Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Better To Bike In Bangalore

Last year, during my trip to Bangalore, I recollected how in India it is the "little guy" who is not at fault in traffic accidents, even if the little guy is the cause of the accident (link here). It's nearly always the larger vehicle that is sited in an accident. And by "sited" I don't mean 'getting a ticket', I mean being surrounded by an angry mob, dragged out of their vehicle, and beaten or killed. When there's a billion people jammed together in a sub continent, "little guy not at fault" works.

So it was with great confusion, dismay, and anger, that I learned in Charleston SC, when you're riding your bike on a one way street at night, and an idiot in an SUV passes you, and then slows down, and then without signaling, TURNS INTO you and Runs You Over, sending you over the hood of their vehicle and crushing your bike's back tire, that it is the bicyclist who is cited for "turning into the path of the SUV". Seriously. It's the bicyclist's fault?

Disregard the fact that the bicyclist has two other witnesses riding a few meters behind him who clearly saw the SUV turn into the lead bicyclist. Disregard the fact that the SUV who ran over the bicyclist caused him to become temporarily unconscious. This is the first time in my life I ever thought "I wish we had Indian traffic rules here".

There are just some things I do not understand. I am going to go do yoga now, in an effort to become much less angry. I am happy that the bicyclist did not suffer a sub dermal hematoma, or any broken bones. It appears that an SUV's windshield wipers have a less than positive impact on a bicyclist's head when the SUV's driver tries to run the bicyclist over. =(


  1. Unfortunately, that's all too common in the US. Cops here often blame a cyclist (or motorcyclist) first, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    A friend of mine was cut off by a motorcycle cop while riding in a bike lane...and then cited by the cop for failing to yield. Fortunately, the judge wasn't buying it. It's just too bad the cop doesn't face any punishment for either driving that way or for writing a fraudulent citation.

  2. well, cops are a completely different ball game.

    but, the SUV driver blaming the cyclist is wacko. I know in Chicago, it's usually the driver who gets the ticket - especially if there are witnesses.

    I'm sure there is more to the story. Perhaps it was a off duty cop? ;)

  3. It was an off duty rickshaw driver - Charleston is full of pedal driven 'quaint' rickshaws. My son said that 99% of the time in Charleston, it is the bicyclist who is cited (like San Francisco) and not the motorist. "Dad, cops hate bikes and always blame them". In a narrow peninsula, whose streets were designed for horse carriages 340 years ago you'd think law enforcement would be a little more progressive, but quite the opposite.


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