I’ve been looking at a blog called “Bike Safe Boston”.
I wrote the following as a comment in response to a post in which the blogger expressed enthusiasm about the Massachusetts law which prevents a left-turning driver from holding a bicyclist at fault in a collision when the bicyclist was overtaking on the right.
Good traffic law respects human abilities and the performance limitations of vehicles. Humans do not have X-ray vision, or instant reaction time, and vehicles cannot stop on a dime. The law of most states says that it is legal to overtake on the right if that can be done in safety, and I consider that sensible.
But you think it’s a great law to hold a motorist — or by the way, another bicyclist — crossing from the left at fault when you speed out into an intersection from concealment to the right of a truck, bus, SUV?
Even in Massachusetts, the bicyclist would be held at fault for colliding with a pedestrian who was walking across from left to right in the crosswalk. So, if you are going to shoot out into the intersection from concealment, consider that you might collide with a motor vehicle, and then it’s the driver’s fault under the law, and the driver’s insurance is more likely to pay for your medical bills or funeral. Isn’t that great! Or you might collide with another bicyclist, who you hope has insurance, and you both could get hurt badly too. Or, you might hit a pedestrian, and then it’s your fault under the law…
Now here’s the kicker: going to the home page of the blog, I find that the blogger is a lawyer who specializes in bicycle cases!
Hey, I have nothing against his promoting his practice and there’s some good stuff on the site, like the Bicyclist’s Accident Report form and the advice against running red lights. But still.