Bicyclists mowing down pedestrians

June 21, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

I often commute by bicycle, so this article caught my eye. In three separate incidents, three cyclists in San Francisco have killed pedestrians by running into them. This most recent example suggests flagrant and reckless conduct on behalf of the cyclist.

I sometimes tell people that I prefer riding a bike to driving a car, because although I might get myself killed, it’s not like I’m going to kill someone else on my bike. Well, I need to rethink that.


Category: Bicycles

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Edgar Montrose says:

    The closest I’ve ever come to mowing down a pedestrian with my bicycle was when I was riding on an established bike path. A man was standing with his back to me, a few feet from the bike path, looking up an an airplane or UFO or something. Suddenly, just as I passed, he stepped sideways onto the bike path without ever looking down or around or anywhere except up at the aforementioned UFO.

    I managed to avoid him.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Edgar: It often happens that I go on alert around pedestrians because my bicycle is so quiet. Maybe I should put a speaker on my handlebars, playing the sound of a Harley.

      I rarely travel at the speeds that some of these SF guys were going. My top speed is about 25, and that’s rare. Mostly I’m going 15. In theory I could really hurt someone at 15, but It’s hard to imagine killing someone. That’s because at 15, you can make a pretty quick stop, in addition to making a quick steering adjustment.

      I have a little bike bell. Makes a clear bell sound . . . BING. I ring it when coming around pedestrians on mixed use paths. It seems like they are mostly annoyed with it. I ring it when I’m 50 feet back, and they sometimes jump. I’m tempted to ask them if they would rather I sneak up on them and whoosh around them. I’m done that a few times, and people really jump. Especially when I’m shifting gears. I’ve wondered whether the sound of a gear shifting, coming out of no where, sounds like a weapon. It really freaks people out. Therefore I bought the little bell and I use it regularly. Now I just need the pedestrians to appreciate that I bought it for them.

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Considering the fact that this guy was running stop signs and red lights in a high traffic area, he was obviously an accident looking for a place to happen.

    When I was 8 years old, I took a bicycle safety course and one of the major rules was “Pedestrians have the right-of-way”. NO Exceptions.

    I admit to my share of stupidity back in my younger days (e.g. drafting trucks, coasting down mountain roads with a 7 to 10 percent grade, etc) but I always was careful around pedestrians, and stopped at all stop signs and red lights

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