find yourself in blind or slippery conditions? Bad things happen despite good intensions. Motorists may well be 100% at fault in any bike-car accident, but that doesn’t make them evildoers to be vilified and victimized by fines. Official causes for such collisions are disputed; hooking, overtaking and t-boning are how most occur, but always due to a lack of awareness. In 2 of 3 cases, poor visibility is directly responsible. Can’t establish laws on momentary lapses of reason.

The NHTSA monitors motoring and recommends policies. They claim traffic fatalities have declined, though drivers, legalized vehicles, and reasons for frustrations are up around 15%. “Since 1980, the greatest contributions to the improved conditions have come from law enforcement efforts, in particular, a focus on detecting and removing impaired drivers from the road and the development of general deterrence and effective public information and education (PI&E) programs.” As Labann always said, removing Neanderthals from mix reduces public’s costs and risks. Revoking or suspending licenses does help, but usually only happens after tragedies occur. Automatic 3-strikes-and-you’re-out suspension won’t be made law as long as Big Oil lobbies control Congress. They muscled aside safer alternatives in bikes, busses and trains, since cooperatively they could replace cars altogether.

From year 2000, number of accidents has increased and deaths leveled. Car accidents, 5 million annually, are almost always reported. About 1%, 50,000, result in fatalities. Statistics note 150,000 bike accidents, although twice that go unreported since they don’t result in injury or loss. Less than 0.5% are fatal. Because bikes roll, they absorb some impact in rear collisions, but not t-bones. Ten times as many pedestrians die where no crosswalks or sidewalks exist. Cross referencing official sources, you are from 10 to 25 times safer riding a bike than driving a car. Counterintuitive? Not really. Speed kills. Crumple zones, roll cages, and seat belts are mitigations, not preventions; along with insurance, they encourage risk taking and extenuate transgressions. Decriminalizing bicycling would remove cars, save lives, and silence rants as this. Fear mongering and purposeless regulation poisons potential.

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