“Is it because rich people own yachts?”

Sometimes riding my bike into work I bemoan the fact that the laws of the sea aren’t replicated in the laws of the road.  In particular the one that says:

(a) A power driven vessel underway shall keep out of the way of:

(i) a vessel not under command;
(ii) a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver;
(iii) a vessel engaged in fishing;
(iv) a sailing vessel;

i.e. Motor gives way to sail. 

I wonder if such civilisation actually derives from historic relations between recreational sailing and money – or is that unfair?  Regardless once in a while it’s nice to think of a world where motorised vehicles on land might have to give way to pedestrians, skateboarders and cyclists …


8 responses to ““Is it because rich people own yachts?””

  1. Horatio Hornblower Avatar
    Horatio Hornblower

    The might of the British empire was based on destroying weak and insignificant nations in preference of the greater good of the Empire. Unfortunately the development of rules of the road at sea never seemed to get translated into an equal logic for land. There it is more simply: might is right and the rest of you should just get out of the way.

    Cyclists need to have their own lanes to be safe. No question about it m’lud, it’s the only way to be safe.

  2. Bus dodger of Miramar Avatar
    Bus dodger of Miramar

    Perhaps, bemoaning the rich is a poor excuse for not being creative. Generally rules, laws, codes etc are created to deal with the many life-endangering stuff ups we humans are adept at creating. The rules of the sea are fine and dandy until you enter port or are in a race, then new rules apply – like sails have to give way to large vessels regardsless (ie might or speed have rights too).

    As much as I hate living in a state with too many rules, we have been reminded yet again this week, of the perils of riding a bike where you are competing for space with large hunks of hot metal. So are rules going to keep cars and bikes apart? Of course not! You might as well be naked, all the good your thin layer of lycra can do when faced with someone who looses concentration for an instant and takes out 4 people.

    Stuff having cycle lanes – they tend to be the worst place to ride your bike; usually have broken glass, potholes and cars parked in them. How about we dedicate some routes specifically to bikes? – an overlay grid through this great city, it needn’t be sized big enough to take a pair of fire engines racing in opposite directions – look to the lanes and path already there and link more together.

    While we’re at it let’s ban the buses – yeah i know buses (much like guns) don’t kill despite the strong correlations. It may help for these people to experience some raw fear of, what is, everyday life for cyclists… Maybe we should get each bus driver to sit on a bike and race within mm’s of them at high speed in a heavy vehicle and see how they feel…

    The road is a bloody dangerous place – so are the spaces beside it – I know – I lost someone close last year to an idiot who raced his car and lost control – even the footpath is a dangerous place.

    Anyway – back to rules – A 1.5m passing zone for cars vs bike would help raise awareness… the space for more dedicated cycle lanes is a harder mish.

  3. I am intrigued with your choice of pictures. Just what IS that truck doing in the water? And doesn’t naked skatebaording look a whole lot more hygenic than naked bike riding? And lastly – what the hell happened to the legs of that guy on the side of the boat? Looks like he has got elephantitis… but no arms?

    Where DO you people find those pictures?

  4. More than that – why has the guy on the skateboard got a helmet but no pants?

  5. fashion no doubt

  6. The real question has to be:

    What do the naked cyclists who aren’t wearing backpacks do when they get to the end of their bike ride…?

  7. Hold their helmets over their bits and risk a sore head on the way home?

  8. thanks bus dodger for adding sensible commentary! – there’s more in this week’s Listener too …

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