San Luis Obispo makes the top ten most bike accident list

December 8, 2013

chalkSan Luis Obispo made the top 10 list for California cities with the most bicyclists’ accidents per 1,000 residents with 52 persons killed or injured in 2011, according to the Office of Traffic Safety’s most recent statistics.

When compared to cities with populations of between 25,000 and 50,000, San Luis Obispo was ranked either number one or two for the highest rate of bicycle accidents from 2008 through 2011.

Most collisions do not result in death. However, in 2011, a drunken man on a bicycle turned in front of a truck and lost his life. In 2012, a local doctor rode his bike into a semi-truck and also lost his life. In both cases, law enforcement deemed the bicyclist was at fault.

Over the past eight years, the number of accidents caused by driver error or bicyclist fault is fairly even.


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SLO cyclists are protected by an unwritten law protecting them from ever being at fault! Ask any cop, or pay a visit to the local cop shop. I was there just a week ago and they restated to me of it’s


I learned through personal experience, having been involved first hand in a collision with a Spandex wearing cyclist on some expensive looking racing bike, who was quickly riding past slowly moving congested traffic, which I was among, just starting to roll after a green light. After warning me of this law, the arrogant cyclist wanted $150 from me right then and there for his scruffed up clip on seat else he call the PD. Of course I elected the PD. He got $800 from my insurance evidently to upgrade his expensive stupid bike. After filing the report the two wheeled bribing con man rode off just fine.


Following the thought process and methodology of the current bunch in office, the only way to solve a problem is to go after the inanimate object.

So, to keep the children safe, I propose that we ban all bicycles.

It makes no difference that a few individuals choose to take out their bikes and use them in an irresponsible/illegal/reckless manner. We must ban the object so that even those who act within the law are forced to suffer; after all, it’s “for the good of the children”. It’s all about the children.

//End Sarcasm//

Seriously, what’s up with people wanting to ride roads with no shoulder and blind corners? It scares the crap outta me when I see them doing such things.

Just because you have as much right to stand in that pasture as the 2000lb bull has a right to be standing there; it doesn’t make it the smartest thing to be doing. You might dodge that big old bull 99/100 times, but it only takes one time. The bull wins whether you have a right to be there or not. Why push your luck??? Go find a road with a shoulder and ride single file. Be safe out there people. Neither you, nor I, want to be involved with the 1/100.

Don’t expect the community organizer SLO City Council to do anything but either ignore the problem or circle the wagons and pretend nothing’s wrong (example: CAPSLO).

Meanwhile, this is a new tech development–turn signal gloves for bike riders–

Baloney. They’ll use this as an excuse to force all of us out of our cars and onto bicycles. You clearly don’t understand our council!

Set the arguements about bicycle riders aside for a moment and look at the real motive behind the article.

Just a few months ago the City of SLO rolled out the statistics prior to receiving a fed/sate grant for DUI enforcement. They spew out the statistics from the Office of Traffic Safety as a precurser to apply for or recieve grants but people need to remember that its their tax dollars that fund these grants.

With the grant money comes enforcement requirements and thats when things go sideways because it often results in quotas which can result in injustice enforcement.

Think about it.

I thought about it. And I looked it up. SLO did receive a grant to work on the bicycle (and pedestrian, and child safety seat, and teen alcohol and drug use) problems. And what did I find? It’s all for education, with nothing for enforcement. Kind shoots your whole conclusion jumping thing in the foot, doesn’t it? Research before writing….think about it.

Please enlighten me…. where did you look it up? Do you honestly think there is no enforcement component? What about the DUI officer that was just funded by grant? Do you believe in the tooth fairy as well?

Okay, try this: The DUI officer was from a completely different grant, not one having anything to do with pedestrian and bicycle safety. As you will read, it is all education, no enforcement. If you want to switch subjects to DUI, then do so, but your statement was concerning bicycles.

Like I said, I do my research, not pull stuff out of my #(&$.

other than your head?

Okay, so you have no fact-based reply, so the equivalent of a online “neener-neerer” is what you have to resort to? How sad.

So you have relied on an article in the Fibune as your evidence? Perhaps you are a grant writer who seeks a part of that big government pot of money. Do you have any idea how many grants are handed out in the State of California and their cost to the taxpayer?

Enforcement is almost always a component in obtaining OTS grants because it is something that is included in the method of evaluating the grant in terms of the grants success or failure. Enforcement statistics are almost always included in the reports to OTS. Of course, with enforcement comes revenue (ah hah).

Go to the OTS website and thourougly evaluate the sections particularly the section related to grant agreements. I copied a couple of paragraphs below

1.4.4 Method of Procedure

Identify the work (tasks) to be done in order to accomplish the stated objectives. The work must be divided into its major phases and listed in the order in which each phase will be initiated. Identify the beginning and ending dates of each phase, and describe, step by step, the work to be done within each phase that is necessary to accomplish the objectives, as well as any interim reports or other measurable products which may be produced. This section should cover the entire grant period. The final phase should address the data collection and quarterly reports.

1.4.5 Method of Evaluation

Using the data compiled during the grant, the Grant Director will prepare the Executive Summary to accompany the final QPR. The Executive Summary will: (1) briefly state the original problem; (2) specify the most significant goals and objectives; (3) highlight the most significant activities that contributed to the success of the program and the strategies used to accomplish the goals; and (4) describe the program’s accomplishments as they relate to the goals and objectives.

Okay, I read it. Where does it use the word “enforcement” or any other reference to enforcement? I see terms like goals, accomplishments, strategies, objectives, activities, phase and the like. Those would show up for any project one undertakes. Please don’t tell me you think they are veiled code words for enforcement. Enforcement activities would fall under those, but so would dozens of other non-enforcement activities.

Actually, the majority of grants that OTS give are for enforcement, of various types. BUT THIS ONE ISN’T, so why are we talking about it here? This is education, pure education, nothing but education. Have you any factual proof with citation, of any kind, from anywhere, that this bicycle safety grant contains any funding for enforcement activities?

Reckless riders on bicycles are seen every day violating every traffic law on the books. A plague of discourteous, uncouth and dangerous riders on bicycles is getting a free pass to be law breakers. Law enforcement needs to crack down on these discourteous criminals.


Very funny, NCG.

Unfortunately R.Hodin, the number is discourteous and arrogant bicycle riders in this County is quite high. It is no surprise the statistics are not good for local bicyclists. I am sure you share the arrogant attitude of the worst of the worst. The study says the at-fault is fairly evenly split between bicyclists and motorists. Here is a grown-up clue R.Hodin, in a bicyclist/motorist confrontation the bicyclist NEVER wins. So bicyclists, be as ignorant and stupid as you want since you are the losers in every case – the choice is yours. Motorcyclists long ago learned to take extra precaution when riding on the road. Just because they have the right of way doesn’t mean they aren’t still extra cautious because they understand they will not win in a confrontation with a motorist. Some bicyclists are too arrogant to understand this.

…”the number is discourteous and arrogant bicycle riders in this County is quite high.” I agree, and I like the way you describe what seems to be a majority of bicycle riders, “discourteous” and “arrogant”. Now a fact: Mayor Irons is an avid bicycle rider. If you follow the logic, then………

Bike riders in SLO often try to run down pedestrians. They don’t follow even the most elementary rules of the road. They think they own the place. No stop at stop signs, wrong way on the street, riding on the sidewalk, you name it. Of course, there are good, careful riders too, but the bad ones are what we remember because we encounter them every single day we go out of our homes.

Reckless drivers of cars, trucks, vans and commercial vehicles are also seen every day violating almost every traffic law on the books; the idea that bicyclists can violate every single law on the books is a pretty lame assertion when you look at all the laws that specifically address motorists, not just anyone who is operating a vehicle.

While on the freeway just tonight, I was following a vehicle at a normal safe distance in the right hand lane when a car that couldn’t be bothered to slow down and get behind me instead sped up and proceeded to cut in front of me so they could take the off-ramp they wanted. The article specifically states that the “fault” of who caused the accident in bike/auto collisions is spread almost half and half between bicyclists and motorists.

Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times, seeing every single infraction of the vehicle code; it is up to us as operators of vehicles (both motorized and pedal power) to follow the rules of the road, pay attention to what we are doing, and being courteous does not cost you anything more than a few seconds of your travel time.

When you are traveling on the road, it is going to take a set amount of time; if you are running late, accept that you are going to be late and don’t try to “make it up” by speeding. If you are piloting a multi-thousand pound vehicle, be especially aware of those not wrapped in a couple of thousand pounds of steel and glass; your actions, your momentary lack of attention could result in your causing severe injury or death to a pedestrian or bicyclist.

… or to another driver or vehicle occupant.

This is petty easy to figure out. Just take a little time and watch all of the bicycles that go thru red lights and stop signs. I can’t remember how many close calls I’ve had from being hit by these fools. Think of the uproar there would be if the police started citing all of these riders for their violations? If there were to be an enforcement program I think you would start seeing more safe riding tactics in SLO.

I agree that cyclists are often at fault (the article states that fault is about evenly divided between cyclists and drivers.) I agree that there should be more enforcement focused on illegal cycling behavior PROVIDED that those enforcing the law know it (many cops are as ignorant of some laws as many cyclists) and that they don’t get ridiculously overbearing in their efforts. It is one thing to ticket a cyclist that rolls through a “Stop” without significant slowing or watching. It is another to ticket one who comes to a stop but doesn’t put his/her foot down — which is some cops’ mistaken impression of proof of a complete stop. Cops also need to understand that a cyclist waiting at a traffic light which won’t turn green because they can’t set off the sensors, should be allowed to run the light when safe to do so.

If enforcement is fair and reasonable, I don’t think that the uproar will be more than a whimper as the large numbers of cyclists who do respect and obey the laws most of the time will appreciate a clamp-down on those who give us a bad rep. This might discourage dangerous retaliatory behavior by jerks in cars that stereotype all cyclists as deserving of punishment.

However, since motor vehicle drivers are roughly equally at fault in car-bike conflicts, we need enforcement of laws for them too. On top of my list would be DUIs and distracted driving — texting, talking on cell phones, reading, eating, putting on makeup, etc. The other one would be to minimum jail sentences for those indulging in “road rage” behavior (such as running cyclists off the road) or assault (throwing objects out the window at them.)

Could the number be related to how fit we are , i.e. are there proportionally more cyclists in SLO than other areas?

I don’t know if fitness has much to do with it but I think that the large proportion of cyclists probably is a major factor in the accident rate. The proportion of “uneducated” and immature cyclists due to a large student population contributes too. And it is possible that the perceived arrogance of cycling groups noted by some critics has a role as well — although it is not as common as some think. (“We’re entitled to SPECIAL rights to the road because we’re not polluting.”)

I was working the numbers angle. Got a lot of youth, got a lot of ageds chasing youth, etc., means lots of bicycles on the road. Perhaps proportionally more than other areas, meaning more accidents.

Two other possible causes are:

1) Our bicyclists are stupider, or

2) Our car drivers are stupider.

I’d like to believe it’s a numbers thing.