Sunday, April 26, 2015

Does anyone actually read or review our NYS Laws?

Take a look at this: http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/lawssrch.cgi?NVLWO:?SITECHGNO=&SITEBFPAGE=&SEATYPE=AQUA&QLAWDATA=%24%24VAT1236%24%24%40TXVAT01236&LIST=SEA3&hwebpage=LAWS&haction=&ZQLAWDATA=1236&HQLAWDATA=1236&FRMT=+&HILITE=+&hsearesults=N&hseareq=Y&hcontents=N&hcontreq=N&PHREFLW=&PHREFNO=&PHREFNM=&NHREFLW=%24%24VAT375%24%24%40TXVAT0375&NHREFNO=SEA2&NHREFNM=Vehicle+and+Traffic+Law+%C2%A7+375&HTOKEN=15912673&hdlnkrows=0000&hdlinkstbl=&hsessyr=0000&CBSTATUS=&CBTEXT=&CBSUMMARY=&CBSPONMEMO=&CBUNFORMATTED=&CBBILLFILE=&CBBILLTRK=&CBBLIQ=&CBFACESHEET=&CBGOVPOSN=&CBMAYORPOSN=&CBBILLTITLE=&CBASMHR=&CBSENHR=&CBCBR=&CBSAHIST=&CBACTRULES=

Yes, that is a link to our actual New York State Law from our "New York Legislative Bill Drafting Commission" (LBDC) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_Bill_Drafting_Commission

And if this link does not work for you, then try http://www.safeny.ny.gov/bike-vt.htm#sec1236 which is yet another of our government sites that lists our laws.

Now to the point, we should all read these laws and hold referendums via a direct initiative process to update the laws and create new laws.

For example, let us read the text of this particular law section NYS VAT 1236

§ 1236. Lamps and other equipment on bicycles. (a) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible during hours of darkness from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red or amber light visible to the rear for three hundred feet. Effective July first, nineteen hundred seventy-six, at least one of these lights shall be visible for two hundred feet from each side.
(b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.

Do the people writing this actually ride a bicycle?  Why is a whistle excluded?  Why is only a bell or "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet" required?  In most real near collisions there is no time to move your hand to the "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet"

Plus there seems to be no law that you must even use the "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet"  What would that look like?  Let's create one to see.

Proposed Law regarding usage of "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet"

(b)(X) Method of giving audible signals by bicyclists. All signals herein required to be given by bicyclists by hand shall be given in the following manner and such signals shall be given 10 seconds BEFORE any INCIDENT OR COLLISION and shall indicate as follows:

1. Incident on Left side. Left hand presses "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet" and rings three times.

2. Incident on Right side. Right hand presses "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet" and rings three times.

3. Incident on Front side. Both Left and Right hand presses "device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet" and rings three times.

(c) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

This seems to be a bizarre description of working brakes.  Why not the brakes must be able to stop in X feet at Y speed.  


(d) Every new bicycle shall be equipped with reflective tires or, alternately, a reflex reflector mounted on the spokes of each wheel, said tires and reflectors to be of types approved by the commissioner. The reflex reflector mounted on the front wheel shall be colorless or amber, and the reflex reflector mounted on the rear wheel shall be colorless or red.

Why not make bells required on new bikes since they seem to be required in another section?

(e) Every bicycle when in use during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with reflective devices or material meeting the standards established by rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner; provided, however, that such standards shall not be inconsistent with or otherwise conflict with the requirements of subdivisions (a) and (d) of this section.

Wouldn't it be nice if our law actually linked to the other "rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner"???