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Two skinny J's
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21,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Received this email yesterday and the it seems to me to worry about this now is a bit late -"One of the issues that may bother Mr. Odor is that on Sunday mornings on his way to Church he appears to come across a group of riders that impedes his travel."
And he delegates name is actually Oder and not Odor :D

Here is the body of the email if there are Ny other Va. residents that are interested.

I received a phone call from Alan Muchnick of the Virginia Bicycling Federation regarding getting support to send the bill SB 928 to vote. The bill has been tabled for now and would require motorists to maintain three feet between them and bicycles, electric vehicles, and wheelchairs. At this time one of the delegates that voted against it is Glen Odor (94th district), note only delegates that have voted against the bill can bring the bill back up for discussion. Alan stated that Glen Odor is kind of on the fence and could probably be swayed to vote for this bill. Just for the record only one more vote is needed to get this bill to move forward for a senate vote. Alan wanted me to pass this along and ask that we contact Mr. Odor and ask for his support on this bill. This is a safety issue we cyclists need room to maneuver in emergency situations.* The law presently requires two foot distance when passing. You can look up this bill on the link listed below and other bills also.* Alan said that we can post this on our websites if we wanted to in order to help pass the word.* One of the issues that may bother Mr. Odor is that on Sunday mornings on his way to Church he appears to come across a group of riders that impedes his travel. So if you plan to call chose your words wisely and carefully. Of course this will mean more to Mr. Odor if you are in his district.
*
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Contact Delegate G. Glen Odor at Capital Ph. (804) 698-1094 or District Ph. (757) 930-8683 or you can go to the website Welcome to the Virginia General Assembly Website. and look up delegate Odor and send him an e-mail. The Virginia Bicycling Federation website is Virginia Bicycling Federation | Advocacy, Safety, & Education which lists some the bills related to cyclists.
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Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.
*
Thanks for your help
 

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speedfan
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53 Posts
I agree, we have the law, it is ignored and never enforced. Bicycles must ride as if every car is their enemy, we are not going to win any fight.
 

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Two skinny J's
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21,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sadly you guys are right.
 

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Two skinny J's
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21,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
ROFLMA, I didn't see that one coming!
 

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Slowin it up.
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4,299 Posts
How often do you read about repeat DUI offenders killing someone? Isn't there a law against that?
All the time.

But how would that be better if there was no law?

Laws are about outlining the social contract, and the punishment for infringing upon that contract.

If they were about preventing crime, the laws would be oriented towards thought, and the actions leading up to crime.

We're getting there, Patriot Act 2 and what not, but till then, we must have the consequences to breaking the contract clearly outlined, and that's the way it's been since the Code of Hammurabi.
 

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Slowin it up.
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4,299 Posts
The penalty for breaking the law about giving cyclists room is generally a slap on the hand.
Then we, as a group, have to demand harsher penalties. That's how our stupid republic works.

But be clear in your intention, it is not to prevent crime, it's to punish it, and through punishment, we seek to prevent it.

Semantics, but it is what it is.
 

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DX's Biggest Member
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793 Posts
I really believe we need to enforce existing laws before we pass more. We may find there's less need..............

Some things, though, we do need harsher penalties for -- the whole cell-phone-while-driving thing, for example. Summary confiscation of vehicle for cell use; for texting, add loss of license for three years, with the rider to that being caught driving under this suspension would be a felony. (Reckless disregard for fellow citizens...?)

Some may consider that cruel and/or excessive; Mionske's Facebook page has a vid made by survivors of texting and driving, pretty powerful. ("Four letters, LMAO, and I killed a man {on a bike}....")
 

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Two skinny J's
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21,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I really believe we need to enforce existing laws before we pass more. We may find there's less need..............
You Sir are on to something there.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
Joined
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12,350 Posts
I really believe we need to enforce existing laws before we pass more. We may find there's less need..............

Some things, though, we do need harsher penalties for -- the whole cell-phone-while-driving thing, for example. Summary confiscation of vehicle for cell use; for texting, add loss of license for three years, with the rider to that being caught driving under this suspension would be a felony. (Reckless disregard for fellow citizens...?)

Some may consider that cruel and/or excessive; Mionske's Facebook page has a vid made by survivors of texting and driving, pretty powerful. ("Four letters, LMAO, and I killed a man {on a bike}....")

Jim Price
would agree about the texting. In Australia, it's a $400 fine plus points for talking, texting, or even looking at your phone while driving. I saw very little of that when I lived there.
 

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Two skinny J's
Joined
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21,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Update

Glenn Oder <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > Carlo,
> > >
> > > I am returning your response to my office regarding the activity of the
> > > subcommittee on HB 1683. First of all, the bill before the subcommittee
> > > did two things:
> > >
> > > 1. Required that a motor vehicle cannot follow too closely to a bicycle
> > > (or other vehicle, such as a carriage, electric bike, etc.).
> > >
> > > 2. Required any vehicle that is passing another must pass by at least 3
> > > feet as opposed to the current law of at least 2 feet (please note
> > > the law included a wide range of things that deserve a 3 foot
> > > clearance including animals).
> > >
> > > During the subcommittee discussion, the various aspects of the bill were
> > > discussed and the bill was laid on the table. Issues regarding enforcement
> > > and application of the law were the overriding reasons for the subcommittee
> > > vote.
> > >
> > > After the vote, I left the subcommittee and talked with the patron of the
> > > bill and several people in the hallway outside of the subcommittee meeting.
> > > I told the patron that I believed we could address at least some of the
> > > concerns in the bill and perhaps pass at least some additional protections
> > > for bicyclists in Virginia. I was committed to bring the bill back up for
> > > discussion.
> > >
> > > At the end of the subcommittee meeting, I brought HB 1683 back up for
> > > discussion. As I tried to edit the bill and make additional proposals, the
> > > lobbyist on behalf of bicyclists stood and decided that he had to oppose
> > > the bill. Based upon his testimony, he decided that the wording of the
> > > bill would make it illegal for bicyclists to “draft.”
> > >
> > > At this time the subcommittee was exasperated by this new revelation and
> > > the bill was tabled.
> > >
> > > Please know that I am supportive of bicycle safety and want everyone to be
> > > able to enjoy this exercise. However, it was obvious in the subcommittee
> > > that the bill was not ready to become law. To this end, I will be more
> > > than willing to meet with bicycle groups and help draft a proposal for next
> > > year that will be more likely to pass the committee and not create the
> > > unintended consequence where riders cannot “draft” or would get tickets for
> > > riding too closely to each other.
> > >
> > > Additionally, for the record, I have been extremely supportive of bicycle
> > > initiative in the General Assembly this year. For example, I am a
> > > Co-patron of HB 1981 that allows motorcycles and bicycles to legally turn
> > > left on a red traffic light, in certain situations, after coming to a stop.
> > >
> > > Finally, I understand it is illegal for motorcycles to be sitting side by
> > > side at a stop light. I believe this applies to bicycles as well. I have
> > > agreed to patron a bill next year to fix this law.
> > >
> > > In conclusion, I appreciate the people who have politely contacted my
> > > office to ask for my support for this legislative initiative. Working
> > > together we can accomplish great things for Virginia and our bicycle
> > > enthusiasts.
> > >
> > > Delegate G. Glenn Oder
> > > 94th House of Delegates
> > > 757.930.8683 (District)
> > > 804.698.1094 (Richmond)
> > >
 

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It's important to start somewhere. In California we recently saw a doctor put in prison for purposely braking hard in front of cyclists "to teach them a lesson". We ARE starting to see enforcement of laws that protect cyclists. Once the local police start enforcement, they need something on the books that they can charge the offending party with. Bicycle advocacy and the advocates themselves are becoming much more sophisticated with respect to the methods that are used. When someone is charged with a crime against a cyclist, bicycling advocates are starting to fill the seats in the court room. This is what happened in California.

As the passage of these laws spread from state to state, publicity is generated and the public becomes more aware of these laws. This can only help.
 

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Registered
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313 Posts
I really believe we need to enforce existing laws before we pass more. We may find there's less need..............

Some things, though, we do need harsher penalties for -- the whole cell-phone-while-driving thing, for example. Summary confiscation of vehicle for cell use; for texting, add loss of license for three years, with the rider to that being caught driving under this suspension would be a felony. (Reckless disregard for fellow citizens...?)

Some may consider that cruel and/or excessive; Mionske's Facebook page has a vid made by survivors of texting and driving, pretty powerful. ("Four letters, LMAO, and I killed a man {on a bike}....")
Which is why as I've said in the past what we need to have happen is for cities, counties, states and federal government to go through ALL of the laws that are already on the books. And repeal or amend/change/update all of the laws. We have way too many laws on the books that are unenforceable or that duplicate laws from a higher authority.

Than what needs to happen is before any new law is passed it needs to be written in such a way that the simplest person in town can understand it.
 

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Registered
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313 Posts
It's important to start somewhere. In California we recently saw a doctor put in prison for purposely braking hard in front of cyclists "to teach them a lesson". We ARE starting to see enforcement of laws that protect cyclists. Once the local police start enforcement, they need something on the books that they can charge the offending party with. Bicycle advocacy and the advocates themselves are becoming much more sophisticated with respect to the methods that are used. When someone is charged with a crime against a cyclist, bicycling advocates are starting to fill the seats in the court room. This is what happened in California.

As the passage of these laws spread from state to state, publicity is generated and the public becomes more aware of these laws. This can only help.
Bicycle Times has a great article on this, it's title is: Incivility: How Lawyers and Legislators De-Valued Your Life. Until car v. bike crashes are moved from the civil courts and back into criminal courts and police are required to do a through investigation we'll never be treated as anything other than a "second class citizen."

At another site I go to we have a saying, "If ya want to kill a person give them a bicycle and than claim that ya didn't see them." You'll get little more than a slap on the wrist.
 

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Fact of the matter is that this is a problem NO government can fix and its reasons are many. First if you want to put it in criminal court, how are you going to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone didn't give a 3 foot clearance and sometbe a mhing else happened? Are you going to require a yardstick to be attached to the car somewhere? Proving it in criminal court will be a much tougher task.

Civil court isn't the answer either much of the time. There is an old joke about a lawyer asking for a continuance for a case. The judge goes on what grounds. The lawyer replies on the grounds I found out my client has some cash I didn't know about. By the time a civil court case is settled no one wins.

Most of all we are dealing with humans and humans make mistakes. That goes both ways. Drivers and cyclists both can make mistakes, do dumb things, and unless someone can figure out how to make a human being perfect they always will. Some make more than others, but every time I find someone making a mistake that causes me to react, there has usually been a time when the shoe was on the other foot and I made the mistake and someone else looked out for me.

You see the only real way to lower accidents is for both of us to look out for each other. On a bike you have to assume everyone is out to get you, and as a driver you have to assume every bike will dart in your path. Education not legislation is the answer
 

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Registered
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Fact of the matter is that this is a problem NO government can fix and its reasons are many. First if you want to put it in criminal court, how are you going to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone didn't give a 3 foot clearance and sometbe a mhing else happened? Are you going to require a yardstick to be attached to the car somewhere? Proving it in criminal court will be a much tougher task.
Shouldn't it at least in theory be as easy or hard to prove a car v. bike crash in criminal court as it a car v. car crash? Granted as I am sure that most of us know. It does seem as if the deck is stacked against us. As most LEOs, judges, and jury's are motorists and they can "easily see themselves in a similar situation," so they'll "err" on the side of the motorist over the cyclist.

Civil court isn't the answer either much of the time. There is an old joke about a lawyer asking for a continuance for a case. The judge goes on what grounds. The lawyer replies on the grounds I found out my client has some cash I didn't know about. By the time a civil court case is settled no one wins.
So where should a car v. bike crash end up?

Most of all we are dealing with humans and humans make mistakes. That goes both ways. Drivers and cyclists both can make mistakes, do dumb things, and unless someone can figure out how to make a human being perfect they always will. Some make more than others, but every time I find someone making a mistake that causes me to react, there has usually been a time when the shoe was on the other foot and I made the mistake and someone else looked out for me.
All good points, but doesn't the person who is operating a motor vehicle have a presumption of being able to do so safely? And if they can't they should loose their license.

You see the only real way to lower accidents is for both of us to look out for each other. On a bike you have to assume everyone is out to get you, and as a driver you have to assume every bike will dart in your path. Education not legislation is the answer
I agree, education is the answer. And it should start at the beginning with grade schoolers, on up to high schoolers. Likewise drivers ed in this country (the USA) needs to be tougher and also needs to start in junior or high school long before the kid is actually old enough to get their learner's permit. Starting with road safety on a bicycle, and working up to computer simulators and classroom study, and having to safely navigate an obstacle course before they ever take to the road.

The renewal process should also be more than just sending in your renewal fee every x-number of years. One should have to at random retake either or both the written and road tests on a yearly basis.
 
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