Don't play chicken with a train

Cyclist in serious condition after being struck by light rail (Houston Chronicle)

Sad and unfortunate as it is when someone is injured seriously, there are a couple of things the cyclist did that put herself at high risk:

  • The cyclist was wearing headphones. A big no-no. You can’t hear warnings or other vehicles around you. Not so bad when you’re walking or jogging, but when you’re on a bicycle on the road with traffic, it’s like riding with your eyes closed.
  • The cyclist wasn’t obeying traffic signals. Even though the light rail cars are relatively quiet, the traffic lights and crosswalk signs are coordinated with the rail. In other words, red means stop. Most accidents with the rail happen when drivers try to run a red light or turn illegally into the path of the train.
  • The cyclist was in a very busy intersection at 4:43 p.m. – rush hour. Who in their right mind is riding a bike on Houston streets at rush hour?

Update: 12-Feb-2008

Metro says accident that injured bicyclist preventable

I could have jumped the gun by railing (no pun intended) on the cyclist. If this witness really saw what he said he saw, then what is the point of having a driver in the light rail car if the driver isn’t going to apply the brakes, sound the horn, and obey rail traffic signals?

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