I got to meet Finland’s finest early this morning. I ran a red light at full pelt with my bike smack in front of them on my way to work. Blue light, siren and roadside check ensued.
I put on my best and thickest French accent impression (best not to use thick US English if you want leniency in most of Europe) and proceeded to apologize profusely.
As usual, I got a stern lecture on weak road users, a “we’ll let you go this once but don’t you do it again” spiel, and soon enough I was back on my way. Very nice officers, very understanding (I was running late for work), no complaint.
Only I was discussing my little run-in with a workmate later today, and he was genuinely astonished that they let me off the hook so easily. He said running red lights was the national sport around here - because the country is so sparsely populated there ain’t nobody on the road, especially early in the morning - and 5-0 usually hits those they catch hard and mercilessly. And since fines are not a flat fee here, but calculated as a percentage of one’s wages, considering my indecent salary, I think today must’ve been my lucky day
Imma be that guy and say I fudging hate cyclists running red lights if I get done in a car with no warning so should you. Your on the road follow the rules or get punished, all road users should be registered licensed and insured.
Just for the record, I don’t ride a bicycle New-York courier-style in a crowded city, endangering motor vehicles and pedestrians. I ride a 9 1/2 ft long faired recumbent with a 60-ft turning radius out in the sticks with 9 in / sq mile. When I run a red light - which isn’t very often - I have 360 degree, 200 yard visibility and there just ain’t nobody on the road.
When do I ride in town, or anywhere with people around - even more so when I ride a “real” upright bicycle that’s a lot more agile than my recumbent whale, I respect traffic laws religiously. In fact, I’m one of the few from what I can see.
Having said that, feel free to hate me - I’ll understand
If i hit a kid, I would be more worried about the child.
I think the City should set up better bike lanes, ones that cars cannot drive in so easily. Give the kids classes for road driving. Half the people I know that ride to work do it cause they can’t afford more payments.
I used to also dislike bikers, then I became one. I do not think people should disregard the rules of the road at will.
From my experience though, I can now see why some bend the rules. Regular vehicle drivers here will swere toward you if they think you are too close to the line. People are dicks here.
Only part I disagree with is making children carry insurance.
I most certainly would be horrified and my first concern without any hesitation would be the child. I have patched up cyclists befor and would do it again including one who ran into me knocking my off my motorcycle (they atleast had the decency to pay for the damages) but have had friends who where not so luck and the only recourse is civil proceedings.
When you consider someone hitting your car / motorcycle can cause litteral £1000s of damage and its at there discretion to pay for it or for toy to stump up and take them to court. All im saying is thats not fair.
Like i said the parent should have to have the child insured of course its unrealistic for the child to have it.
All cyclists are insured here in Europe by default: any mishap on the road with a bicycle is covered by the cyclist’s personal liability insurance, which is compulsory here. Even if it involves kilo-euros in damage to the third party you hit with your bike. Ask me how I know… The coverage includes bodily harm to said third parties.
On top of that, when I commute, I’m covered by my employer’s insurance contract.
I Disagree. Bicyclist tend to think they’re still pedestrians and always have the right of way and can do whatever they want. They redid a busy 4 way intersection to add bicycle only paths but to do this they prevent cars from turning right on a red light so all it did is cause huge traffic block ups. On top of that if you’re in an accident it’s almost always the guy in the cars fault even if you were completely stopped at a red light and a bicyclist just runs into your car.
I have no hate for bicyclist as long as they have common sense and don’t think the roads are only for them which unfortunately tends to be pretty rare
As a person who is primarily a cyclist, I have a lot of feels about cars vs. bikes and I can definitely say, there are a bunch of dickheads on bikes that are always gonna go through red lights - but it;'s a small percentage. Same with weaving through cars, and being a general dick on the roads. Small percentage.
But groups that advocate for cyclists needing registration and insurance are often just angry at this small percentage of cyclists that don’t give a shit about anyone else on the road. Most cyclists are really good, and I’m glad Toronto has been adding a shitload more bike lanes.
And apart from the obvious argument of car = armored, bike = unarmored, there are wide implications to enforcing licenses and registration on cyclists. You can argue things like environmental impacts, carbon emissions and that bicycles don’t wreck the roads anywhere what cars do, but I think the bigger argument is doing so would completely limit access to travel for already marginalized people; low income, migrants, differently abled, etc.
I always try to remind both sides (drivers and cyclists) that anyone on the road is traffic, and that means following rules. Running red lights isn’t just jeopardising your own safety as a cyclist (and vice versa), it’s endangering everyone else around you.
Bike lanes are pretty much a necessity in Toronto though since transportation is kinda shit, especially downtown.
I’m neutral in this as I’m mostly a pedestrian. I rarely drive anywhere and tend to walk more than anything. I used to bike to my university every day though.
Yeah some people are dicks this goes for both cars and cyclist the problem is that the dicks are usually the more vocal ones that demand uneccessary bike paths and extra rules which frustrates the other drivers
As far as the environmental aspect of it, I don’t even consider that an argument because some people have no choice but to use cars and that’s also why there’s more and more electric cars on the road
I cycle primarily for my health, and because it’s so much damn fun. Also, in certain countries, you can earn a pretty penny with bike-to-work incentives. In Belgium for instance, I would add 200 euros a month to my salary just by cycling 30 km to work - something I would do anway. Not too shabby! Bike-to-work schemes don’t exist in Finland though, sadly.
But green credentials? Hmm… Don’t even get me started on that.
Sure cycling superficially looks greener than using a car. But if you consider what energy source a bicycle runs on (food), the abysmal conversion efficiency of food as a mechanical energy source, that food is essentially edible fossil fuel when it comes from modern agricultural processes, then cycling doesn’t look so great. And I’m not even counting the environmental impact of food packaging and shipping it to the local supermarket.
I did the maths years ago, and the end result was that I may as well commute with a small car, it wouldn’t be terribly worse as far as the environment is concerned.
Even when cycling is better for the environment (very short commutes in densely populated urban areas), one’s carbon footprint is also made up of many other things - such as heating one’s home, one’s electricity usage, etc. An individual would have to live in a cave without any modern amenities and scavenge food in the forest to truly call themselves green.
As for electric cars, they’re really, REALLY not eco-friendly. They just happen to shift pollution outside of city centers, is all.