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Bicycles Save Americans Billions

Pedaling to Prosperity:

By Tanya Mohn, Contributor

In our cities, that number is even higher.”LaHood noted that walking and bicycling are options people want, citing a national poll released by Princeton Survey Research Associates Internationalin March that indicated that “more than 80 percent of Americans support maintaining or increasing federal funding for biking and walking.” “The benefits of bicycling are real, and there’s no arguing with the impressive ridership data,” LaHood said. “Bicycling is an important part of the 21st century transportation mix.”

I posted this article to my facebook and got the following feedback:

"I wish the weather would cooperate.... rainy riding in cold air probably keeps a lot of people (including me) from using our bicycles as transportation alternatives more frequently.

"Yeah, the weather and giant SUV's trying to turn us into a grease spot on the road!"

Ideas for addressing the problem of bad drivers

1. Increase the fines for moving vehicle violations.

2. Make it more difficult to get a divers license.

3. Make it more difficult to keep a driver license.

4. Addition coordination, eyesight, hearing and driving tests need to be added annually to make sure each driver is still fit to drive every year. Special additional tests should be preformed on disabled drivers to make sure they are fit for driving.

5. ESL drivers need to go through a more challenging and rigorous drivers training program before they can apply for a license: they need to be able to read and understand english road signs with words like "Stop" and "Yield". 5a. Stopping at a yield sign without cause should be a moving violation.

6. SUV use needs to made more expensive to discourage people from using SUV's as single occupancy commuter vehicles: the registration of a vehicle weighing more than 4000 lbs should cost significantly more. The current weight based registration fee system needs to be updated to so that the fee is adjusted for every 500lbs. Heavy vehicle taxes need to be amended with addition fees for accelerate road wear, vehicular mass hazard in collisions, parking lot excessive space utilization, visibility hazard/ Rain Mist/ Rock throwing, rollover hazard, backup hazard. In essence the fee's should represent the costs that are currently externalized. If people want to drive huge impractical vehicles regularly, they can pay extra to do so. 

7. Cyclists who use the road should be require to have a basic registration with a small recurring annual fee. These fee's will go towards expanding bicycle traffic safety revisions and improvements.

8. The FED and state needs to allocate a fair percentage of road fees to bike lanes and cyclist safety features in accordance to the percentage of passenger trips taken by bicycle: in essence funding needs to increase from %2 to about %12.

9. The penalty for a motor vehicle striking a non-motorized vehicle needs to be substantially increased so that people have a strong reason to look carefully while they are driving.

10. Vehicle emissions standards need to increase: every gallon of gas sold should carry a $0.05 added tax that would go into the emissions reduction fund: any vehicle found to violate the emissions standards would be eligible for a subsidized emissions repair, where repair costs would be offset by subsidies from the fund.

11, The fine for cell-phone distracted driving needs to mirror the fines for DUI. The statistics prove that driving while operating a phone is 23 times more dangerous: meaning the cell phone distracted driver is actually several times more dangerous then the average alcohol impaired driver blowing a 0.08.

12. Something like 28% of all traffic accidents are related to alcohol over consumption by the vehicle operator.  The law needs to add "Any person found guilty of a cell phone driving offense" will be required to install a monitoring device: the device will track cell phone signal activity with a gyroscope/ acclerometer to determine if the phone is being used while the vehicle is in motion. Data from this device would be used to determine liability in accident cases.

13. The law needs to also add "Any person found guilty of a DUI, will be require to install a Breathalyzer ignition module that prevents them from operating the vehicle while intoxicated."

No one has the right to endanger the lives of others while driving intoxicated. Inexperienced and poorly trained drivers also do not have the right to endanger the safety of others.

We need to raise the bar. Of all of the places I have driven in the world, Washington State has the worst drivers. For example, this is the only state where I have seen people loitering in the far left lanes going the speed limit, preventing anyone from passing on the left: even though we have a state law to enforce "keep right unless passing".

RCW 46.61.100
Keep right except when passing, etc.

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