Les statistiques, évitons de rentrer dedans

A new campaign against urban road accidents caught my attention because of the above slogan… Playing on the double meaning of rentrer dans les statistiques (becoming part of the statistics) and of rentrer dans quelqu’un (hitting someone). The case for hitting motorbikes is particularly acute on the Paris beltway:  motorbikes are driving between lanes at speeds that are very different from those of the cars and when changing lanes in dense traffic (with a car) it is almost impossible to account for the possibility of a motorbike arriving at 100 km/h or above. There are around 800 accidents per year involving bikes on the beltway. Last time I went to the airport, my taxi got hit several times by a biker who was unhappy with the taxi changing lanes, despite him having signalled well in advance and all that… (Note the funny reflection of the pink tag on the car, also implemented in the other pictures. I am not sure what’s the point there.)

The other issue raised by the campaign is about the regularisation of bikes using one-way streets. It is now legal to drive one’s bike against the traffic but I paradoxically find this more dangerous than before (when I was doing it as well). Cars are either unaware of the possibility of crossing a bike, thus do not plan on the event, or they do not slow down and leave space when crossing, which often forces me to use the sidewalks (still an illegal move, at 72€ the trip!, as found by my friend Olivier a few weeks ago). Quite logically, parked cars usually look only in one direction in such streets. In addition, I do not know what the rule is when coming at the end of a one-way street with no cross-light on my side… The picture involves a pedestrian and thus a different issue, namely that pedestrians usually do not pay any attention to bikes, especially in bike lanes.

3 Responses to “Les statistiques, évitons de rentrer dedans”

  1. My friend Sal grew up in L.A. and started driving at 15 because, he says, “it’s a Mexican tradition to drive without a license.” He said that he was an extremely safe driver because he was so scared of being stopped by the police!

  2. I think it really is a dangerous rule that they put into law. One of the worst case would be when pedestrians cross one way streets and not pay attention to a traffic they deem is impossible (bikers riding in the opposite direction of the one way street). On top of that, bikes make little noise compared to cars. They want to decrease some statistics but I think they are in for a new set of accidents. I am sure most lawmakers who voted for this have reallyy no experience of actually walking in Paris.

    • I completely agree: when it was illegal to bike reverse on one-way streets, we (bikers) were quite careful about pedestrians and cars (most of the time). Now that it turned into a legal tolerance, we do not pay so much attention, while cars and pedestrians are mostly unaware of the possibility…

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