Lots of people talking about this video of cyclist Luke Rae in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He uses a helmet cam to show his encounters with scofflaw, law breaking motorists. When motorists can learn to obey the rules of the road, I’ll recognize their privilege to use those roads.
So yeah, there are the occasional idiots who fail to recognize my right of way. The same things happen while I drive, but when I’m on bike I tend to remember it because I’m just a little more vulnerable. I watched a motorist run a red light Wednesday evening in Palo Alto and come that close to hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk. She slammed her brakes on just in time — the pedestrian was sweating bullets, while the driver smiled apologetically and waved at the pedestrian.
To the motorist, these close calls are nothing — just part of the driving experience, and nothing to think about, nothing to remember, and it’s certainly not an opportunity to learn. Maybe helmet cam videos like this will help remind all of us to be a little more watchful while we drive.
Synopsis: Cyclist Bruce Finch was riding his bike on Uvas Road in Morgan Hill, CA on October 5, 2008 when motorist Rita Campos illegally ran the stop sign into Uvas Road, killing Mr Finch. In spite of the myth that motorists are law abiding citizens while cyclists are all law breaking miscreants who deserve what they get, Santa Clara County Attorney Marcia Wallis prosecuted this case, and brought in competent expert testimony that convinced the jury that Campos had to have run the stop sign and then moved her car to hide the evidence of her careless driving.
A parked driver in Seattle opens her door into the path of a moving bus with predictable results. Just like everybody else, she’s a better than average driver who would never cause a traffic accident, so naturally she blamed the bus driver for taking out her car door.
It was a manic finish that saw fourth-placed Robbie McEwen’s right arm slashed by a spectator’s camera . . . . McEwen indicated he will start Wednesday’s second stage; however, Katusha team physiotherapist Victor Popov said that due to the trauma suffered, it’s uncertain how hard he’ll be able to grip the handlebars.
Last year at the Amgen Tour of California, I was a course marshall at the intersection of Piedmont and Sierra, where I was tremendously outnumbered by an unruly crowd. I had to ask the same few spectators over and over again to please step off the road, and I felt sick to my stomach when a small child threw a toy out into the street just before the racers arrived.
I love cycling photography too, but please consider if you will be watching the Amgen Tour that unwise spectator behavior can injure racers, can injure fans, and can change the course of the race. Please, please follow the instructions of course marshalls! We are fans too.
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