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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
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    832

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    As a bicyclist, you are traffic. You have to obey the traffic laws just like any other vehicle. Sure, your bike lane was blocked by a stopped vehicle in a 'no stopping zone'. That vehicle though was as you put it, a traffic sign company truck working a closure. Yoy cannont lemming yourself into the back of a stopped (or moving vehicle) jist becsuse they occupy your precious bike lane. Almost every bike I have seen has brakes installed in the manufacturing process. Use them next time.

    I completely agree with you, the roadside traffic safety truck IS NOT an emergency vehicle. The checkbox "on duty emergency vehicle" on the collision report means nothing to you though. That box simply tells the DMV not to assess a point on the driver of an on duty emergency vehicle if they are at fault in a collision. Since they were not at fault and you clearly were at fault, that box has no meaning to you.

    Roadside work is uncommon, for the most part in 'barren' stretches on highway however, that is why they have Amber warning lights and distinctly painted vehicles to warn people of the anomalies that lie ahead. Use a small percent of common sense here. You are 100% at fault.

    And ps, bikes have to stop at stop signs as well. (That's a common cause of bicycle collisions. Bikers think "that car should have seen me coming"..........)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    I do not recall asking any of you whether you think it was my fault. I knew from reading this forum what you would say.

    I specifically asked who polices these folks who block lanes and merge traffic under the authority of the Law? If the MUTCD is just a "reference manual," who teaches these guys what they do? What guidelines do they follow? None?

    Are you all saying that they can set up a work zone or lane blockage any way they want and that it is up to us to foresee the hazardous conditions they create?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Generally, the MUTCD is followed as practically as possible. A traffic safety company is a sub-contractor for Cal-Trans and therefore their actions in setting up a closure are monitored by a Cal-Trans lead (supervisor). The lead will verify the traffic control devices (signs prior to the closure) are set up properly and that a cone taper (if any) the set at the proper distance. Bicycle lanes, when taken are listed in the CA MUTCD as

    Section 6G.05 Work Affecting Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Support: 01 It is not uncommon, particularly in urban areas, that road work and the associated TTC will affect existing pedestrian or bicycle facilities. It is essential that the needs of all road users, including pedestrians with disabilities, are considered in TTC zones. 02 In addition to specific provisions identified in Sections 6G.06 through 6G.14, there are a number of provisions that might be applicable for all of the types of activities identified in this Chapter. Guidance: 03 Where pedestrian or bicycle usage is high, the typical applications should be modified by giving particular attention to the provisions set forth in Chapter 6D, this Chapter, Section 6F.74, and in other Sections of Part 6 related to accessibility and detectability provisions in TTC zones. 04 Pedestrians should be separated from the worksite by appropriate devices that maintain the accessibility and detectability for pedestrians with disabilities. 05 Bicyclists and pedestrians should not be exposed to unprotected excavations, open utility access, overhanging equipment, or other such conditions. 06 Except for short duration and mobile operations, when a highway shoulder is occupied, a SHOULDER WORK (W21-5) sign, a SHOULDER CLOSED C30A(CA) sign, or other similar signs should be placed in advance of the activity area. When work is performed on a paved shoulder 8 feet or more in width, channelizing devices should be placed on a taper having a length that conforms to the requirements of a shoulder taper. Signs should be placed such that they do not narrow any existing pedestrian passages to less than 48 inches. 06a When existing accommodations for bicycle travel are disrupted or closed in a long-term duration project (see Section 6G.02), information and devices contained in Figures 6H-101(CA) through 6H-104(CA), as appropriate per situation encountered, should be used in order to replicate existing conditions for the needs and control of bicyclists through a TTC zone. 06b Except for short durations and mobile operations (see Section 6G.02), when a highway shoulder is occupied and bicyclists would be sharing a lane with vehicular traffic, as a result of the TTC zone, a combination of Bicycle crossing (W111) and SHARE THE ROAD (W16-1P) plaque should be placed in advance of the activity area. When work is performed on a paved shoulder 8 feet or more in width, channelizing devices should be placed on a taper having a length that conforms to the requirements of a shoulder taper. Signs should be placed such that they do not block the bicyclist’s path of travel and they do not narrow any existing pedestrian passages to less than 48 inches.
    See I bolded should? California has policies that are enacted and rules that have distinct words that direct employees or citizens what to do. They are shall, should, and may.

    Shall = You must do the action being described
    Should = You are encouraged to do the action being described
    May = You are nudged to do the action being described

    To your situation. Were there not ANY signs prior to the truck indicating a work zone? They are typically orange and black and mounted on folding tripod sign holders. You can't miss them, especially if you have to ride around them since they are usually on the hard paved shoulder.

    What kind of truck specifically was this? Was it a sign and cone truck? There is a possibility that the safety truck was parked there to place those signs.

    And I believe California only requires the flagger to be certified in the art of flagging. They encourage all other traffic control personnel to have a training course, such as a Traffic Control Technician Course (TCT) from ATSSA but that certification is not required.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Quote Quoting Brian57
    View Post
    I do not recall asking any of you whether you think it was my fault. I knew from reading this forum what you would say.
    You asked about "comparabile negligence", which I suspect was meant to say "comparative negligence" -- the relative fault of you and the other part for the accident. You also specifically referenced the degree to which the investigating officer held you to be at fault for the accident. So in fact, yes, you did ask about fault.

    If your question was in fact meant to relate only to the issue of who trains road workers, the answer is "Normally, their employers train them." If they are performing work on public roads, the governmental authorities with jurisdiction over those roads may impose general regulations, and also may impose contractual obligations on private companies employed to perform road work.

    As for whether you might have a claim against the road workers or their employer, "it depends". If they are municipal workers you may be limited in your ability to make a claim by virtue of governmental immunity. With a private company, it would depend upon whether you could prove negligence, including proximate cause -- whether their alleged act of negligence in fact contributed in a material way to your accident.

    If you are riding down a road at a reasonable speed for the roadway, there are no indications of road work or stopped vehicles ahead, come around a blind curve, and run into the back of a maintenance vehicle that is blocking the bicycle lane, you have an argument that the company that placed its vehicle in that location was negligent.

    If you are riding down a straight road, a vehicle is parked on the road ahead of you, but you fail to look up and notice its presence until it is too late to avoid colliding with the rear of the vehicle, even if it would have been safer for the owner of the vehicle (or its workers) to post warning signs in advance of the vehicle, it becomes very difficult to prove negligence on their part because all you had to do to avoid the accident was pay a reasonable amount of attention to the road ahead of you.

    Also, as a matter of routine, people operating bicycles and other vehicles on roadways will encounter emergency vehicles that partially block the road without any advance notice -- utility vehicles, tow trucks, ambulances, police vehicles and the like. It sounds like the vehicle that you encountered had a clear, illuminated arrow sign warning you of its presence and which way to divert your bicycle to avoid collision. It is very difficult to argue that such a sign is an insufficient warning if all you had to do was look forward down the road and see it, and you had a reasonable opportunity to do so before hitting the vehicle.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Paso Robles, California
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Quote Quoting Brian57
    View Post
    ...who teaches these guys what they do? What guidelines do they follow? None?

    Are you all saying that they can set up a work zone or lane blockage any way they want and that it is up to us to foresee the hazardous conditions they create?
    I have a suggestion, why don't you go and ask these guys these questions and see what they tell you. The only "hazardous conditions" I see in your situation is you cycling without watching where you're going.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,678

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Please stop giving cyclists a bad name. Please. Stop.

    You hit a stationary vehicle. No one cares if you were riding "Aero" or that your buddy was drafting on you.
    You.
    Hit.
    A.
    Parked.
    Vehicle.

    You want to know who's liable? Look in the mirror.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,594

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Quote Quoting Brian57
    View Post
    I do not recall asking any of you whether you think it was my fault. I knew from reading this forum what you would say.
    As a matter of law, you were likely at fault. The fault for the collision is presumptively on the part of the moving vehicle (or, as was your case, bicycle) and not the stationary object.

    Also, it sounds as if you were operating unlawfully by having someone on your back wheel, so that may have contributed to the whole matter, in which case you and the other cyclist were at fault.
    I specifically asked who polices these folks who block lanes and merge traffic under the authority of the Law? If the MUTCD is just a "reference manual," who teaches these guys what they do? What guidelines do they follow? None?
    They have to adhere to state law. If you want to complain to someone about the activities of the subcontractor, direct your complaint to CalTrans (if a state highway) or the appropriate city or county roads department. Even the CHP, if this was not a city street. But, even if they might have been out of compliance with some rule, the fault for the collision is still yours.

    Are you all saying that they can set up a work zone or lane blockage any way they want and that it is up to us to foresee the hazardous conditions they create?
    A moving vehicle (or bicycle) is required to travel at a speed that is safe and prudent for conditions. That is, you must travel at a speed that permits you to stop or otherwise avoid hazards that appear directly before you. Unsafe speed and following too closely are the two most common faults for collisions in the state of CA. You are free to argue the issue all you want, even to downplay what everyone here has to say, but none of your complaining changes the fact that the fault for this collision and subsequent injury and damage is all on you.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    You asked about "comparabile negligence", which I suspect was meant to say "comparative negligence" -- the relative fault of you and the other part for the accident. You also specifically referenced the degree to which the investigating officer held you to be at fault for the accident. So in fact, yes, you did ask about fault.
    35 years ago, when I got in my last bike accident, a lawyer called it 'contributory negligence.' Now, if there is any difference in meaning, they call it comparative negligence. Either way, it is the shared responsibility of negligence and fault. Also, I did not ask for opinions of fault. I merely said the Police Report stated that I was at fault. Yet this Officer's boss did not know who regulated a TTC Zone. Nor did a Traffic Engineer in his City. However, when I asked a CHP Officer how he would file the report, he said he would have definitely stated on The Accident Report that the absence of cones and signage contributed to the accident. This same CHP Officer said he lives in Huntington Beach and does ride-alongs with the Local PD. He said they do things differently like that.

    If your question was in fact meant to relate only to the issue of who trains road workers, the answer is "Normally, their employers train them." If they are performing work on public roads, the governmental authorities with jurisdiction over those roads may impose general regulations, and also may impose contractual obligations on private companies employed to perform road work.
    I know their company trains them. What I asked was what Manual or Material do they follow to form policy with. I have found that Caltrans, OSHA and The DOT follow the MUTCD. I even saw quick reference cards in another traffic control vehicle and a road surveyors vehicle that looked identical to images in the MUTCD. So I will ask again, what material do they use as gospel?

    As for whether you might have a claim against the road workers or their employer, "it depends". If they are municipal workers you may be limited in your ability to make a claim by virtue of governmental immunity. With a private company, it would depend upon whether you could prove negligence, including proximate cause -- whether their alleged act of negligence in fact contributed in a material way to your accident.
    They were a private traffic control company hired by an event coordinator. The event coordinator was hired by The City. This particular truck may have been setting up (staging) for a 13,000 runner marathon scheduled for the next day, Super Bowl Sunday. They were working on Saturday without a permit to block any roadways. Actually, as I laid there broken and in shock, I never saw them stage anything. So I do not know why they were there.

    If you are riding down a road at a reasonable speed for the roadway, there are no indications of road work or stopped vehicles ahead, come around a blind curve, and run into the back of a maintenance vehicle that is blocking the bicycle lane, you have an argument that the company that placed its vehicle in that location was negligent.

    If you are riding down a straight road, a vehicle is parked on the road ahead of you, but you fail to look up and notice its presence until it is too late to avoid colliding with the rear of the vehicle, even if it would have been safer for the owner of the vehicle (or its workers) to post warning signs in advance of the vehicle, it becomes very difficult to prove negligence on their part because all you had to do to avoid the accident was pay a reasonable amount of attention to the road ahead of you.
    True from the defendant's POV. However, if the traffic control company set up signs to warn the 60mph traffic that they were directing 10mph bikes into their lane for the passage of their truck, those cones and signs would have given me ample warning too and the accident would have been avoided. So back to comparative negligence; If the MUTCD requires cones and signage for such a blockage and merger, there was clearly negligence for not setting them out.

    Also, as a matter of routine, people operating bicycles and other vehicles on roadways will encounter emergency vehicles that partially block the road without any advance notice -- utility vehicles, tow trucks, ambulances, police vehicles and the like. It sounds like the vehicle that you encountered had a clear, illuminated arrow sign warning you of its presence and which way to divert your bicycle to avoid collision. It is very difficult to argue that such a sign is an insufficient warning if all you had to do was look forward down the road and see it, and you had a reasonable opportunity to do so before hitting the vehicle.
    The absence of cones and signage was insufficient warning as called out by the MUTCD. Furthermore, if I diverted to the direction of the arrow and entered a 60mph lane without them being warned that I was entering, I could have been killed. IOW, their lane blockage and arrow board were poorly planned and executed.

    Your argument, though very insightful, is totally from the defendant's POV. I'd wager that you could hop to the other side of the table and tear that traffic control company apart.

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    As a matter of law, you were at fault. The fault for the collision will always be the moving vehicle (or, as was your case, bicycle) and not the stationary object.

    Also, it sounds as if you were operating unlawfully by having someone on your back wheel, so that may have contributed to the whole matter.

    No matter, you were at fault.

    They have to adhere to state law. If you want to complain to someone about the activities of the subcontractor, direct your complaint to CalTrans (if a state highway) or the appropriate city or county roads department. Even the CHP, if this was not a city street. But, even if they might have been out of compliance with some rule, the fault for the collision is still yours.

    A moving vehicle (or bicycle) is required to travel at a speed that is safe and prudent for conditions. That is, you must travel at a speed that permits you to stop or otherwise avoid hazards that appear directly before you. Unsafe speed and following too closely are the two most common faults for collisions in the state of CA. You are free to argue the issue all you want, even to downplay what everyone here has to say, but none of your complaining changes the fact that the fault for this collision and subsequent injury and damage is all on you.
    Yours and others strict defense POV is boring and transparent. Your opinions are as if I would argue this in a courtroom. I wouldn't. Nor could your opinions hold a candle to a skilled, knowledgeable litigator. With those ignorant comments, you would be trashed.

    If it was possible to do, I would wager any of you on how this turns out in or out of a courtroom. Would you put your money on your opinion?

    Four years ago when I last came here, you all said I would lose. You were all wrong then too. You may know statutes, but you do not know what takes place in and especially out of courtrooms. IOW, the real world.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    Quote Quoting Brian57
    View Post
    Yours and others strict defense POV is boring and transparent. Your opinions are as if I would argue this in a courtroom. I wouldn't. Nor could your opinions hold a candle to a skilled, knowledgeable litigator. With your ignorant comments, you would be trashed.
    First off, FAULT is not the same as LIABILITY. You have to understand that law enforcement in CA cannot apportion fault in a collision. It's all or nothing. One party is assigned the PCF (primary collision factor), or, "fault". This determination is not binding on an insurance company or a civil court. While it can carry weight in those determinations, there is no law that mandates any decisions be made outside the agency and the DMV based upon the determination of fault.

    If there are "associated factors" (the term your CHP associate probably used, not "contributing") those can be taken into consideration for any subsequent evaluation.

    So, while you are clearly at FAULT for the collision, this does not mean that you cannot make a case for some liability to be placed upon someone else. None of us are familiar with the scene, the roadway, etc., so none of us (certainly not me) can render any greatly informed opinion as to the presence of any liability or not. You are free to consult legal counsel and see what will happen. It's your dime, after all.

    Oh, and I have spent a great deal of time in a courtroom ... as well as writing and testifying as to the cause of collisions without losing a one. So, my comments would hardly be "trashed."

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    Default Re: Comparabile Negligence

    What are you trying to accomplish here?

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