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Right Turn On Red: After Stop, After Yield

With the green left-turn arrow indicating red for opposing traffic, everybody’s in the proper position. I’m crossing the stop line and leaning into the turn at about 15 mph:

Right On Red - Tucker at Friendly - 0 sec

Right On Red – Tucker at Friendly – 0 sec

New York State allows a right turn on red, but you’re supposed to stop and yield to other traffic. In that picture, the oncoming car is definitely stopped.

Three seconds later:

Right On Red - Tucker at Friendly - 3 sec

Right On Red – Tucker at Friendly – 3 sec

She hugged the curb to turn into the gas station entrance just to her right, which was the only thing that saved me. Braking hard in a turn slides you under the oncoming vehicle, ramming a school bus head-on is bad form, and sideswiping a car at speed never ends well.

I suppose I just don’t look nearly as fast as I am. Which, given the fairing and spinning feet, is hard to imagine.

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  1. #1 by Trudi on 2015-05-24 - 10:55

    given the fairing and spinning feet, is hard to imagine

    Trust me… nobody is looking at your feet. You are lucky if they see you at all! Bicycle? What bicycle? However, the same sequence has happened to me… and I was driving a big RED car!

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-05-24 - 12:23

      nobody is looking at your feet

      When kids call out to Mary “Hey, lady, cool bike!” you just know they’re not seeing her; I’m even further down that list.

      • #3 by Mike on 2015-05-25 - 00:54

        I would imagine that there is not much “oomph” at 12v to power a seriously loud horn, but have you considered a gas horn?
        Something like this, but with a pushbutton to trigger it?
        http://www.westmarine.com/buy/taylor-made–rechargeable-signal-air-horn–4234738
        or maybe
        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Air-Horn-Super-LOUD-Hand-Held-Gas-Sports-Races-Boat-Marine-Warning-Coyote-Scare-/121369962935?hash=item1c4236a9b7
        (they used to be called freon horns, but after R12 was banned they went to canned CO2 or canned air, and got dubbed “gas horns”

        • #4 by Ed on 2015-05-25 - 09:24

          In all the situations where I’d like to toot my own horn, I need both hands and all my wits to avoid a collision. Anyhow, there’s no telling what they’d do after being jolted awake… they might take it personally, y’know, and I’d (still) be on the spot marked X.

          The last time I looked in the back of the bike junk drawer, I saw a genuine old-skool Freon horn, back from when I thought I had a spare hand. Might even have a toot left in it!

        • #5 by madbodger on 2015-05-25 - 10:21

          There are 12V air horns that make a serious amount of noise.

  2. #6 by rkward on 2015-05-24 - 11:34

    I’ll climb on board with this rant.

    I routinely see the “Watch Out For Motorcycles” on vehicles of all kinds stickers whenever I go out. Not sure when or where they came about, but no doubt from motorcyclists themselves. I realize they are harder to see than other vehicles but why stickers for just them? Where is the “Wake The ^@#$%@ Up And Pay Attention” stickers for all occasions!? I have always though that driver’s licenses are given out way too easily and there should be random pulls (just like for insurance checks) for folks to come in and be retested. There also needs to be existence of tests and simulators for road conditions and obstacles. Too much? Not to me.

    • #7 by madbodger on 2015-05-24 - 11:50

      While those are good ideas, I doubt they’d address this particular problem. People KNOW to pay attention during their test. Then they go back to driving while solving crosswords drunk or whatever it is they do.

      • #8 by rkward on 2015-05-24 - 11:59

        True, I guess when people are the variable the solution is often difficult or impossible to overcome. I suppose we can hope for smarter vehicles to catch the things we miss?

        • #9 by Ed on 2015-05-24 - 12:26

          smarter vehicles to catch the things we miss

          As soon as self-driving cars actually exist, there will be one in our garage: I’m certain an AI can drive at least as well as my best efforts.

          • #10 by madbodger on 2015-05-25 - 10:22

            Even a MICROS~1 AI? Somehow I doubt it. However, that did induce me to write a humorous essay on what various vendors’ self-driving cars would be like.

            • #11 by Ed on 2015-05-25 - 13:17

              I know two things for certain:

              • The Google Car’s LCD “windows” will be filled with ads
              • Ad blocker apps will not be permitted
  3. #12 by Joel on 2015-05-24 - 15:09

    That’s probably true for all of us, but I’ll optimistically say that “we”, as a group of intelligent (mostly) adults, probably pay more attention when we’re driving than most. The group that needs the self driving cars the most are the ones least likely to get one in the short term. And as a motorcycle rider I can say that most drivers don’t see motorcycles so bicycles are even more invisible. In my m/c safety class they taught us to ride like we’re invisible and everyone is out to kill us. It’s good advice, even when you’re riding an 800lb motorcycle with a flashing headlight and running lights.

    And to keep this tech-related, I wonder if all the fancy new doo-dads we create are adding to the distracted driver problem, or, if as I fear, many drivers just don’t care since they’re in their protective cage so the smaller objects out there just become irrelevant.

    Sorry about the rant.

    • #13 by Ed on 2015-05-24 - 16:39

      There are only two solutions to the problem of distracted driving: eliminate either distraction or driving. We’re conspicuously failing at the former, so I definitely hope Google / Tesla / et. al. can eliminate the latter.

      But I also hope the AI can cope with deliberate attempts to confuse its sensors, because pranking self-driving cars will definitely become a thing…