The International Cycling Safety Conference is in the USA for the First Time

Making the streets safer for cyclists and promoting cycling for all are goals of the International Cycling Safety Conference, to be held Sept. 21-22 at the University of California, Davis, Conference Center.

Photo of cyclists riding correctly on the left in Britain.
Cyclists riding correctly on the left in Britain. Copyright image.

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Terrible New Record Number of Pedestrian Deaths in California

Vulnerable Road Users [VRU] include pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.  Among these, pedestrians are certainly in very serious danger in California.

Just 10 years ago, 17 percent of California’s roadside [sic] fatalities involved pedestrians. That number has since grown to 25 percent…. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, preliminary results show a record-high 900 people died [in 2016] across the Golden State – an increase [of more than five percent] from 852 in 2015.

Many experts consider that the use of smartphones, etc., both by drivers and other road users is a major factor in such elevated numbers of road deaths.

There is an interesting, detailed article on this, from the Desert Sun.

Major Safety Improvements in New Zealand Could be Good for US Route 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway

Removing or alternating passing/overtaking possibilities on undivided rural highways, together with the introduction of narrow-profile guard rails between the center lines is a technique that was pioneered very successfully by Sweden and has now been used with similar success in New Zealand.  And there’s definitely both the scope and the need to use it in the USA, too.

Photo of the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Malibu, California
Part of an ADoNA defensive and advanced driving training route, this is a small section of the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Malibu, California (with a school bus and several cars in the middle distance). Copyright image.

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All-direction “Scramble” Crosswalks are Saving Lives in Los Angeles

In pursuit of Vision Zero, LA is introducing what California (and the USA?) is calling scramble crosswalks, at which all traffic is stopped simultaneously while pedestrians can cross the intersection in any direction, including diagonally.

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Perverse Priorities in Punishments for Vehicular Infractions in the USA

In this post, I am not particularly picking on California as such, because the weird situation I’m about to describe apparently happens in many, or maybe even all states (see the Massachusetts example in the photo below).

On July 20, 2017, the California Department of Motor Vehicles published this on its Facebook timeline:  ‘Don’t litter! The fine is $1,000, & you may be forced to pick up what you threw. Convictions go on your driving record.’ (Our italics, for emphasis.)

An attached photograph on the DMV post shows a picture of somebody dropping trash from the driver’s door window of a white car.

Photo of a road sign in Massachusetts showing fines for littering as $10,000.
Here’s a sign (in Massachusetts) that “up’s the ante” when it comes to disparity between fines for littering and fines for truly dangerous driving infractions. Copyright image.

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