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Thread: The Ethics of Breaking Traffic Laws

  1. #21
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    Here's my take - Traffic laws are mainly used to establish right of way, and come into play and must be observed when multiple parties are involved. However, when I'm the only one at a red light or stop sign, the right of way is somewhat implicit, so I tend not to dissipate all that beautiful kinetic energy into wasted heat. If that's breaking the law, I'm guilty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    Please. The bad rap is that we are not driving cars. You could obey traffic laws 100%. The traffic tribe driving 1 ton of steel and belching petroleum products into the atmosphere would still scream at you to get the hell out of the way.

    The most horn honking I have heard lately?? Directed at car drivers who yielded to pedestrians in cross walks - honking from the cars behind.

    They hate you because you are in their way. It is not a moral evaluation.
    Worse, tort law in the DMV works against cyclists, and pedestrians, because this is one of the only places in the country where contributory negligence still serves as a bar to recovery. So a cyclists is 10% at fault but a driver is 90% at fault. The cyclist won't recover for 90% of their injuries -- they get 0%. Add, of course, the cyclist, or pedestrian, are much more likely to be seriously injured than, say, another driver.

    And as for "they hate you because you are in their way" -- THAT is 100%. A few months ago, using the crosswalk to cross Dolly Madison Blvd, I had two different drivers give me the finger as they sped by in the second lane, and then, while I waited for cars in the second lane to slow, the car that had actually stopped in the first lane yelled at me to get the f out of the road. But what do they care? These people never walk -- or ride -- anywhere. We are the problem.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by musclys View Post
    Worse, tort law in the DMV works against cyclists, and pedestrians, because this is one of the only places in the country where contributory negligence still serves as a bar to recovery. So a cyclists is 10% at fault but a driver is 90% at fault. The cyclist won't recover for 90% of their injuries -- they get 0%. Add, of course, the cyclist, or pedestrian, are much more likely to be seriously injured than, say, another driver.

    And as for "they hate you because you are in their way" -- THAT is 100%. A few months ago, using the crosswalk to cross Dolly Madison Blvd, I had two different drivers give me the finger as they sped by in the second lane, and then, while I waited for cars in the second lane to slow, the car that had actually stopped in the first lane yelled at me to get the f out of the road. But what do they care? These people never walk -- or ride -- anywhere. We are the problem.
    This is only true in the MV now - DC passed a law to change contributory negligence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcannon100 View Post
    The most horn honking I have heard lately?? Directed at car drivers who yielded to pedestrians in cross walks - honking from the cars behind.
    Yesterday I was driving up Rolling Road, just north of Old Keene Mill Road, about 4:30 pm. An older gentleman was standing on the corner, trying to cross Rolling Road *in the crosswalk*. After watching a police car drive by and not stop, I had the audacity to stop to let the poor man cross. The car next to me did the right thing and stopped too. For a moment I thought that I was going to get rear-ended, and then the horns started honking behind us.

    That was the best thing I did all day.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by f148vr View Post
    Here's my take - Traffic laws are mainly used to establish right of way, and come into play and must be observed when multiple parties are involved. However, when I'm the only one at a red light or stop sign, the right of way is somewhat implicit, so I tend not to dissipate all that beautiful kinetic energy into wasted heat. If that's breaking the law, I'm guilty.

    If a cyclist Delaware's a stop sign in Fairlington, and no one see's him except for one "gadfly" peeking through a window, does he make a sound?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailrunner View Post
    Yesterday I was driving up Rolling Road, just north of Old Keene Mill Road, about 4:30 pm. An older gentleman was standing on the corner, trying to cross Rolling Road *in the crosswalk*. After watching a police car drive by and not stop, I had the audacity to stop to let the poor man cross. The car next to me did the right thing and stopped too. For a moment I thought that I was going to get rear-ended, and then the horns started honking behind us.

    That was the best thing I did all day.
    Not to be that person, but if you are talking about where I think you are talking about on Rolling, the speed limit is 40mph. Which means you are not to yield to the pedestrian.

    § 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.
    A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

    1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

    2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

    3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dplasters View Post
    Not to be that person, but if you are talking about where I think you are talking about on Rolling, the speed limit is 40mph. Which means you are not to yield to the pedestrian.

    § 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.
    A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

    1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

    2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

    3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.
    I said that he was in a clearly marked crosswalk. Isn’t that covered in section 1 of the law you cited?


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    Quote Originally Posted by trailrunner View Post
    I said that he was in a clearly marked crosswalk. Isn’t that covered in section 1 of the law you cited?


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    I dunno, are they 'ands' or 'ors'? What's the definition of at the crosswalk? is that waiting on the sidewalk? do you have to be in the crosswalk already? I find piles of the code confusing. What does it mean to not disregard traffic? pffffffffffffttttttttttt

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dplasters View Post
    I dunno, are they 'ands' or 'ors'? What's the definition of at the crosswalk? is that waiting on the sidewalk? do you have to be in the crosswalk already? I find piles of the code confusing. What does it mean to not disregard traffic? pffffffffffffttttttttttt
    Surely the lawyers will chime in, but it seems pretty clear to me that the crosswalk is the key differentiator between #1 and #3 -- i.e. not whether the person is crossing at an intersection, since they call out that the crosswalk may be at an intersection: "At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;"
    Last edited by hozn; 04-16-2018 at 01:56 PM.

  10. 04-16-2018, 01:53 PM


  11. #30
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    And this is the problem. Even the law in print is confusing. I do not want any confusion when I am battling with cars. I am not taking chances even if I am in the "Right" I will take any and all actions as I see fit to reduce the chance of being hit by a car.

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