Monday, March 02, 2009

Cycling and the law

Via Rob on FB.

A good investigation into cyclist, motorist and police interactions by FOX (of all networks!). One of the most interesting aspects of the video is the disjuncture between law and norms in terms of traffic behaviour and policing. Irrespective of the traffic laws, many police (and the general public) work within a cultural view that cyclists are less entitled to road space or that cyclists ride at their own peril. It is this out-of-jointness between laws and attitudes that creates so much conflict for cyclists in countries such as Australia and the US. As Tom Vanderbilt explains:
In traffic, norms represent some kind of subtle dance with the law. Either the norms and laws move in time or one partner is out of step… Laws explain what we ought to do; norms explain what we actually do. In that gap dwells a key to understanding why traffic behaves the way it does in different places. (Traffic, 2008, p230)

1 comment:

Eugen Schilter said...

Good effort to put up this video. Video witnessing should also be tried with two riders and the one at the back equipped with the camera. Unfortunately my camera never had the sound going.