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And as to whether drivers should wear helmets, the risk of hitting a hard surface with your head in a car is mitigated by airbags, which are now required by law, and the risk of being thrown out of the car is mitigated by seat belts. Again, there are engineering trade offs made here, and we as a society decide on the minimum bar and pass laws to enforce it. It is not up to the individual driver to decide, because we don't trust their erratic judgement to do so. They may not feel like wearing a seat belt on a given night, and they may not be in a position to make calculated trade offs about this, so the law requires them to do so if they are in a car, whether they feel like it or not. It is not a judgement call.

rsj: the reason I've been hounding you on helmets is because you brought the lack of helmet-wearing as trait of bad cyclists. My point was that this is clearly not a widely-applicable principle given that many countries allow their cyclists to go without helmets, and so I wanted a universal ethical principle for compulsory helmets. Which you can't give. That's fine. It's a difficult argument to make. You've just resorted back to saying that it's bad to not wear a helmet where it's mandated by law. Sure, I accept that breaking the law is not good, and where you have to, you should wear a helmet. But if you're going to have this on your list of bad traits, then you need to specify that it's breaking the law that is the issue, not the lack of a helmet itself. Important distinction.

I agree that drivers should wait at red lights when no one is around. I agree that cyclists should do the same. Everyone should obey the traffic laws as much as possible, because they are a brilliant social convention that promote freedom for all. This is true.

Here's my point I hope you can understand: there are times when traffic rules have to be broken. Bikes needed to (safely) leave their cycle lane if there is an obstacle in the way. A car can and should swerve out of the way of a reckless pedestrian into an empty lane without indicating, if this promotes safety. As far as is safely possible everyone should obey the rules, but there needs to be flexibility. Otherwise you get the man in the video I posted.

Here's the key: cyclists come into many more issues where it would be dangerous for them not to alter their behaviour. How often do cars have to worry about a parked car door opening and smashing them right as they go past? How often do drivers have to worry about their safety at intersections because of differences in speed, visibility and size? This is when I use footpaths. It would be crazy not to.

Bikers need and deserve more flexibility. I've seen it work well first hand, where this is the norm. You're welcome to argue that many cyclists use this flexibility too much, and you may well be right. We shouldn't be running red lights. But let's have a nuanced discussion about it. This is a far cry from your insane claims.

"In fact, your judgement is substantially below average (otherwise you wouldn't be cycling)..."

Absolutely no need for this. You don't know where I live, how safe it is to cycle, what precautions I take, what routes I take, or my situation. You don't know me. I can't afford a car, and I couldn't afford to maintain one. I also love the fresh air. No need for this.

Patrick: "Dunno about that ... the new XKR with the supercharged V8 is quite a car"

And with new improved Jaguar reliability, it might even be out of the shop more than one weekend a month...

Jason: "I wanted a universal ethical principle for compulsory helmets"

What's the universal ethical principal for mandatory seatbelts and airbags? Why do you care if I choose to impale my self on my steering column or launch myself through the windshield in the event of an accident? There are good reasons for those rules (socialized health care costs, higher insurance premiums, the usual behavioural economics discussions around our inability to adequately assess risk) and they apply equally to bike helmets. And as aside, even if not mandatory, I'd still consider a driver who doesn't wear a seatbelt a bad driver...

Anyone who choose to be impaled on his steering wheel ( a not uncommon happenstance up to the '60's) would improve the race. His killing me by losing control and slamming into the XKR would mean a great loss for humanity ( we would also lose a blond...)

Yeah, no one ever did the math on the Darwinian downside of safer cars. One day, historians for our future alien overlords will look back on the 1960s and blame Ralph Nader for the collapse of human civilization.

This started as such a nice thread, and then it went downhill so fast....

Nick: avoid 417. Go by A5, 148 ( road 148 is an oxymoron but still), A50, A 640. You will avoid the Metropolitan Boulevard. ("I spake thus: for their wickedness, I shall send them a plague of locust and put them under the yoke of the dark lord of the Hellish Sands. And if they don't relent, they shall drive the whole lenght of the Metropolitan including Dorval Circle")

"This started as such a nice thread, and then it went downhill so fast...."

Well, gravity will do that when you ride a bike.

Jacques Rene: thanks for the restaurant info. Yep, I was planning to do A50. It's right near me. Plus my passenger worked for Transport Canada when A50 was being approved, and always likes to check on progress!

Quebec Route 138 is a very cool road, for cars or bikes. One of the world's very rare Great Ocean Roads. (But you are going to need strong legs if you want to bike it!)

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