Author Topic: 17th Cyclist Killed In Tampa Bay/Manatee  (Read 23216 times)

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Offline mucknort

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2011, 08:42:39 am »
Since almost everyone, learned to ride a bike, you have to wonder, what happened from the time they started to drive a car/truck to the distain many have for cyclist now. It is an attitude that starts, in the home and prevails in our society.

Most folks may learn to ride a bike, but I don't see as many kids/youth continuing to ride these days. Screen time (computers/tv/handheld devices) has become the activity de'jour for too many kids. I feel that since kids spend less time cycling before they get that driver's license, they don't develop much/any empathy toward cyclists when they see them from behind the wheel.

Offline Tourista829

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2011, 09:00:08 am »
Mucknort I agree with you, but it goes deeper than that. It is an attitude in America that says, as an adult, ride a bike, I don't think so. I will bet, if one did research, here in Tampa, and where attitudes were formed, it would surprise many. In a country where obeisity is at an all time high and gasoline prices are inching up, you would think people would get it. Like Jim Sayer once said, it is an uphill battle. I am glad I have a very low gear, because it looks like it is an endless climb.

Offline Tourista829

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2011, 09:01:39 am »
Got to go work. It really sucks that I could not ride my bicycle to work.

Offline MrBent

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2011, 10:19:29 am »
Depressing news.  If you've seen the recent copy of Adventure Cyclist, you'll find an article about touring in Florida wherein the author claims that Florida is MUCH better than it used to be.  This may be the case, but it's still the most dangerous state to cycle in.  The last time I checked records, it had more cycling deaths than California with only half the overall population.  I'd like to do the Southern Tier sometime.  We'll see!

Regarding the original poster:  I'm with Valygrl.  It's time to hang up the bike or move.  I'd move.  Life is WAY too short, and it looks like riding in Florida is one way to make it shorter.

Watch yer back, amigo.

Scott

Offline Westinghouse

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2011, 12:54:06 pm »
On this sad topic, I have been told that a cyclist was hit by a truck and killed last month on the southern tier. I believe it was on the panhandle in Fl. Does anyone have any details of what might have happened ?
On riding in Florida your dealing with lots of tourist who don't know the roads and are looking for road signs etc. In my opinion anywhere you ride you have to be a very defensive and not concerned who might have the right of way. It's your life.
Ed

This is the first I've heard of it. Hwy. 90 is what I'd consider to be a good road for cycling. I wonder where it happened.
If somebody said it happened in Tallahassee, I would say I wouldn't doubt it. The side-lane disappears there and traffic thickens dramatically. Bars are ubiquitous. People drink and drive afterwards. It's a university town which means there are many younger, less experienced drivers. Maybe it was in Tallahasee. On the other hand, such an accident could happen most anywhere. All it takes is one person not watching where he's going.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 03:02:41 am by Westinghouse »

Offline indyfabz

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2011, 10:51:09 am »
 All it takes is one person not watching where he's going.[/quote]

Including a cyclist.  When I learned that an old friend who I had lost touch with had been hit by a pickup and killed while riding home from work I immediately assumed it was the drivers fault.  I later learned it was not.

There is a guy from my area who was riding in TX years ago.  I believe he was on the ST route.  He saw his motel on the other side of the road and tuned left without looking right into the path of a semi.  Total brain fart.  Fortunately, he lived, but he was pretty banged up.

Offline tonythomson

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2011, 03:09:05 pm »
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.

This thread is reflected in other cycling forums around the world.  certainly here in the UK I rarely ride anywhere and wait until I'm in Florida (have a house near Disney) but prefer to ride the trails. There seems to be the same anti cycling mentality by certain motorists around the world, what is that all about?

Hi Quahog when you come down south to ride?  ;)

Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline mucknort

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2011, 04:36:07 pm »
There seems to be the same anti cycling mentality by certain motorists around the world, what is that all about?
I beg to differ. Here in New England Ive rarely encountered the kind of hostility the OP stated. And in riding from Boston to Seattle last year, I also didn't encounter anything from motorists like what was stated avove from Florida. From what I've read, the hate seems to exist more in certain localities. Besides the comments here and elsewhere on other forums about Florida, I've heard similar stories about sections of Texas. I wonder why its worse in some areas and not others.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2011, 05:30:35 pm »
Out of curiosity just how many of you guys use a mirror? My opinion this is the most important bit of kit to keep us safe.

Lots of talk about mirrors in other threads. Try a search from the main forum page to check it out.

Fred

Offline DaveB

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2011, 07:36:15 pm »
I'd be interested in knowing the demographics of the victims.   

I've ridden a lot in Orlando, Gainesville and Naples and a few times in the area around Mt Dora. Particularly in Orlando and Naples I've seen a great number of "utility" riders, mostly Hispanics, who ride out of necessity as the bike is their only means of transportation.  They seem completly unaware of traffic dicipline and proper riding technique.  They often ride on the "wrong" side of the road, and seem oblivious to driveways, cross streets, stop signs, etc.   Also, their bikes are mostly department-store quality which means the brakes are weak and unresponsive. 

Do these riders account for a lot of the victims?

Offline Tourista829

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2011, 11:44:27 pm »
                                                 "Open Season On Cyclists"
Since midsummer, nine cyclists in the Tampa Bay area have died in crashes with vehicles.*
“Unfortunately in the Tampa Bay area, the roads were not designed very well to handle bicycle traffic,” said Alan Snel, a Tampa resident and the director of the South West Florida Bicycle United Dealers.  The growth in Florida's major cities has made it even worse. (and the sad part is there are no plans to improve them)

In 2008, the most recent year for which federal statistics are available, 11.1 percent of the pedestrians killed in the United States died in Florida. The state also accounted for 17.4 percent of the bicyclist fatalities. By far, Florida led the nation in the number of bicyclists killed with 125 in 2008, which is the most recent year for which national data is available

(I know there are those who wanted to have an idea about some of the riders that were killed)
Unusually High Rate of Bicycle Accident Deaths Reveals Florida Has Most in Nation
As a Weston bicycle accident attorney, I know Florida has a high rate of bicycle crashes. But until the St. Petersburg Times examined the issue Dec. 6, I didn’t realize Florida had literally the most fatal bicycle accidents of any state, and the second-highest rate of fatal crashes per million of population. The newspaper examined the issue after the Tampa area saw nine fatal crashes since late July. It did not break down fatalities within the state, but said Florida had 125 bicycle accident deaths in the most recent year evaluated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That worked out to 6.82 deaths for every million people, a rate exceeded only by Delaware at 6.87 per million. In Tampa, 22 bicyclists were killed in 2009 and 30 in 2004.

A bicyclist told the newspaper that Tampa roads are not well designed to encourage sharing space between cars and bicyclists, but agreed with others that both groups need to treat the other with respect. In the nine cases from this year, the newspaper said, some were blamed on the rider and some on the driver. No serious charges were filed in any of the nine cases, although cases are still open in at least two cases, one with a hit-and-run driver. In the first of the series, 75-year-old LeRoy Collins Jr., whose father was once governor of Florida, was hit as he rode through a crosswalk in Tampa. The driver said she didn’t see him and no charges were filed. In another, 30-year-old Kayoko Ishizuka died in Tampa after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. That driver was charged with leaving the scene of the accident.

Those charges, and a few others described in the article, concerns me as a Pembroke Park bicycle accident lawyer. There may be more information about the case involving Collins, but if the driver “didn’t see” him because she failed to watch the road, criminal charges might be reasonable. Similarly, the driver in Ishizuka’s** death is facing only a leaving the scene charge, not that charge plus vehicular homicide. (It took over a week, for police, to find the motorist) A third victim, a 41-year-old math teacher, was rear-ended in Dade City by a motorist who apparently faces no penalties. It’s possible that all of these drivers truly had no way to avoid the crashes, but situations where that’s true are not common. What is common, in my experience, is bad driving caused by distractions, sleepiness, intoxication and other conditions under which no one should drive. It’s surprising that prosecutors didn’t feel they had evidence to bring charges in any of the nine cases. (Is there no justice?)
Fortunately, grieving families don’t have to rely on the decisions of the State’s Attorney’s office in order to get justice. Instead of or in addition to criminal charges, families can pursue bicycle accident lawsuits in civil court, with the help of the experienced attorneys. (Little consolation to the grieving families)
*  Since December, 3 more have died bringing the death toll to 12
** A brillant medical researcher at USF who was on a bicycle lane and following all traffic laws.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2011, 12:01:45 am »
I have done a considerable amount of cycling around western Europe. After one such trip lasting about six or seven weeks we flew back to Miami in the US, sent our extra gear forward by bus, and cycled the coast roads back to my hometown. The hostility that contrasts the USA in general from many other countries became immediately perceptible.
In one place we stopped for refreshments I made a casual statement  to start a conversation. The answer I got was unbelievably unfriendly. I mentioned to the person we had been all over Europe and had talked to people everywhere we went, and had never once received such a rude response anywhere. He said something conciliatory after that, but there were other things too. You have to realize the US really is not one of the better advanced countries of the world.
In fact, when it comes to belligerence, violent crime, crime in general, imprisonment of its own population, and unwillingness to provide health care to the entire population, it is one of the worst of the world's advanced countries. I have traveled extensively through 36 countries, and have lived for many years abroad. The general attitudes of hostility in the US are obvious after having lived in better places and returning to the USA. Millions of people have left tha country and many say they would never go back under any circumstances.

It might not be just hostility against cyclists, but just a general attitude of hostility, and at any given time hostility toward anyone doing something different from what most others do. Whatever the case may be, I have definitely noticed a general underlying belligerence that becomes all the more noticeable after living in other countries and returning to the USA. I mean, you can take China with 1.3 billion people, and all of Russia and they still don't have as many people in prison as the US, and still crime in the US is rampant. Let's face it, something is seriously wrong with the social, political, economic structure in the USA that does not exist that way in many other countries. I have had routine problems cycling in the USA I never experenced even once in other parts of the world.

Offline Tourista829

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2011, 01:20:17 am »
Westinghouse, I have to agree with you regarding riding in parts of Florida. Like you, I have cycled and toured in other parts of the world and although I love America, and would live nowhere else, these are truly troubling times. You have hit the nail, on the head, when you talk about "Hostility." However, it is more than hostility. It is an attitude which I can't fully define, a hardening, selfishness, and might is right.

When overseas, people wondered, why were there so many murders by gunfire in the U.S.  I could not answer them. One European pointed out that in the U.S., there were over 11,500 murders or accidents by gunfire in 2009. Many Europeans believe, living in America is like living in the Wild West. The numbers, in all of EU, was 3% to our number. In Australia, a few years ago, after a brutal shooting in Tasmania, of children, in a school, firearms were outlawed and the murder rate came down drastically. In Canada, 246. Based on their population of 30 million vs ours of 305 million, the U.S. should be more like 2,400. You would have thought, after the shootings, in Tucson, their would have been some reaction to gun control. There was none.

However, I figured out how to change attitudes. We have been going about this in the wrong manor. We need to work with the NRA and have Wayne Lapierre or Sarah Palin, ride a bicycle to work, then it might be more acceptable. However, our new governor, in Florida, would probably encourage them to carry a firearm, in their handlebar bags, creating another problem.  ::)

Offline Westinghouse

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2011, 03:06:06 am »
This is not now and has never been a perfect world. Cycling through it is not going to make it one. The "might makes right" mentality does very often rule the roads. That's why the cyclist often must forget about who has the legal right-of-way and focus more on---What is the safest thing to do in this particular situation?

People who might force you out of your ROW with a car or truck and keep going would not dare try pushing you around in a face-to-face situation in a supermarket aisle for example. Roadway bullying is a reality. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's out there. What a major difference I noticed after a 70-day cycling tour in the UK, and cycling back in the USA. I even had a comment about it in a major, feature, newspaper article. The US is really quite belligerent in many places. The jails and prisons are overcrowded. Over 7 million people are either in jail, in prison, on probation, on parole, and crime is still rampant.  I agree, a certain kind of gross, pernicious selfishness lies at the heart of it. I don't have any solutions for it. I just look out for myself.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: 12th Cyclist Killed In Tampa
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2011, 05:48:57 am »
I'd be interested in knowing the demographics of the victims.  

I've ridden a lot in Orlando, Gainesville and Naples and a few times in the area around Mt Dora. Particularly in Orlando and Naples I've seen a great number of "utility" riders, mostly Hispanics, who ride out of necessity as the bike is their only means of transportation.  They seem completly unaware of traffic dicipline and proper riding technique.  They often ride on the "wrong" side of the road, and seem oblivious to driveways, cross streets, stop signs, etc.   Also, their bikes are mostly department-store quality which means the brakes are weak and unresponsive.  

Do these riders account for a lot of the victims?

I don't know. None of the guys I knew who were killed in my hometown were those sorts of fellows. However, one person was kind of oblivious when he cycled. I had seen him going through intersections as though he was the only person on the road. He was killed by an 18 year old guy, in a truck they say. Another guy was hit by a drunk driver who dragged him for something like a mile underneath the truck, and the driver was not even aware he had just run him over.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 06:41:41 am by Westinghouse »