Laws are written by politicians. Politicians do not need to know about everything to develop their job and advisors with specific knowledge help them. Sometimes malfunctions happen. This is the case when one tries to understand controversial laws. One of them is the Valencian mobility law. The implementing regulation has several nonsenses when comparing the treat on bikes and cars. Just one example. Driving a car at 70 km/h (43.5 mph) in a street with speed limit 50 km/h (31.07 mph) is fined with 100€. The same amount is fined to a cyclist riding a bike without bell. The preposterous sum is discredited if you think about the potential consequences of both actions. On the one hand, driving a car at 70 km/h can cause a fatal accident with deaths, injured people and material damages. On the other hand, lacking a bell is substituted by shouting in order to avoid a crash. Again, bad laws are present in every country and absurd laws should also be banished.
Distraction is the last main traffic problem in Valencia. They can affect to every driver whether they drive a car, a bike, a truck, a motorcycle, etc. Causes are variate like the mobile phone, radio, disc reader, gps, you name it. In this post, I am going to center in the distractions due to exclusively the road. In the next picture, one can see a cross with the cars coming from a one-way road.
The problem here is that the bike-line is bidirectional and car drivers often forget to see to both sides. As a result, car accidents have occurred here.
Another example is given in conjunction with multiple traffic problems I have explained in this series. If we mix distractions plus high speed plus amber traffic-light, we have the next photos.
Cars come with excessive speed from the avenue named dels Tarongers. They can see the amber traffic-line, but they do not stop unless a pedestrian or a bike is really close. Nor do they see on both sides and as a result of bike reaching speeds of 10-20 km/h it is a miracle that there had not been any death biker at this point.
Excessive cars speed is a constant problem within Valencia. Speed limits range from 30 to 50 km/h depending on the city zone. Most car drivers do not comply in respecting them. Police efforts are inefficient and thus it is common to see cars driving at 70, 80, 90 or even 100 km/h every day. Drivers do not become aware this awful way of driving puts into risk their lives and those who surround them. This fact also translates into risk for bikers quite often. Crossings in which bike-lines are involved are in dangerous due to this. Apparently quiet roads like in the photos become problematic. It is usual that cars pass the traffic-light line as they drive with excessive speed. Moreover high speed provokes a reduction in the time drivers have to adapt to an unexpected event like a bike crossing a road on a bike-line. If they drove according to the law, there would be no problem of this nature. On the contrary, high speed appears as a key factor in every study on the main causes of car accidents not only in Valencia, but also in the rest of the Spanish roads.
Awful bike-lines are located in several zones of Valencia. Although the new government is making efforts to eradicate them, there is still a long way to do. One of these is the infamous bike-line in the El Puerto avenue. It was built some weeks before the America’s cup back in 2007.
The set is discouraging as you can see in the photo.
Not only forces you to make an unnecessary turn, but also this particular point presents additional problems. Instead of following a logical path marked by the red line, bikers must also deal with reduced visibility thanks to the stand and some distracted pedestrians as this bike-line goes on the pavement.
Another example of a bad bike-line is shown next.
In this case, there is not enough distance between it and the parked cars. It can be that if a co-pilot does not realize a bike is approaching from the right or the left, an accident is guaranteed.