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Another Reminder for Drivers and Cyclists To Be Careful Around One Another

by ARLnow.com September 10, 2010 at 8:03 am 1,680 13 Comments

Around 5:30 last night, a cyclist was apparently struck by a vehicle on Clarendon Boulevard in Courthouse, near the new Fire Works Pizza. Bystanders described the accident as minor, but seeing the man loaded into an ambulance was yet another reminder of the dangers bicyclists and pedestrians face on local roads.

In Virginia, 84 people died and more than 2,000 people were injured while walking or biking on roadways last year.

To help reduce risky driver and bicyclist behavior, the state is holding its second annual Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week, starting on Sunday.

“Lack of knowledge and risky behaviors often leads to crashes between roadway users,” the Arlington Police Department said in a statement announcing its participation in the week-long safety campaign. “Taking time to learn the laws and safety tips can save a life, especially with area schools starting back up and many students walking, cycling and driving on the roadways.”

Drive Smart Virginia has more information on traffic safety laws.

  • GK

    “Lack of knowledge and risky behaviors often leads to crashes between roadway users,” NO. Its due to drivers who are in too big a damn hurry for their own good, who are more worried about where they have to be and what they have to do than anyone around them. Its also, to a much lesser degree, due to cyclists who don’t follow the traffic rules or aren’t skilled enough in bike handling. For goodness sake, if you are new to riding in traffic, don’t pick rush hour on a major road in your flip flops to practice!

    • TGEoA

      He probably got “doored” by riding in the bike lane. That’s why I never ride in the bike lane when cars are parked. I don’t want to get hurt, get a ticket or have to repair some drivers door.

      Yes, as a cyclist you are responsible for damages you cause when hitting a stationary object.

  • GK

    PS- if there were more Arlington Police on bikes instead of wasting time getting coffee at fire stations, maybe it would help people become more aware of cyclists… oh and they might help fight crime too.

    • Sunny617

      Have to disagree with your cut on the cops. I see our police force out everywhere. Far more than I see in other towns or in DC.

      • VA-4evr

        Backing Sunny617 up on this one – and by the way, Arlington has far less crime than other areas (you pick the category and the stats will show you). Folks are always quick to think the solution is to have more cops patrolling an area.

      • VA-4evr

        Backing Sunny617 up on this one – and by the way, Arlington has far less crime than other areas (you pick the category and the stats will show you). Folks are always quick to think the solution is to have more cops patrolling an area.
        It’s more about mutual respect between cyclists and drivers. Up here, everybody is in a hurry…on a daily basis I see someone juggling cell phone, cup of coffee, makeup, (even shaving!)…oh and as an after thought, the steering wheel.

  • MB

    Yes. If we would all just be a little more aware of each other – and treat each other as humans, and not mere obstacles between where we are and where we want to be – I think we could significantly reduce pedestrian/bike/car crashes. Some folks are actively aggressive, but most of us just slip into an unintentional carelessness. That can be fixed, with near-zero cost to ourselves. Golden rule and all that.

  • charlie

    both bicyclists and drivers can learn to slow down and obey the law.
    the big diff is that drivers are surrounded by 3000 lbs of metal. bikes are not. regardless of right or wrong, bicyclists MUST pay more attention because they are on the short end of the weight/volume/mass formula.
    I would say as a percentage of vehicles on the road, the percent of bikers who are breaking the laws is much higher than cars.
    i’ve been biking, on-street for decades. i’ve had three wrecks. all were on trails. i’ve never had an altercation with a car that I didn’t see coming.

  • Lurker

    Well said Charlie!

  • Let’s Be Free

    Right on Charlie. I rode bikes in this area for decades, choosing my routes carefully to minimize exposure to automobile traffic. My handlebar hurdles all occured on bike paths where I was fortunate to somersault to a relatively soft rolling stop.

    These days I notice all too many neophyte and scofflaw riders who are not careful and aware. It’s not enough to rely on one’s rights as a bicyclist, because even if everyone is respectful accidents happen. When a car collides the damage is normally limited to scraped paint, broken glass and dented metal. When accidents happen on a bike there is almost always some personal injury — bruises, scrapes, broken bones or worse.

    Be careful and selective out there. Ride defensively. We don’t need a run on ghost bikes.

  • Steve O

    @GK I can see this cyclist was wearing tennis shoes, not flip flops.
    Since there are no details whatsoever about this accident, we cannot assume anything about it. For all we know the cyclist could have been standing still and run into by a driver on a cell phone. Or vice versa, although the article says the vehicle struck the rider, so that seems less plausible.
    So although the various sentiments expressed here about awareness, care and respect are valid, they may very well be completely irrelevant to this particular crash.

  • effinju

    Arlington cops are a lazy breed … They are right up there with the Capitol police in terms of pure laziness …

    • Darwin

      Every Arlington cop I’ve ever dealt with has been top notch. After a friend of mine was assulted they caught the guy within 2 hours!

      As far as bikers, if they followed even the slightest portion of traffic laws they would be a lot safer.

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