Just spent two weeks cycling in the US and found the car traffic very scary

It is horrifying. Unfortunately things are not much better in the UK. An already banned driver who killed a cyclist while driving 80 mph in a 30 mph zone has just been sentenced to 4 yrs and 8 months in prison, and banned from driving for 5 yrs and 3 months. I don’t know if the license ban starts at the same time as the prison sentence but it’s astonishing that he’s getting his license back at all. Oh and he drove off and torched his car to get rid of any evidence… Banned driver who killed cyclist in 80mph crash in Normanton jailed | ITV News Calendar

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The ban effectively starts at the end of the prison time (although it’s slightly more complicated than that because of the weird way that there’s a starting assumption that people will only actually serve half the time they’re sentenced to).

Well it’s still horribly lenient

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But happens in America all the time. The courts are overloaded with petty cases and hogtied with needless regulations. To better deal with ‘drink drivers’, and especially those that kill others while drunk driving, it would seem that the courts should develop an accelerated processing lane for them that if you are caught drunk driving, you instantly lose your license for 10 years, and if you kill or have an accident that results in death, you instantly go to prison for 25 years, no chance of parole. If the courts (politicians) made drunk driving really bite people hard, I’d think/hope it would become very much less frequent. Reading about people that have been caught driving drunk 5, 6, 10 times, is outrageous! By that logic, people up on murder charges should be released too. Bank robbers, rapists, CSA perpetrators, etc…

And my brother was caught DUI. ‘But they were stalking the bar. That’s unfair!’. NO, IT’S NOT! You were DRUNK, and DRIVING. And if he killed someone?

But America seems to have a possessive/abusive relationship to their cars and driving. People have also been able to sue and get their licenses back after being caught DUI. It’s too sad…

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And there was that accident in LA where a woman that had been arrested for DUI several times and was at one point under psychiatric care drove her expensive car into a crowded intersection killing a few people, and survived the crash due to her really expensive car.

And all I could think was ‘suicide by car’? Alcohol was involved I heard. So who should have stepped in at an earlier time and taken her off the road, and auctioned off her car to pay for ‘drunk driving court’. As I remember she had been charged several times with DUI. Each time, no doubt, escaping a well earned jail term by slick expensive lawyers and a bedraggled court system.

Coming up on five years year anniversary of my cousin going to dinner with wife and son, after a day on the lake and in a small town of 500 people. They parked safely on a big wide 25mph street in the town center which is only 3 blocks long.

As he stepped out of his car, two losers stoned on opioids sideswiped my cousin and the car WHILE his wife and son stood on the sidewalk looking on in horror. :sob:

And then the hit-and-run losers crushed the car and buried it, straight out of a Hollywood movie. If it wasn’t for a tip they would have gotten away with murder.

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This is horrific. So sorry to hear this.

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:scream:

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Christ, that is horrifying…so sorry to hear that story. I hope his wife and son are doing OK.

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Weird flashbacks… :persevere:

Yikes! Like that woman that hit a pedestrian and drove home with them stuck in their windshield! What kind of monster would do that?! There just aren’t words. And the politician that hit a guy walking along a road, HOLY CRAP!

But this is one horrific story, and I hope the perpetrators have/had a long sentence in prison to think about their actions. Just horrifying…

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7 years. That article left out the opioids.

In the latest episode of the carnage on our streets… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

I found this very interesting. One thing I took away from it is that people are generally really poor at assessing risks. I often have to do risk assessments at work because I work with students, and there we score “likelihood” against “severity”. Clearly something hat is both likely to happen and severe in outcome needs to be mitigated or avoided, but where the likelihood is low but the severity is high, the required mitigations can be much less clear (e.g. train crash). We do normally score driving or getting in cars with unknown drivers as risky activities.

And he’s up for parole next November. Wow. Due to get out September 2032. (And why concurrent? That’s not helping either!)

There was a huge car/bike accident in Kalamazoo a few years ago involving a repeat offender I read. Hope they gave that monster life.

If drunk driving brought a life sentence, mandatory, it likely wouldn’t stop drunk driving, but it would pull the repeat offenders off the roads. Tiffany was on a ‘suspended license’ too. Drunk driving I wonder? Just horrific!! I told my stupid DWI brother that I’d support throwing him in prison for life if he did it again and killed someone. No excuse. No accountability.

Not meaning to make light of all this with a little bit of humor, but when people ask me why I all but gave up riding outside, I say ‘It’s harder to fall off my bike’. and ‘No cars, people, dogs, or chipmunks’. On a damn fundraiser ride as we were riding through a rundown area, there was a house with a bunch of ‘good old boys’ sitting in the front yard guzzling beers and encouraging their Cujo to chase us as we rode by. Eventually the police were called, and the owners took the dog inside, only to let it go again a while later as the last of the riders passed. I do believe it caught and bit a rider.

Stupid People. Mean People. Mean Stupid People. And I’d bet they would sue if someone shot their four legged weapon.

All we want to do is ride… (One of the last times I rode in my hometown, a ratty truck rode up and the driver yelled out the window ‘It’s too bad that’s not a red shirt!’ as I sat at an intersection. I was wearing a Star Trek jersey. For the non-Trekkies here, in almost every episode where crew die, they have red shirts on. I did not take that as a joke) Mean stupid people are everywhere…

There is a movie called ‘Premium Rush’ that is about bike messengers, and the main character goes through those kind of calculations repeatedly in the movie. It’s a great movie for that and the bike scenes, but didn’t get rave reviews for some reason. I think it helped make me a more cautious and aware cyclist.

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One of the hottest local topics in my small city is a main road that got itself a road diet. It needed something, as the amount of accidents was much higher than the state’s average for a particular road type. This is a 4/3 conversion - 4 lanes of traffic, down to 2, a center turning lane and, since there’s room - bike lanes on both sides. Everyone against this (there’s a lot of push back on this project) quotes the bike lanes being problematic, and that there’s not enough cyclists using it to justify it. Of course, they fail to admit that the bike lanes are merely a by-product of the road diet and not the driving force for the change. The amount of hate spewing from these comments is impressive; the saddest is that there are quite a few cyclists vocalizing their distaste for the plan as well. It’s quite amazing how riding a bicycle for either pleasure or transportation has gotten more politicized. Humans are proving to be quite a selfish lot.

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Boy, this really stands out:

"Cars pose an existential threat to cyclists in a way that doesn’t apply the other way around, he says: “The cyclist experiences something much more unpleasant, much more threatening and terrifying than an occupant of a vehicle. That’s why when you threaten a cyclist, they may have a massive rush of adrenaline and swear back at you. That’s why the interaction sticks in the brains of both sides in a way that other road rage doesn’t.” "

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This is somewhere between being devil’s advocate and/or just a stupid question. Why the stark difference between the two? They made the same decisions and the difference in outcome is largely due to chance / whether someone is unlucky enough to cross paths with them. Going forward I’d guess that the latter would be a safer driver (assuming they’re not psychopathic, anyhow). Though I wouldn’t want either of them driving.