Showing posts with label trucks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trucks. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tired of Trucks and Tragedy

I was alerted to another tragic cyclist death by this post on Waterloo Bikes today. The author, Rob, is really angry about the angle taken by CBC's coverage. Sadly, one-sided and ill-founded assertions always seem to abound when stuff like this happens. I agree with Rob, but have become weary of commenting on the fear-mongering that always comes along with such events.

What I think is likely about how the accident went down is not any more relevant than anyone else's assertions. When somebody dies on a bicycle or in any other way, it isn't about who was right or who acted stupidly. It is about profound loss and what might be learned from it. When police officers, reporters and yes, Internet bloggers and commenters use such events to start pointing fingers or advance their own agendas it just leaves me feeling sad and tired.

I have no statistics, but since starting this blog it feels like fatalities involving right-turning trucks have become a terrible recurring theme. It has had a direct impact on how I ride. Whether painted lines indicate I have a right to be somewhere or not, here's my own personal rule:

Where there is any opportunity on the road ahead for a truck (or any large vehicle) to turn right, I will not willingly ride beside one. Should a big truck overtake me anywhere near a right-turn opportunity, the driver has very likely seen me. Just the same, I will slow dramatically in an effort to put myself behind that vehicle.

Will this guarantee that a truck will never ever take me out turning right? Nope. My strong suspicion is that my personal policy will cut the odds deeply enough that it will never happen. I remain completely convinced that bicycling is as safe as just about any other activity you can name, with almost innumerable benefits to both self and society. As such, I have just this moment decided to stop posting anything about cycling tragedies. That news gets around so quickly and is so readily available that I think I'll leave that to others from now on. I'm gonna promote safe and effective cycling whenever I feel like it, but stick with the joy-joys angle from here on out. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Man, do I ever love Riding My Bike!