The Law Is An Azz

One of the top struggles for those wishing to cycle, is knowing that if anything happens to them–they are, in both the legal and physical sense, road pizza.

Yes, civil liability is one way to force motorists to obey the law. However, it’s far from effective as they are driving an intimidating ton of steel. That’s as foolish as saying that knowing there was a pending lawsuit would have stopped OJ from murdering his wife.

Contrary to the Highway Traffic Act, cycles and e-scooters are not “vehicles” in the same sense as an automobile and should not be treated as such. Do the following scenarios prove that both vehicles areĀ  ‘Equally dangerous’ to you?

  • What happens if you ride a bike into a telephone pole doing 30mph? What happens if you drive a car into one at the same speed?
  • What happens if you ride a bike into a pedestrian? What happens if you drive a car into one at the same speed?
  • What happens if two cars collide?
  • What happens if two cyclists collide?
  • What happens if a bike and a car collide?

Having laws that pretty much equate cycles and e-scooters with motor vehicles is not only ludicrous, it pretty much assures that drivers will never take cyclists seriously since cyclists are barely a threat to their paint job. Behind their wall of steel and tempered glass hitting a person riding a bike not much more dangerous than being hit by a flying Coke can.

The big difference is this. A car has a driver and/or passengers. On a cycle, the vehicle IS the driver. Someone in a car has protection from debris, sewer grates, potholes, other vehicles, weather and countless other protections. A cyclist does not. The cyclist, is in a very real sense vulnerably naked since s/he is not covered in a huge plate of steel armor.

Cyclists are essentially, pedestrians with wheels. We are not lightweight tanks with the capacity to kill half a dozen people if the brakes fail.

Any time that a car hits a cyclist, it’s pretty much assured that the cyclist will be injured. The same cannot be said, in the reverse.

Now, I suggest, if this present trend of not criminally charging drivers with hitting cyclists continues, and the government refuses to change the laws regarding cyclists–that the victims of vehicular crimes come forward and start a mass action lawsuit against the government for crimes against humanity or some such legalese due to the implementation of the Highway Traffic Act.

They might actually take THAT seriously.

For more on other countries and their laws protecting cyclists see:

http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/Irresistible.pdf

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