You guys come across texters on your commute?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    You guys come across texters on your commute?

    By texters I mean people texting or fiddling with their phone. When I'm heading straight and see a car approach an intersection, I try to make eye contact with the driver. The other day as I was heading straight on a road, an SUV slowed to a stop at a T-intersection I was approaching. He was looking down, and I'm wondering if I should continue my path (which would be straight and pass in front of him, as I had the right of way anyway. He could only make a left or right turn. He was gonna make a left. Well, he never looked up, and I didn't want to take my chances because the minute he looked up he could just gas it. I went around him, and as I did I had to stare at him, yep, still looking down fiddling with his phone. Grrrr, what's up with people who feel a need to text of fiddle with their phone while driving. What is so freaking important?

    Do you guys go out of your way to stay safe? I'll go around a car rather than in front if I don't trust the driver's instincts.

  2. #2
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    Yup, ride defensively. If you don't know what the driver is doing, avoid them.

  3. #3
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    I learned that lesson while riding motorcycles, but fortunately now on a bicycle I find the slower speeds in addition to faster maneuverability of bikes is quite a bit safer. Oddly enough, since I live in a city where cycling on the roads among traffic is illegal (the sidewalks are enormous so it's ok) I find more issues with pedestrians attempting to walk and text or check their facebook at the same time. It's truly amazing how unobservant people with gadgets in their hands can be, no matter if their walking, riding a bicycle, or driving a car.

  4. #4
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    I saw a distracted cyclist last week. I wondered why he was coming down the hill in the middle of the road (not the middle of the lane), and weaving a bit. It turned out he was lighting a cigarette! Strange enough on it's own, but he was just about to go down one of the steepest hills in town. I hope he made it.

  5. #5
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    only me txt on the bike..
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  6. #6
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    I was briefly following someone the other day who was messing with her phone, dropped it, and hit the brakes really hard while I was about to pass. I'm not sure where I was going with this story, but I'm sure there are some lessons to be learned.
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  7. #7
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    Texting pedestrians are a big hazard too. They are completely oblivious, will wander in and out of bike lanes to and fro. I've almost smacked in to a couple on a college campus

  8. #8
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    I see them all the time. The ones in front of me dont make me as nervous as the ones driving up behind me. On the way home just now, riding down the street like normal, a honda element almost clipped my left elbow whizzing by at 45mph. Just one foot to the right and I would probly be in the hospital right now.

  9. #9
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    I've been known to send a txt when I'm walking, but not when there's a lot going on around me. I'll just stop.

    Anytime I need to use the phone when I'm riding, I'll pull off the road to use it. That's just good sense (I'm not going to say common because it's not so common).

    my phone screen is nearly invisible outside, though, so both of those are extremely rare occurrences.

    I can't say I've seen many people doing this locally, but in other cities, I've seen it.

  10. #10
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    Since it is illegal here in California to use a non-hands-free phone while driving, it should be legal for citizens to poach motorists who do this. I’ve had way too many close calls while driving, let alone cycling. Some dumb hooker in a rather large white SUV behind me the other day in a 25MPH school zone was driving up my goddamn exhaust pipe looking down at her cellphone, obviously texting. I’d periodically let my foot off the gas and slow down, and all of a sudden she’d get on the brakes abruptly. Where’s a fookin cop when you need one?
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  11. #11
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    Hipsters texting while on their bikes while listening to their ipods: fairly often
    Texting drivers even though it's illegal: way too often.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Some dumb hooker in a rather large white SUV behind me the other day in a 25MPH school zone was driving up my goddamn exhaust pipe looking down at her cellphone, obviously texting. I’d periodically let my foot off the gas and slow down, and all of a sudden she’d get on the brakes abruptly. Where’s a fookin cop when you need one?
    Are you driving distracted? Maybe this will get your attention! Back in 1995 when cell phones were small bricks with antennae, an associate saw a Mercedes on SR 2 in Cleveland a couple miles out from Dead Man's Curve wandering and not maintaining speed in one of the center lanes (of 4 or 5). He noticed a cell phone clamped to the drivers head. Then saw a late 70's Chevy Impala two door with the prow up attitude of tired rear springs, suddenly surge out from behind, then pull in front of the Merc and a bit in front of him and to his left. After a brief moment of holding speed the Chevy's driver braked hard and just before the collision stomped on the gas. The Merc braked too late had the Chevy not accelerated. He figured the Merc would need some detailing to get the stain out of the driver's seat.

    I have seen drivers read newspapers, novels, apply nail polish and eye liner, eating using both hands (knees on the wheel, so there are distractions galore. Add in the fact that some can't judge 3' from 1' under normal conditions and they wander while distracted and it is less safe than it should be out there for cyclists who are very hard to see when you aren't even friggin' lookin'. . Technozombies just add another layer to it. I have had a cell phone user drive through a 4 way stop following the guy ahead like it was a traffic light. Good thing I wasn't running it.

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  13. #13
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Since it is illegal here in California to use a non-hands-free phone while driving, it should be legal for citizens to poach motorists who do this.
    Yeah, open season!
    Actually, I don`t see much of that aound here, but I love the sentiment.

    MtbX, it wasn`t me!

    Jmctav23, where are you that mandates bicycles to ride on the sidewalk?

  14. #14
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    I see texters all the time.

    A recent, particularly outrageous texter - one of the MUP's I ride parallels a freeway and where the freeway crosses under a road, the MUP climbs up alongside the on/off ramps and then crosses the road at a traffic signal. At one particular signal one has to be super careful for drivers who are in a hurry to turn right onto the freeway onramp and are not paying attention to the crosswalk and peds/bikes crossing the road. Last Thursday, as the walk signal changes for me and just before I get ready to leave the curb I see that a car is going to blow the crosswalk, driving somewhat erratically. As I look at the driver, it's a woman, looking down, both hands on an iPad steering with her knees!

    Ride like everyone is out to kill you, I say.

  15. #15
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    Come to think of it, I guess this was a rhetorical question: Do you guys go out of your way to stay safe?

    When I drive, I get very paranoid when I see the driver behind me talking on the cell or if I think the person may be texting. I don't trust their stopping reaction and avoid making quick stops, so when I see a stop sign or stop light or just approaching a stop, I gradually slow down far in advance. But I will try to switch lanes first.

    I hate pedestrian texters and cell phone talkers, especially the jaywalking type. If you're gonna jaywalk, I expect you to run for your life across the street--not casually walk across it without even looking both ways and being oblivious to traffic. I dunno, I find it extremely discourteous when jaywalkers cross the street without even acknowledging traffic. I mean, like, HELLO!

  16. #16
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    Some people are selfish dicks regardless of their mode of transport.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    Come to think of it, I guess this was a rhetorical question: Do you guys go out of your way to stay safe?...
    I think the most common thing I'll do to go out of my way to stay safe is to slow or stop to let someone back out of a driveway if I see their backup lights on - way too easy for them not to look or not see you if they do look, so I don't chance it. Most common with driveway snowplowers, but others get a pass as well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I think the most common thing I'll do to go out of my way to stay safe is to slow or stop to let someone back out of a driveway if I see their backup lights on - way too easy for them not to look or not see you if they do look, so I don't chance it. Most common with driveway snowplowers, but others get a pass as well.
    Yep. Years I go I met up with a guy who wanted to buy a rigid MTB fork that I advertised on Craigslist. He was an avid mtb biker and we talked a bit about biking and stuff. He and his buddies would take a lunch ride at work. One of his buddies got hit by someone who was backing up. The scary thing was that his friend and the driver made eye contact, so he thought the lady in the car acknowledged his presence and stopped to let him ride pass (if I remember correctly). Well, the moment he was in back of her, she gassed it and ran him over. Terrible accident but he survived. Think he told me the tire ran over his chest area (hurts just thinking about it!). Lady had no insurance

    I always will let a reversing car go even if they motion me to go.

  19. #19
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    Blame the government, not the drivers. The government can stamp out texting while mobile, but they aren't serious about it. If you get caught, you get a small fine, and the price of the fine is within everyones reach, but what if the fine wasn't in everyones reach, say a $2k or $5k fine. It's the world we live in, if the government is not serious about it, why should drivers be....
    If there was a 2k fine, I'm guessing the majority of people would cease texting while driving, nobody would want a $2k fine.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SV11 View Post
    Blame the government, not the drivers. The government can stamp out texting while mobile, but they aren't serious about it. If you get caught, you get a small fine, and the price of the fine is within everyones reach, but what if the fine wasn't in everyones reach, say a $2k or $5k fine. It's the world we live in, if the government is not serious about it, why should drivers be....
    If there was a 2k fine, I'm guessing the majority of people would cease texting while driving, nobody would want a $2k fine.
    hm, there's truth to this.

    however, you can very much blame the drivers for failing to take personal responsibility and exercising good sense. my wife was telling me just yesterday that a ghetto punk teenage cousin of hers was bragging on Facebook about texting while driving.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Jmctav23, where are you that mandates bicycles to ride on the sidewalk?
    Minsk, Belarus...I really don't mind it, the sidewalks are usually at least 15-20 feet wide and the drivers here are insane, plus over half my commute is on a bike path well away from roads and most pedestrians.

  22. #22
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    DUI now has serious legal penalties, which have reduced occurances, but people still do it. In the end, it`s every driver`s responsibility to behave, not the government`s.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    In the end, it`s every driver`s responsibility to behave, not the government`s.
    What Rodar said...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    DUI now has serious legal penalties, which have reduced occurances, but people still do it. In the end, it`s every driver`s responsibility to behave, not the government`s.
    That would be the case if we live in an intelligent society, where people are intelligent and smart. Sadly, this isn't the case. A good example is NateHawk's response.

    Studies have shown that texting behind the wheel is similar to being under the influence. If your texting, you're not concentrating on the task at hand, so you might as well be asleep behind the wheel. With technology advancing at a fast rate, it's only going to get worse. Here's an example.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    Minsk, Belarus...I really don't mind it, the sidewalks are usually at least 15-20 feet wide and the drivers here are insane, plus over half my commute is on a bike path well away from roads and most pedestrians.
    Got any pictures for the "How was Your commute" or "Post your commuter" threads? I don`t think we`ve had any on here from your `hood.

    Excuse the thread detour, please.

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  28. #28
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    Unfortunately around here you see law enforcement not using their hands-free devices so you know they are not going to pull people over that are not using theirs. I have crashed on the street numerous times because I make eye contact with a driver, get the nod and they then proceed to pull out in front of me. Just my bad luck.

    Just the other day was pull around a corner, looked across the street from me to see a meth head in a mini-van pulling out of the CVS parking lot. Made eye contact and he proceeded to pull into the lane next to me. Something in my head told me he was just going to pull all the way over into the bar on my right. Sure enough he does (thank god for the new brakes as the old ones would not have stopped me quick enough) and cuts me COMPLETELY off in the bike lane. I had to stop so quickly that I leaned forward and smacked the back of the van with my hand, yell a few things as I pull around him and he turns, gives me a look like I am crazy and then flips me off.

    No matter where I am I am cautious about what is going on around me, always playing scenarios in my head if something happens what is my planned escape route. I was taught this by my father while driving on the freeway and it has saved my bacon a couple times. I see lots of bikers riding with their headphones in or one in and think they are crazy. You should never have that kind of distraction because all it takes it the dumb teenager that decides he can make a corner before you can, misjudges your speed and then completely cuts you off while you are booking it down the road at 18-20mph.

  29. #29
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    I was thinking the other day about this and remembered something that happened a month or two ago. I was riding down a 4- or 5-lane blvd and I see a car about to enter it from a shopping center. I slowed down anticipating her move as the front of her car was past the sidewalk. She sees me and stops and motions me through. I waved her on but she waves me on. So I go, and as I move in front of her she starts moving and I'm like WTF (in my head). She looks at me and gestures a WTF too! I also don't trust people moving out into a street "face first."

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by R+P+K View Post
    Some people are selfish dicks regardless of their mode of transport.
    I think this sums it up well.

  31. #31
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    yes, I pull along side them sit up and look them in the eye. And start pretending to text with my fingers. They usually just smile like "You caught me."

  32. #32
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    all the time; best to keep your head on a swivel!

  33. #33
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    I saw it for the first time today...a guy texting on a bicycle.

    he rolled the stopsign when it was busy, for one, and after he made his turn, he pulled out his phone and slowed to a crawl while he fiddled with the damn thing. in a school zone, where using a phone in your car in this town can land you a hefty ticket.

  34. #34
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    If cyclists are held to the same traffic rules as motorists, there's no reason why they shouldn't be just as cite-able as them. Generally though, the cops won't bother with them because one isn't required to have a license to ride a bicycle, so they just say, 'oops, forgot my license' and give them a fake name/address.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by R+P+K View Post
    Yup, ride defensively. If you don't know what the driver is doing, avoid them.
    This is my method, texting or not.



    After being hit 2 times without getting seriously hurt, I'm not looking for the 3rd time on a bike. 2 time biking, 1 time walking through an intersection. All were at low speeds but eye openers for sure.
    It's the stopping and starting part that will get ya!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    If cyclists are held to the same traffic rules as motorists, there's no reason why they shouldn't be just as cite-able as them. Generally though, the cops won't bother with them because one isn't required to have a license to ride a bicycle, so they just say, 'oops, forgot my license' and give them a fake name/address.

    I have spoken to the campus police who patrol this school zone (two elementary schools right next to each other - one a university charter school and the other a city elementary school leasing university property) because I see a lot of idiot cyclists on campus - chances are if there's a traffic law cyclists are supposed to obey, I've seen someone break it on campus. the campus police do try...but I was told their job is difficult making a difference for two major reasons:

    1. their patrol bikes are the typical heavy patrol mountain bikes and they easily get outrun by fixietards...or most anyone else who is reasonably fit.
    2. when watching an area in a patrol car, they cannot do much if someone on a bicycle decides not to stop. there are too many footpaths where cars cannot go that a cyclist can just duck away from a car very simply.


    I do believe in TX you are supposed to have an ID at all times. does not necessarily have to be a DL (unless you're driving a car, of course), but it has to be something. still doesn't get away from the problem of stopping a pedestrian or cyclist who says, "I forgot my ID" and then lies about their name and address. so the officer cannot write a citation that will actually stick to the person's record.

  37. #37
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    usually a nice foot sized dent in their door get them to pay attention to the road

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