Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rant: Drivers Endangering Cyclists

So, I'm riding my bike into the lab this morning, when a school bus begins to pass me. It was a little closer than I would have liked, but I can understand: school busses are wide, and it seems reasonable for the driver not to want to stray into the opposite lane. Then, before it had even completed the pass, it began to slow and pull to toward the curb to pick up a student waiting on the sidewalk. Apparently the driver couldn't wait the for the three extra seconds if would have taken to let me pass the student before he stopped. So I almost got hit by a school bus. Aren't their drivers supposed to be trained to operate the vehicles safely? Apparently, it's only the safety of their passengers that matters.

Come to think of it, this situation is very similar to two of the times I have been struck, glancingly, by cars: each time, as I approached an intersection riding along the right side of the right lane, the car passed me, then immediately slowed and turned right, hitting my front wheel or bar. Luckily, I haven't been seriously injured in any of these collisions, since they took place at low speed. In one case, however, considerable damage was done to my bike. (It was the same bike that I was riding this morning, in fact.)

I should mention that all 3 of these events occurred in broad daylight, and I was wearing brightly colored clothing. It seems that the rules that protect motorist don't apply to people operating extremely energy-efficient, non-polluting vehicles.

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