I don't disagree. Engineering and design that force separation is a much more 
definitive solution a d frankly more likely to happen than changing behavior 
based on education or enforcement.

Brian Mink
Monona

On Sep 16, 2016, Hank Weiss via Bikies <bikies@lists.danenet.org> wrote:
>More wishful thinking I am afraid about effectively trying to change
>driver behavior. I have serious doubts this will work through either
>enforcement or education (see my August 12, 2015 comment on the same
>issue). Also, it's rare that law enforcement agencies do rigorous
>evaluation of well-meaning but usually ineffective efforts like this.
>If they don't adequately evaluate it, it certainly is not worth the
>effort, despite the officers' enthusiasm. 
>
>In a nutshell it won't work well because:
>·       Laws can't work if people aren’t aware they exist. Studies
>invariably show that when laws like this are passed most drivers say
>they didn’t know the law existed. They make a splash at first and then
>are quietly forgotten.
>
>·       A few may know the law, but say they didn’t realize they were
>passing so closely. This exact challenge is described in the article
>itself. "The last two drivers we pulled over, we asked: ‘do you know
>how far away you were from the cyclist’, and they said ‘what
>cyclist?’". How will deterrence occur if many drivers are not aware of
>the cyclist they just passed?
>
>·       As the article says, most serious crashes (70%) in the city are
>at intersections where cyclists aren't seen. Passing distance laws
>don't really even target these type of crashes. 
>
>
>·       Another aspect these type of efforts inadequately address is
>the numbers game. I highlighted previously the Texas news story that
>covered the high level of attention that Austin police gave to a
>minimum passing distance law. But 'Do The Math'. The Austin story
>reported on a pretty high level of enforcement too; 104 actual
>citations (not warnings) in four years. That means ~25 per year or 2
>citations every month. If there are about 500,000 drivers in Austin (70
>vehicles per 100 people and 800,000 population) and we assume they each
>make two trips a day, one can estimate that there are about one-million
>car trips per day in Austin. So among those 30 million trips per month,
>2 people get cited. Therefore, the risk of an individual driver getting
>cited (assuming that all are potentially violators at one time or
>another) is a miniscule one in 15 million trips per month! How is that
>ever going to deter drivers who are unaware of the law or don’t think
>they are breaking it? Sure, the police and or advocates can publicize a
>few citations and make it look like one is more likely to get caught
>than in reality. But police, road safety coordinators and media
>resources are limited and there are other very serious problems police
>face that also affect cyclists (like speeding and drunk driving,
>distracted driving, parking in bike lanes, etc.). Therefore, such a
>campaign will always be episodic, impact few guilty parties, and be
>done at the cost of not doing other things, even as police and road
>safety educational resources decline.
>
>The fact is, there is simply little evidence that minimum distance
>laws, even with “strong enforcement", changes general cycling
>experiences or ultimately reduces crashes or injuries, whether in
>Birmingham, Austin or Madison.  
>
>
>If we rely on enforcement and education for vehicle/bike separation, a
>pretty dubious proposition, we will have to rely on them, literally,
>forever. If you change the environment, however, (wider shoulders,
>lower speeds, better intersection design and buffers and physical
>separation), it manages itself most of the time. This approach,
>sometimes called “objective safety” works much better than wistfully
>hoping for long lasting behavioral change. This is what is at the heart
>of the Vision Zero road safety approach that Mayor Soglin has endorsed
>(though I see little evidence yet of its implementation in Madison).
>
>In conclusion, the evidence shows that a passing distance law results
>only in punishment of the very very few that might get caught…that’s
>all that is likely to happen. Does that make you feel better? Sure the
>heck does, especially if you were the one just passed at 12 inches by a
>40 MPH commercial vehicle. But is it likely to reduce the chance that
>it will happen again? The answer is not by very much.
>
>It is difficult to educate driver awareness and enforce behavior
>change. Ultimately, such efforts are insufficient for the real work of
>effectively ensuring cyclist safety and comfort.
>
>Hank Weiss
>
>On Sep 16, 2016, at 11:54 AM, Brian Mink via Bikies
><bikies@lists.danenet.org> wrote:
>
>> Interesting piece from the Guardian about offering offending
>motorists education versus prosecution for minor infractions:
>>
>https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2016/sep/16/undercover-bike-cops-launch-best-ever-cycle-safety-scheme-in-birmingham?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Green+Light+2016&utm_term=190725&subid=11281222&CMP=EMCENVEML1631
>> 
>> Brian Mink,
>> Monona, WI
>> -- 
>> Sent from Postbox
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>> Bikies@lists.danenet.org
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>
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