× Biking Activism 協進討論

Topic-icon Being hit by a car on HK island whilst on a bike


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9 years 1 week ago #962

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  • BRAVO!!

    You were lucky. Read this Judgment from The Supreme Court of Hong Kong for an idea how serious a collision with a vehicle can be: www.hklii.hk/hk/jud/eng/hkcfi/1997/HCA005814_1993-25034.html

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    9 years 2 days ago #973

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  • Don't forget to mention to the police that the driver attempted to blackmail you/extort $500 under duress. That is a criminal charge on its own.

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    8 years 11 months ago #980

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  • Although the outcome appeared to be positive for "sharks," I would disagree.

    Yes, he has been found to be the victim finally, and the arrogant driver will be prosecuted by the police, but if this had been handled professionally and competently by the traffic or sub-unit cops at the scene, I think it would have turned out so much better for him.

    As it was, despite the evidence available to the cops then, both verbally provided by the victim "sharks" and arrogant aggressor (the driver), and gathered through the use of their mark one eyeballs at the location, (sequence of events, scratches on the car and damage to the bicycle, single white line becoming double white, blind bend, witnesses in other cars etc.), they have harmed not just their own reputation by appearing to be lazy, incompetent, and biased towards the driver, (and legally questionable over suggesting that "sharks" should just pay the HK500 requested by the driver!?), more importantly, for "sharks," in convincing him at the scene that he was in the wrong for being there in the first place etc., they sent him on his way home, and he has not ridden his bike since!

    Regardless of your opinions as to whether you agree or understand the choice he has made, I can't help but feel that if the cops had done their job properly, with the evidence they had at the scene described above, the outcome might have been different.

    Hopefully "sharks" would have continued his ride that day to Shek O, and in subsequent days, weeks and months, carried on riding, while appreciating and accepting now, the potential risks about him on the roads, (cars being driven and used as weapons of intimidation by some drivers).

    Because of the way the incident should have been handled, he might have continued riding, and felt secure in the knowledge that when victimised and physically attacked by another road user, someone was looking out for him (the police), and sharing of the road by all legal road users was not only encouraged, but supported by those responsible for upholding the laws of the road.

    The cycling conference this past weekend highlighted further decline in the governments attitude/ignorance/apathy towards sharing the roads with cyclists, with the preferred method of segregation now being chosen.

    This despite triathlon, mountain, and road cycling excellence at the highest (olympic) level from local athletes.

    The gist of the CEDD and TD representatives at the conference is that cycling is just a leisure activity for Mum and Dad and the children, and cycle paths and parking areas for cars, practise areas to ride, and eating areas, facilities etc., will be built in the coming years for the public in the NT.

    Planned to be built near MTR stations for ease of use to... hire your bike, you cannot bring your own bike on the MTR remember?

    :-/

    Acknowledgement of limited commuting (to the KCR, LRT?) was mentioned, but nothing about the sport of cycling, (people who ride on and offroad over longer distances, and at higher speeds, either for fun, fitness), and/or commuting (an enjoyable combination that starts and ends your work day the best way, on your bike!)

    Scarily, as anyone who has ridden on the obstacle strewn, stop/start/dismount/remount, legal requirement to get-off-to walk-uphill/downhill-sections of cyclepaths currently in existence in HK, these are dangerous places to ride with many accidents.

    Accidents presented and backed up by statistics presented by the TD at the conference... (the irony of the safety reasons cited for cycle paths in the first place seems to have been overlooked...)

    Interesting observation after the announcement of the building of further cyclepaths in the NT in the coming 4 years, bike forums had little talk of this move, where as the hkrunners forum had a number of excited posts about these further paths for jogging being built.

    That's the reality, these paths are dual purpose and with the obliviot nature of many walkers/joggers/riders of bikes on these paths, accidents are frequent and to be expected between users.

    In talks with the fairly new cycling representative of the TD, (weeks before the conference this past weekend), when informed about the different speeds of cyclists, and cyclepaths not being safe/suitable and actually downright dangerous for those cyclists travelling at faster speeds, with purpose, usually in a straight line, the TD bod told someone who had asked/pointed this out, unequivocably, "You shouldn't be overtaking!"

    :-/

    So, unless we can convince the government dept's, police etc., that we should be allowed to share the roads on and off road, (Brandon's talk and the triathlon rep Ian's talk at the conference were impassioned, you could tell they both love what they do and want to be allowed to continue cycling wherever they chose to, without restrictions and segregation being imposed upon them), the dumbing down and further restrictions imposed upon us as cyclists will be passed and, if you did nothing to voice your opinion, stand up and be counted etc., then that apathy will be partly to blame.

    As cyclists we are as interested in good quality roads wide enough for designated bike lanes where necessary, roads we can share with other users safely because we all belong, but to segregate us into cyclepaths as described above, and keep the roads for combustion engine four wheeled vehicles only, that's pretty messed up for our (self titled) Asia's World City."

    In the report from Dec '05 the following was written... "The reason for the vulnerability, (when cyclists mix with road traffic in Hong Kong), can be put down to driver attitudes, vehicle speeds, traffic volumes and lack of cyclist training," the report said.

    The driver attitudes problem exists the world over, much, much worse in many countries, (think of the stereotype rednecks in pick-up trucks throwing bottles etc. at cyclists in the US), but like Manifest Destiny, to have actually allowed cars to become all powerful and used as weapons to intimidate you, that's something that can only be changed by standing up for ourselves and saying we need to be allowed to share safer roads and that we can also share the trails safely.

    "Traffic," in the language used above, to describe the vulnerability of the bicyclist (or pedestrian), takes on the characteristics of a force of nature. It's as though a stream of motor vehicles was a herd of bison or a flash flood, and not conscious, individual adult humans with morals and decision-making ability. There's no point in trying to control a wild herd or a flood, right?

    Why this tendency to translate human responsibility into an uncontrollable force of nature? It should be obvious. They are the majority; they hold the power. It's in their interest to portray traffic in the context of the motorist/bicyclist/pedestrian hierarchy as something natural that cannot and should not be "unreasonably" controlled. It's quite reminiscent of the concept of Manifest Destiny.

    Cars are not an out of control flash flood or stampeding herd of cattle, they are vehicles driven by human beings with the ability to reason and do the right or wrong thing.

    The change in character when people get behind the wheel and their removal from the elements around them was pointed out as being a potentially negative thing when cars first started appearing after the turn of the 20th century.

    Bicyclists were responsible for the first paved roads in America, and many inventions developed for bicycles were later incorporated into automobile design. As soon as manufacturers learned how to build a reliable vehicle (but still far less reliable than a bicycle) the rich started buying them. The rich of course always have the best access to political power, so motorists, in spite of operating a vehicle that was clearly a danger to others were quickly given precedence over pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. As this transfer was being made, some questioned the wisdom of allowing such vehicles to be sold and used. Here is an excerpt from The Magnificent Ambersons, the 1918 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington:

    "I'm not sure he's wrong about automobiles ... With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization -- that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men's souls. I am not sure. But automobiles have come, and they bring a greater change in our life than most of us suspect. They are here, and almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They are going to alter war, and they are going to alter peace. I think men's minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles; just how, though, I could hardly guess. But you can't have the immense outward changes that they will cause without some inward ones, and it may be that George is right, and that the spiritual alteration will be bad for us. Perhaps, ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward changes in men by that time, I shouldn't be able to defend the gasoline engine, but would have to agree with him that automobiles 'had no business to be invented.'"

    (The character George, referred to in the excerpt, was killed by a motorist at the end of the story.)

    So it's nothing new it seems, (the awareness of a potential change for the worse amongst some drivers when they get behind the wheel).

    Drivers whose road rage amongst and toward each other, and anyone further down the "food chain" who gets in their way in any shape or form on the roads.

    Their intimidation and what would be regarded as assault if they carried out the threatening acts face to face with you, rather than behind the immunity of glass and metal and four or more wheels.

    On that point, think about why some hikers say no to sharing the trails with us (on our mountain bikes), I understand where they are coming from because to me, the hikers are like the original occupants of the trails and roads (horse riders, horse drawn carriages, cyclists, pedestrians), before the car first started appearing on the streets, belching fumes and it's occupants honking the horn at anyone in their way.

    *(According to Regulation 43, of the Road Traffic Regulations, the horn is an audible warning device to alert those ahead of you to the presence of danger only... Bring that to the attention of any police you see doing nothing when drivers are honking loudly in traffic perforating your eardrums as a cyclist or pedestrian.)*

    Back to the potential hiker/biker conflict, obnoxious riders exist on and off road and as a user of roads and trails both on two feet and two wheels, I have experienced obnoxious, agressive behaviour (including what is legally termed assault), from runners in races and training, and cyclists in racing and training or just riding on our trails and paths.

    Certain situations would be better for giving way or being given way to on the trails and paths on and offroad, but without getting away from or over the attitude of "I'm bigger/faster etc., therefore I have right of way!", as runners/racers/bikers with that attitude, we are nothing better or no different to the driver who agressively told "sharks" to get out of his way with agressive use of his car horn, then drove into him after attempting and failing to pass him safely on the road.

    We don't need or want to be segregated, we just want to be allowed to share the roads that get us to the trails, and then the trails themselves.

    Don't get me started on the increasing bike-specific litter on the trails though...
    #$%^!

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