Sharing the Love (of Cycling!)
I had an unusual opportunity on Wednesday, February 23, to join in on a Zoom call which simultaneously aired live on Facebook (https://fb.watch/bqsbPZf5q7/).
I wasn’t first choice to be a guest, but things trickle downhill and there I was, near the bottom of the hill! Todd Deery, Chairman of the Auburn [Alabama] Bicycle Committee, was putting on this live feed to discuss bicycle safety. The other guest was Danny Feldman, a local attorney who practices bicycle law and is a cyclist himself.
They wanted a guest from the Portland area (I consider Vancouver to be the Portland “area”) since we have a great reputation of supporting cycling. It was a fun interview, and Todd interviewed us and passed on questions from the viewers. ✎
I was able to share the information about the new “Idaho Stop” law that is now in both Oregon and Washington. I think they would like to have that implemented in Alabama as well. A viewer asked about stopping in traffic with cars: should cyclists move along the right, parallel with the cars, or stop behind the cars? Mr. Feldman encouraged lining up behind vehicles. I took that opportunity to agree but also describe our green bike lanes and bike boxes. They would like to see that in their area as well. And Bike Greenways!
We talked helmets a bit and I gathered that the law in Alabama is similar to Oregon – under age 16 a helmet is required. However, both Feldman and Deery were clear that helmets were required for all in their view.
There was some discussion about insurance coverage for accidents. For example, using automobile insurance if the crash involves a car. I mentioned that our club has insurance and if the viewers were on a club ride or event ride they might check to see if there was any coverage available through the organizers.
Interestingly, Mr. Feldman noted that Alabama has a draconian law (his word) which can prevent an injured person from recovering anything if they were in any way at fault for the accident. For example, as a cyclist, if you were involved in a crash with a motor vehicle and acknowledged (or it was established) that you were going 22 MPH in a 20-MPH zone you would be precluded from collecting damages, even if the motorist was negligent. You may be only 1% negligent but that’s a dealbreaker. (Note, I am not an attorney, and you should consult with a more authoritative source for specifics.)
The next day I joined their Facebook page – Auburn Bicycle Committee – and thanked them again for the opportunity of participating in their Ride and Shine workshop and suggested they look us (PBC) up if they come to Portland.
Ann Morrow, Vice President