Titi Aur vs Cyclists  

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In a recently published article on Euronews (en-roadfat), Alice Tidey asks the question where in Europe are roads deadliest; the answer is posted even before the question: Romania. We decipher a recent “ProTV News” news segment (spt-victime) where Titi Aur, a “defensive driving instructor”, reveals a deeply seated murderous misunderstanding in terms of the rules of the road, a misunderstanding that he shares.

Titi Aur, YouTube video screenshot; he is presented as a defensive driving instructor who thinks it's the cyclist's fault in an MVA collisionAccording to Alice Tidey, back in 2001 the Baltics had the most dangerous roads, but they improved drastically, leaving behind Romania and Bulgaria to hold the “deadliest” title, who still have improved just enough to drop below 100 death per million (i.e., 96 in Romania’s case, about 3 times the European average).

What is it about the Baltic countries that allowed them to improve so quickly, and what is it about Romania that caused it to be such a laggard in terms of road safety?

For one thing, the Baltics are enlightened-Lutheran whereas Romania is obscurantist-orthodox. Though I’m not a Max Weber fan, I do think that Protestant cultures are more open to change by virtue of being more DIY-inclined, because whereas in Catholicism/Christian Orthodoxy the communication with the divine goes through the priest, the former encourages a direct relationship with God, which tends to reflect on these societies (even while today secular) in subtle but nonetheless important ways.

So it’s not surprising to me that Protestant countries (i.e., Lutheran/Calvinist) lead the world in bicycle adoption and road safety (even while they are so non-theist to the point where the Protestant influence on society may be easy to miss by the uninformed or superficial observer). Realizing that fast car driving for all is an economic impossibility and an environmental disaster, these countries oriented themselves toward allowing people to “ride themselves” to traffic Nirvana. In contrast, Romanians are stuck in internecine wars of car drivers versus everyone else, constantly waiting for the impossible to come from the priest, the police, the politicians or any other authority figure they invest with the Jesus-like power to change their destiny, miraculously and with no effort from themselves.

One such glaring example is the interview with Titi Aur.

A frequent situation is that I am at a stop light, waiting for green to make a right-hand turn, I make sure beforehand but I do not see much in the back, I have another car, in the meantime when I leave the place, the cyclist who goes ahead, does not realize that I turn to the right.

Here, the “defensive driving instructor” is blaming cyclists for daring to go straight and does not appear to realize that it’s the car driver’s responsibility to make a right-hand turn only when safe to do so and when there are no other vehicles in-between him and the curve. It is a common misconception among idiots, the rules of the road are not there to protect the weak/unsafe from the strong/safe: I’m big, I’m strong, the poor ones (“sarakii”) should get out of my way!

The situation here in Toronto is far from ideal. HTA, the governing legislation, treats bicycles as “vehicles” while there’s a rider riding them; the riders revert to pedestrian status if they are walking their bikes. Helmets are not compulsory, but a white light at the front of the bike when it’s dark outside is. A bicycle can ride pretty much as any car does (except for 80km/h or more highways) and, in an often ignored rule introduced after this much publicized incident (ra-ytoriginal), a car must pass a bike with minimum 1m clearance.

Right-hand turns continue to be confusing even here, because of the numerous kinds of “bike lanes” in Toronto, which can be painted arrows (aka “sharrows” – widely criticized by cyclists as creating more problems and reducing safety for everyone), continuous line markings, separated/elevated, pop-up or even non-existent, with bikes usually riding close to the side of the road rather than dangerously – for themselves! – taking the middle of the road as they otherwise have the right to but seldom do. (NB: in Ontario, as in most of North America, you can make a right-hand turn on a red light.) However, as a rule of thumb, whether or not a bike is considered to be the same as any other vehicle, making a right hand turn over a bicyclist is equivalent to making a right hand turn from the left lane over another car, which is why Titi Aur is wrong, whether Romanian legislation considers bikes to be full vehicles or not.

Scooters are adding to this confusion and new laws, by-laws are rules are being contemplated in Toronto, but it’s still a common-sense responsibility for a driver, being the larger and more dangerous vehicle, to ensure that there is no incoming traffic between themselves and their next move, such as a right-hand turn.

In short, Toronto is not an example to follow in terms of road safety, but it’s closer to the Scandinavian ideal than Bucharest (and, likely, the rest of Romania), and the grotesque example of Titi Aur, “defensive driving instructor” is to be used as how NOT to understand and apply the rules of the road.

LE: Is giving an interview while driving equivalent to “defensive driving”? Did you know that even Gaben

stopped making videos while driving (and at least he was funny)?.

Sources / More info: spt-victime, en-roadfat, ra-ytoriginal

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Wednesday, August 21, 2019 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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