Bicycles

There have been a lot of problems with cyclists recently in my city of residence.  This week, I actually saw someone who had been hit by a car (probably because the cyclist didn’t stop at the intersection).   Though this blog is about cars, bicycles and cars apparently don’t mix on the road the way they should.  I would personally put 90% of the blame on the cyclists, but automobile drivers can be dicks too.  Let’s go over some ground rules for each:

Cyclists:

  1. You MUST stop at stop signs and red lights.  You do not ever get the right of way unless you follow rule #2:
  2. You cannot use a crosswalk while on your bike.  You must dismount and walk across.  This is written in about every traffic manual.
  3. Stay as far the fuck over as you possibly can.  Some towns have bike lanes, others don’t.  Even when in the bike lane, please be sure to ride as far to the right as you safely can.  It freaks people out when you drive on the line dividing the driving and bike lanes. Use the sidewalk if you have to (if it’s not illegal, which it is in some places).
  4. Also on that note, you are not going as fast as the rest of the traffic and sometimes it is physically impossible for you to go as fast as cars—don’t ride in the middle of the road.
  5. Did I mention you have to stop at red lights and stop signs yet?  You must follow all traffic laws that cars do if you’re going to ride on the road.  You are not special because you are on a bike.

Drivers:

  1. Do not honk at cyclists as you pass them.
  2. Give them enough room when you pass, but try not to go into the opposite lane to pass them. There’s a three feet rule I think.
  3. Do not use bike lanes as turn lanes.  This is actually illegal  in some states, and you can be ticketed for this.
  4. Watch out for cyclists when making turns.

If you haven’t noticed, my biggest pet peeve is when cyclists just blow right through stop signs.  That is incredibly dangerous for them and fucking scary for all the cars at the intersection.  If you ride a bike for whatever reason, please make sure you are following the laws just like the cars have to.  Don’t complain about drivers not sharing the road when you aren’t playing by the rules either.

Old people should not drive.

So, the other day when my significant other and I were heading home from a hike, we encountered an old person that clearly did not know how to drive.  When coming to a stop a light, this woman, in her 70’s perhaps, did not come to a complete stop until about 1/4 car length after the big bold line that marks where the intersection starts. In doing so, this woman blocked one of the turn lanes for people turning left coming from the opposite direction.  We thought we were in the clear since we were getting on the highway and the woman was two lanes over.  However, when the light turned green, the woman decided that she was in the wrong lane, and drove through two lanes of traffic to get in front of us to get on the freeway.  We waited behind her and then she decided to go two miles per hour through the light and up the on ramp, so we passed her and another vehicle that was failing to merge at an appropriate speed.

Old people are just as, if not more, of a hazard than new drivers or people texting and driving.  One of my friends’ father was killed because some old person drove right into him while he was driving his motorcycle.

If you cannot (a) see, (b) walk, (c) have full control of all voluntary muscles, or (d) if you have slow reflexes, YOU SHOULD NOT BE DRIVING!!!!!!!!

There should be a law in place that requires people to pass a reflex test. Everyone already has to take a vision test.  Someone who is unable to make a quick decision to stop or make a turn to avoid a child in the middle of the road is just as dangerous as someone who is texting/talking while driving and not paying attention.  Why is nothing being done about this?

Naturally, old people will not want to give up their driving privileges because they want to be independent and have been driving for their entire lives, and there are, honestly, very understandable reasons.  However, plenty of people want to talk on their phones while they drive and text their friends while they drive, but that doesn’t mean they get to.  There are all these ads for drinking and driving and smoking weed and then driving and how it reduces reaction time.  Old age reduces reaction time as well. And the prevention campaign for getting old is going to be hilarious.

I’m not saying there’s any particular age when you can’t drive anymore.  The reaction test should administered to EVERYONE and if you don’t pass then you don’t get your license/license renewed.  Simple as that.