San Francisco: Bicyclist runs red light, badly injures pedestrian

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Mick
Participant
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It’s rare for a bicylist to injure another person, but it can happen. I ran into this in the news today.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2011%2F07%2F15%2FBAUL1KB1PH.DTL

(07-15) 12:28 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — A woman crossing a street along San Francisco’s waterfront was struck and seriously injured today by a bicyclist who ran a red light, police said.

The victim, who is in her 60s, was crossing the Embarcadero in a crosswalk with the green light at Mission Street when she was hit by the northbound bicyclist at about 8:30 a.m., said Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman.

The woman, whose name was not released, suffered a life-threatening head injury, Esparza said.

The bicyclist remained at the scene after the collision and was being interviewed by police, authorities said. The bicyclist’s name was also withheld.

“Bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians need to be reminded on a daily basis of the importance of following rules of the road,” Esparza said. “These rules are there for their safety.”


quizbot
Participant
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Rare but not entirely unheard of. There were 2 pedestrians killed by cyclists in Philly in October 2009. One was a hit & run.


Mick
Participant
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@quizbot Interesting article – particularly on the legislative consequences

Philadelphia media led the charge, with an almost daily barrage of news articles and opinion columns with an anti-cyclist slant. Taking up the banner and joining the fray, two Philadelphia Councilmembers stepped forward with separate legislative proposals targeted at cyclists. Together, the proposed ordinances would:

Increase the fine for riding on the sidewalk from $54 to $300

Increase the fine for riding with headphones from $3 to $300

Increase the fine for riding “brakeless” fixies from $3 to $1,000, with a provision that if the fine is not paid, the fixie would be confiscated.

Require all bikes to be registered, and to have a license plate.

Note that the car fatality rate in the philly metro area a tad to the north of 2 per day. But for bikes, 2 fatalities in one month requires radical action.

I expect that if bike use keeps exponentially increasing we will see a backlash – bikes will follow the laws because we will have to.

The explicit motivation will be the inevitable fatality or two that bike use will cause. But if that was really cause for draconian laws and enforcement, they would do something about the cars.


orionz06
Participant
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So a multi-speed bike would be OK if it were brakeless? I get the idea, but why single out a particular bike, are they aiming at the stereotype rider of said bike? I am all for requiring some form of braking, but back to my younger days a shoe makes a great brake. A shoe is also likely a better brake than what some bikes come with now anyway, so what are they really doing?


brian j
Participant
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@orionz06: Most pedacycle codes specify how quickly a bike needs to be able to stop within some reasonable distance from a reasonable speed[1]. So, in your example, a multi-speed, freewheeled (I assume) brakeless bike would be right out, since it has no reasonable braking system (if you consider a shoe a reasonable braking system, let’s go to the top of Sycamore street, you on your brakeless bike, and me on my commuter with two rim brakes).

I’m surprised the Philly law doesn’t say anything about brakeless BMX bikes, since those are relatively popular, too.

[1] Say, 15 feet while travelling at 10-15mph.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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“…bikes will follow the laws because we will have to.”

Perish the thought.

Say it aint so.

We’re doomed!

OMG.

Darn laws, who needs ’em.

Whatever will we do when we actually HAVE to obey LAWS?!?

Bunch of stinkin’ socialists/communists/liberal/tea party/car-lovin’/bike hatin’ so-and-sos ruinin’ a good thing we had goin’ here.


mangmang
Participant
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They keep appending this to the end of news pieces on bike-related accidents in SF. A 25yo woman named Nancy was killed making an illegal left without a helmet last week – it’s horrible & sad, and I wondered if I’ve seen her on commutes before – and for some reason they felt it germane to mention the 60yo woman who got hit at the end of the article. It’s happened in more than one article. I guess they’re just mentioning another bike-related accident, but maybe they’re trying to underline that cyclists cause mayhem? Blah :P

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