while this blog is not intended to please nor entertain everyone, i do make all reasonable efforts to put our some good, wholesome stories about training, riding, racing and living the good life of cycling in many of its various permutations. i endeavour to stay clear of many divisive pitfalls by not incorporating too many lengthy rants from atop the soapbox into this blog... the usual hot-buttons of politics, religion, guns, abortion, gay marriage, hipsters, and, perhaps above all, the most inflammatory topic imagineable, the never-ending Campagnolo -vs- Shimano debate (and now with SRAM jumping into the scrum, we have a three dog fight with a few other minor biters yapping from the sidelines).
having said all of that, let's just put it in the 53 x 11 and drop right into the gutter.
today we will anaylyze a couple of recent stories from the mainstream media pertaining to... politics and crime:
recently, in all of its infinite wisdon, the Colorado State Legislature passed a couple of good, sensible pieces of legislation.
first off was the "give 'em 3 feet" law, which requires motorists who are overtaking cyclists to allow no less than 3 feet of daylight between the cage and the cyclist.
more recently, a bill was passed and became law that made it illegal to text while driving. this one was more of an appeasement to those who demanded such legislation and a near total cave-in to the telecommunications industry. a $50 fine and no points assessed for violating this law hardly seems like a deterrent to me (if i were the texting type, that is. but, fortunately, i am not).
now, both of these things seem like common sense no-brainers to me, but apparently there are so many drivers out there who do not give such things a second (much less first) thought, that we had to have more rules placed on the books. o.k., fine, if that's what it takes, i'm all for it.
now move over and get off the phone, please. thanks.
and wouldn't you know it, within a few days of passage, a Denver area teenager ran afoul of the new law and crashed her car while texting (imagine that, will ya?). then, to top it all off, she fled the scene and was arrested a short time later, admitting to the police what caused her to crash. talk about dumb and dumber. here's the recap from the Boulder Daily Camera.
then we have this party-boy down in Florida. he went big with his texting (and boozing at the disco the night before) and creamed an innocent cyclist in a bike lane at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
he didn't bother to stop after the cyclist slammed into the windscreen and then flew over the top of the speeding vehicle, landed on the road and then died at the scene. he kept going, dragging the mangled bike for more than 4 miles and not stopping for police until he arrived at home.
twenty-two minutes elapsed between the 9-1-1 calls and when the on-duty medics and ambulance arrived, by all accounts, too late.
i can't even get into to the callous disregard for the suffering of another human being aspect of this, or even try to understand it. i guess what i will say is: read the stories and also read the comments of the readers. there is a lot of back-story there. sickening and disgusting- and i apologize to those who may be shocked and/or offended by the pictures and comments of a (rightfully) outraged cycling community in south Florida.
a little bit about the perp
story and comments
first on the scene
first news coverage rife with factual errors
so what's my point with all of this rant? texting (or phoning) while driving should be dis-allowed and criminalized in all 50 states. the consequences for innocent pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, elderly people, animals, etc, are far too severe to not penalize offending drivers accordingly. if you are a teenager and you get busted drivetexting or in a wreck because of it, you lose your license until you are 21 years of age, first time offense.
no points and a $50 fine (in Colorado) is a bad joke, totally meaningless.
if someone commits the same crime and kills another person (much less leaves them for dead and then flees the scene) i am in favor of a punishment that would typically be meted out in an Islamist-fundamentalist country.
get the phones out of the cars. stop texting, wake up and pay attention. end the proliferation of on-board distractions and electronic conveniences. be considerate of others, especially those who are vulnerable (travelling outside of a vehicle) and SHARE THE ROAD.
better yet, ABANDON YOUR CAR. but please, do so in a responsible manner. thanks and be safe out there on the roads, no matter how you travel and have your best season ever this year.
We love bicycling as a lifestyle, culture, and sport. We love to ride, build, restore, oggle and sometimes race bicycles. We also love to talk on at great length about our ideas, opinions and exploits involving all of the above. Welcome to our BLOG!
Abandon Your Car is not a slogan or ideology so much as a reminder to all of us to get away from our petro-mobiles as often as we possibly can and embark on life as an adventure by bicycle.
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