« Friday Morning Commute - The CSI theme song | Main | Blossoms »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have mixed feelings about this bill. There is a pretty significant body of evidence that shows that the key factor in deterrence changing people's behavior is the chance of getting caught, not the severity of the punishment. It's much more effective to have a small penalty with a high probability of getting caught than a harsh penalty with a low probability.

Presumably the intent of a law like this is to discourage dangerous behavior, rather than exacting punishment for the consequences. Since fatal collisions are rare, even for the most reckless drivers, it's unlikely this law will have much deterrent effect.

As Jim's examples show, under this law distracted driving by itself will not be punished. It needs to be coupled with other reckless behavior. The examples given are passing on the right, driving in a bike lane, running a stop sign, and speeding (and not 15+ speeding but 30+ speeding). True safety comes from deterring the reckless behavior rather than punishing it after the fact.

All of these behaviors can be deterred by enforcement. And while there are places that have a culture of traffic enforcement -- pockets in the US and Europe -- our region is not one of them. As is so often the case in cycling advocacy, the choice is between what is effective and what is politically possible.

Contrarian, do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. At least with this bill there is some serious consideration of how to reduce the carnage caused by the worst drivers. Negligent homocide should not be merely a traffic ticket.

At great risk of seeming profoundly abstruse, Frosh is an idiot.

This is an example of "if this bill is passed, any one of us might break the law, so let's not pass it." It's no accident that Frosh uses the mother and child scenario. But it's not a huge jump from "glancing at a crying child in the back seat" to "reaching for a cup of coffee."

Unsafe behavior is unsafe behavior, and shouldn't be dismissed or accepted just because many people regularly engage in it, especially when it results in death or injury.

This increasingly common (in all aspects of life) trait of trying to avoid responsiblity for one's actions is exceedingly disturbing. Unfortunately, it is (and has been for many years) a disease that spreads from the top down.

The example given over here of a lady makes it easy to understand.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader