Updates from August, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:00 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s been a rise in cycling accidents during the pandemic. La Presse’s piece says it’s because cycling became more popular due to a lack of other physical activities, but I’d argue that people who took up cycling between April 2020 and April 2021 were more likely trying to avoid public transit.

    Radio-Canada digs more into the growing safety of cycling routes and other statistics.

    • mare 09:25 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      Grrrr. They’re still comparing cycling to ‘other sports’ like golf. Why? Those comparisons are nonsense. For many people cycling is a mode of transport, not a sport.
      They don’t compare driving to other sports like deep sea diving. There are people who drive cars are a sport, but most just use it as a mode of transport.

      The information hidden in the last paragraph is also strange: in the rest of the country (I assume they mean Canada) the number of cycling accidents went up with 25%, compared to the 20% in Quebec. That seems like a significant difference, and I would like to know why. Is it because outside Quebec more cyclists are hit by drivers who are on their way to the golf course?

      Also: using the word accident suggests these injuries are inevitable, that there is no blame. A lot of traffic collisions do have blame, like the way roads are designed, the difference in the size of vehicles or the bad actions of drivers.

    • blork 10:19 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      Mare, I totally get your frustration with journalists always equating cycling with “sports” but in this case it’s somewhat legit. The La Presse article talks about a 10-fold increase in cycling during that time, and it posits that this is partly because sports-oriented people (in particular, people who play team sports) had fewer options, so they turned to cycling. I think it’s a legit hypothesis. Certainly the number of lycra-clad Tour-de-France-wannabees on the south shore bike paths has gone way up in the past couple of years.

      But that’s not the only explanation. (As Kate points out, a lot of people just wanted to avoid public transit.)

      However, in this particular case, I think the sports angle is legit, although it’s not the full story. That doesn’t mean all cyclists do it for sport, but a case can be made that many sporty people turned to cycling.

      Also: “accident” doesn’t necessarily suggest inevitability or lack of responsibility. It primarily suggests lack of INTENTION. In some contexts it might suggest inevitability (like in the phrase “happy accidents”) but in the context of traffic collisions and whatnot, the suggestion is only towards lack of intent, in order to separate the thing from something that was intentionally done. (E.g., a speeding driver who loses control and mows down a pedestrian did not INTEND to do that, and they are most certainly held responsible, vs. that incel guy in Toronto to INTENTIONALLY mowed down pedestrians a few years ago.)

      You’re not the only one who makes that argument, and I WILL FIGHT YOU ALL OVER IT!

    • Ephraim 10:23 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      Is the difference between 20% and 25% statistically significant? I doubt it. It’s likely within the margin of error.

      They use the word accident to mean “non-intentional” or “happenchance”.

    • mare 13:24 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      @blork You can fight me any time. I’ve learned the hard way I should run. (Actually Kate used the word accidents, not the article; I should have pointed that out.)

      You’re right the sports angle might be a bit more apt in this case, because a lot of people had no reason to use the bike for transport when everything was closed. I’m curious how much the number of ‘car-only accidents’ went down.

      @ephraim, You can’t say if the difference is statistically significant, because they are two different datasets. Quebec did their own research.

    • Kate 14:51 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      I don’t want to be the cause of a fight between you two! Yes, I rather rashly used the word “accident” because the original article is in French and I was interpreting on the fly.

    • blork 15:38 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      Thing is, I think “accident” is the right word, because we’re talking about unintentional collisions and other crashes (not all crashes are collisions).

      Any fight between mare and I would be along the lines of a pie-throwing fight or “who can stare at a turd the longest.”

      But this interpretation of unintentional collisions as not being “accidents” because there’s some other factor (drunk driving, bad signage, the mere presence of a human being behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, etc.) is popping up more and more these days, and it is spurious, especially when linked to the idea that because it’s an “accident” that no one is held responsible.

      That’s just false. A drunk driver can cause an “accident” and be held fully responsible. It’s an accident because it was unintentional; it’s not “not an accident” just because it was preventable or occurred because of some kind of neglect or irresponsibility (note “irresponsibility” not “un-responsibility”).

    • Tim S. 16:31 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      Yeah, I don’t think that’s how the word is commonly used. Otherwise, why would every kid ever claim “it’s just an accident?”

    • Kevin 21:11 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

      I lean on mare’s side because I’ve never seen the SAAQ or other agencies distinguishing between deliberate actions and unintentional actions in their data charts.
      There’s no measurement in crash data indicating XX% are suicides, or caused by drivers with homicidal intent. Age, severity of injury, vehicle type (both in the hitter and hittee), region, sobriety… but nothing about intent.


    • blork 11:16 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      I don’t rely on the SAAQ for the semantic and lexical meaning of words in the English language.

    • Kevin 15:35 on 2022-08-04 Permalink

      The other reason I side with mare is because the term “accident” is imprecise. Instead of describing what happened, the word accident is a euphemism that ascribes motive, or lack thereof.

      An accident covers everything from spilt milk to pregnancy to killing a person with a vehicle, which offends my sensibilities.

      Call it a crash or a collision, but don’t call it an accident.

  • Kate 21:53 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

    A Montreal man who imported fentanyl into the U.S. from his jail cell in Canada is facing life in prison in the U.S., where his drugs are alleged to have killed four people by overdose.

    • Kate 10:27 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

      It’s useless if the city bans dangerous pesticides but never acts when people go on using them.

      • Ephraim 12:36 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

        We do not have a law that forces a city to enforce regulations. Heck, we do not have a law that forces a government to enforce regulations…. if we did, do you think we would have all these illegal AirBnBs not paying their share of taxes while Revenue Quebec does almost nothing about it?

        The correlation between crime isn’t punishment, it’s enforcement/apprehension. Most murders are solved because of their link to the victim… anonymous/serial murders are rarely caught.

        Though, the price of the ticket can have a certain effect. The fine for parking in a handicapped parking space in Montreal is just $317. The police handed out just 59 tickets last year… basically that’s just over 1 per week. I see people parked in handicapped space all the time. Now 1% of blue book value of the car may get some more attention… That’s $2150 to $10000 for a Ferrari in a handicapped spot.

      • Chris 09:07 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

        Classic! You found a way to make this about AirBnB, Revenue Quebec, and handicap parking! 🙂

      • Kate 11:22 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

        Chris, you of all people are accusing another participant of having idées fixes?

      • Chris 23:48 on 2022-08-03 Permalink

        According to wiki, “an idée fixe is a preoccupation of mind believed to be firmly resistant to any attempt to modify it, a fixation.” So, if that’s what you mean: no, I am not making any such “accusation”, especially not about the ‘resistance to change’ part. I see it more as his pet peeve. Sure, I have my own pet peeves too, like us all.

    • Kate 09:18 on 2022-08-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Planned, cancelled, then back on the schedule: drag queen Barbada will be reading to children at the St‑Laurent library this fall. That this is the top story on several news sites tells you what kind of news morning this is.

      • David S 13:21 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

        Given the homophobia that fuelled this story, and because it is Pride, I believe this deserves to be a top story.

      • Kate 15:37 on 2022-08-02 Permalink

        It won’t be for long, but it was this morning.

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