Cyclist Gets His Day in Court
A friend of mine sent me this youtube video of an episode of Judge Judy. In this case, a cyclist riding on a rural road struck a dog that was not on a leash, causing him to fall and crack his helmet and sustain bruises and road rash on his body. While the defendants can't seem to get it into their heads that they are responsible for their dog causing the cyclist to crash (in fact, the wife implies that she is not liable because it's dangerous for cyclists to ride on rural highways, to which Judge Judy replies "it's dangerous if there are dogs running around without leashes!"), in the end the cyclist is vindicated.
Cyclists Have the Same Rights as Motorists
Unfortunately, we often see cyclists get the short end of the stick when it comes to traffic accidents (see Door Prize Lady Charged "To the Full Extent of the Law" and Taking Back the Streets: Cyclist Memorials). At least in this case the cyclist won, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people that saw the episode agreed with the sentiment that the cyclist was at fault for riding on the roads. In fact, I'd be surprised if one out of 10 people knew that cyclists have the same rights--and responsibilities--as drivers.
More on Cycling Safety
Survey: Should Bike Lanes be Separated From Traffic?
Bicycle Traffic School Debuts in Santa Cruz
It's More Dangerous NOT To Ride a Bike
Helmets--for whom? Cyclists or Motorists?
Freakonomics on Bike Safety
Turn Signal Jacket for Cyclists