Pittsburgh vehicle drivers need to learn the law. A guy swerved into me on my bike today. I honked at him, but he continued into my path. I yelled at him, and he stopped and got out of his car and made like he was going to do something. He then decided better of it (I guess I must have been bigger than he thought, ha...) then he continued to swear at me, and say I didn't belong on the road, etc. I told him I would get his license plate number, but of course the police don't do anything about near-misses. They have to wait until I am dead, then they will do something. The officer did say he understands and is sorry. Doesn't that make me feel better.
Posted by Jon Daley on June 10, 2004, 9:14 am | Read 5168 times
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You should actually have a couple prints of the law with you on your bike so when people react that way you can clearly point out that they are commiting a criminal act and that they are the ones doing the wrong thing....

However, bike riders are not completely innocent. I have almost hit or been hit by bikes because they are not following traffic laws. I have been making perfectly legal turns and had bikes coming the opposite direction on a one-way road. The biker screams at me for almost hitting him and I just shake my head. I garentee if he runs into me it will cost me more to have my car repaired and repainted then it will to have is tire fixed. If you want drivers to respect the laws you must also...I also think that riders that ride as thier primary form of transport should have insurance for collisions. but that's an entirely different subject.

Posted by Court on June 10, 2004, 10:09 am

That's an interesting idea, having a copy of the law with me. Maybe some biking organization prints handouts, I will need to search for that.

I do try to follow the automobile laws as long as it is safe to do so. Probably the majority of the times I purposely ignore the law is situations in which I am traveling significantly slower than the traffic.

Such as, if I am first in line at a light, I will most likely go through it before it turns green (provided there isn't any opposing traffic) as otherwise, I am likely to get hit by a Pittsburgh left-er, or the traffic behind me will pass me as they gun their engine.

I also ride in the bus lane coming up Fifth Ave. I am not in the way of the busses, and I am careful not getting in the way of cars turning left. Generally, I am directly behind a bus, so the drivers cannot see me, but also it is impossible to hit me. The police officers have seen me and do not even look twice, so I take that to mean it is alright. The alternative is to ride on Forbes, and go through the intersection where the Blvd of the Allies connects to Forbes. The speed limit is 25, but most drivers are going 45-50, and I have a merge from the left. It is a nasty place to be.

Posted by jondaley on June 10, 2004, 10:28 am

This is why I pray every morning and evening that God will keep Jon safe during his commute.

Posted by joyful on June 10, 2004, 12:29 pm

Whew! Makes my knees weak to think of it. "I do try to follow the automobile laws as long as it is safe to do so" - sounds reasonable to me. I'd rather pay a fine than a hospital bill any day. As a driver, I get really annoyed when bicyclists ride against traffic, but other than that, most of the offenses I've seen have been on the part of the drivers, who seem not to be thinking.

Where I live in Florida there is a lovely bike trail on which I ride frequently. Most of it is safe, but there are places where it intersects some major roads. Crossing is taking your life into your hands, as many drivers will not stop even if you're in the middle of the road. At one of them, all traffic is supposed to stop when the trail has the walk light, but woe to the bicyclist or pedestrian who takes that for granted. More than once I've had to stare down drivers who seem oblivious to the big, red, "No Turn on Red" sign.

Keep praying, Joyful!

Posted by SursumCorda on June 10, 2004, 1:38 pm
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