More on Anti-cyclist Bias

There’s an excellent article over at BicycleLaw.com that delves into the intricacies of anti-cyclist bias within law enforcement. Here’s an excerpt:

Another manifestation of the anti-cyclist bias is when law enforcement refuses to enforce existing laws. Thus, in Chattanooga, police refused to enforce Tennessee’s 3 foot passing law when a motorist intentionally brushed a cyclist off the road, going so far as to arbitrarily dismiss an eyewitness corroboration of the violation because of a minor discrepancy in the two cyclists’ estimates of how far apart they were when the incident occurred.

It’s worth a read.

Read the full Article

15 Responses to “More on Anti-cyclist Bias”

  • John says:

    Word. And it’s worth a read too. ;)

  • Alan says:

    @John

    Oops. :-)

  • Lou says:

    A french guy recently cycled around the world in 80 days and said the U.S.A. was the most bike-unfriendly country he’d been to. Interview (in french) here.

  • Alan says:

    @Lou

    Car-centric = bike-unfriendly

  • tom says:

    If it wasn’t French guy that article would have a little more creditability. Plus I can’t read French so it never really happened.

    I had a rude waiter in a French restrurant when I was in Paris? The French are very diner un-friendly.

  • Duncan Watson says:

    Alan, thanks for pointing me to the article. A good read, though depressing.

  • electric says:

    Yes, same with actor Ewan McGregor, motorcycled around the world and was only hit twice(both in Alberta, Canada)

    Tom seems to have suffered a truly horrible tragedy at the hands of the French so maybe we can forgive his ignorance.

    Some people don’t call some cops “pigs” because they’re cute and nice like Babe, but because those cops behaved in a gross, overbearing and unjust manner towards them… you just have to look up the nypd cross-check piggy and the ones from Pittsburgh who beat down some little cyclist chick. The evidence is allover unfortunately.

    P.s. Tom in case you were confused Alberta, Canada is part of North America. he he. you’re probably still confused. oh well.

  • tdp says:

    FRENCH: Been to France a couple of time and the only rude French (speaking) person I’ve even met was in the US and she was from Quebec. I did meet a rude person on a train on the way to Paris but she was Austrian and later apologized for being rude.

    COPS: Cops who behave in an unjust manner are the few who get all the attention. God forbid if cops were an ethnic minority, the people who hate them for the bad that a few do could be called racist for their generalized and lazy thinking. 99% of law enforcement that I’ve met have been good people who work hard to help their community. I’m in the EMS and Fire sector so know quite a few (and no, being in this line of work does not give me a “get out of trouble free” card). In my past life I used advise fire, ems, and police (civilian and military) depts on bicycle team training and there was always enthusiasm from most of the departments I worked with. Many of the participants were avid cyclists and knew what is was to compete with cars on the road. There might be a bias in some areas of North America but I’ve not seen it and have lived in seven states and one province.

  • 2whls3spds says:

    Tennessee has a poor record on cyclists. There was a frame builder who cycle commuted to work in the Chattanooga area and was killed when a truck passed too close and caught his pannier. IIRC no charges or only very minor charges were filed against the driver of the truck…so much for a 3′ law being enforced.

    Aaron

  • John Lane says:

    A Knoxville, TN motorists intentionally passed within inches of my partner, and encouraged her teenage son to scream at us to get off the road. Then, blocked the shoulder so that as I continued in a strait line I dented the rear fender. The cops never mentioned the 3 foot law, but instead advised the motorist on how to pursue damages against me. The cops said they never heard of the 3 foot law, but it was in force at the time, having passed through the legislature months earlier with much coverage. An attorney said that what happened to us qualified as assault. I guess that’s why we never heard from the motorist. Someone with more sense (and probably more ethics) clued them in.

    A cop in Jacksonville Beach, FL wouldn’t even radio in a description of an SUV that intentionally tried to kill me. Then he wanted to leave me with a crumpled bike and a concussion by the crushed garbage cans that I was mashed into.

    In Nashville, TN I had slightly better luck with Police. I made eye contact with a motorist when I had the right of way. She stopped, then gunned her car straight across my path. I missed being killed by inches, with my hip putting a 4 inch dent into her car. She got a careless driving charge which her daddy fought with one of the most expensive attorneys in town.

    The Environment: In Nashville’s Murfressboro Rd. Highway Patrol Testing Center I personally witnessed an elderly man flunk an eye test and still get his driver’s license renewed. The rest of the test is not much more difficult. And you should hear the howls around Knoxville about red light cameras. No one denies that they were speeding or running the red light. They just don’t want any road laws to apply to them. I’m going to enjoy gas at 10 dollars a gallon.

  • jamesmallon says:

    Now, I’d like to believe $10 gas will get the fat knuckle-draggers to walk, but I’m guessing they’ll forego home ownership or sending their kids to college before they give up their cars. Wait and see.

  • tdp says:

    @jamesmallon

    Anecdotally speaking I believe it. I work (very) part time at a bike shop and over the summer saw A LOT of old bikes dragged out from garages and basements and brought in for repair and tuneups. Few people are buying new bikes right now because of the recession but many are using what they already have that’s been sitting in the dark recesses of their storage and collecting dust for the last several years. I saw some real classics this summer. Of course there are still going to be knuckle dragging asshats our there who have petrol for brains but I see the the tide slowly turning, as long as the pressure of costly fuel keeps up.

  • tdp says:

    This article was sent from a friend today and I thought it was pretty interesting and related to this topic: http://bicycling.com/blogs/roadrights/2009/07/30/how-should-you-respond-to-road-rage
    Cheers!

  • John Boyer says:

    I am amazed how little conflict I have with motorists in Sacramento. Love the way they give me the space I need to feel comfortable on the road.

    What is the reason it always happens to a few and it happens(conflict) with them all the time?

  • Alan says:

    @John

    I can’t speak for others, but I know my personal attitude toward other road users directly affects how much conflict I experience. If I head out the door with a chip on my shoulder, I can almost be guaranteed trouble, while on the other hand, if I take a more generous approach, I’m usually rewarded with a peaceful ride.

    Alan

 
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