By Mark Frauenfelder at 10:02 am Mon, Dec 3, 2007
Maybe a car that looks like a bicycle would have been “safer”.
I don’t understand why they stopped the video before the cop tasered them.
This is a great idea for a “Trailer Park Boys” episode.
I don’t understand. They clearly show bicyclists using the same road as the pedal car. How is this less safe? Perhaps they’d be legal if they were wearing bike helmets?
Not a buick, but probably the inspiration for these guys.
It’s less safe because the car shell weighs a lot more than a bike and could arguably cause more damage/injury to people and property if it crashed into something. Adding to this danger is that the brake system is of undetermined quality, and it may not be as manuverable as a normal car or a bicycle. (I’m guessing the power steering doesn’t work.) Also, imagine how badly hurt someone in the car could get if they put their foot down or slipped and made contact with the fast moving pavement. It’s a great art project, but it’s rather obviously unsafe.
I thought the cop was remarkably easy going about this, telling the guy to just have it towed back to the gallery (it would have been even better if he offered to escort them back, but perhaps that’s asking too much). . . but maybe I’m just used to “American justice” meting out taser voltage instead of rational discussion. I bet in most US jurisdictions they would have been arrested and the car impounded as evidence.
I love the idea, but in reality it isn’t really road-safe, either for the passengers (pedallers?) or other cars in traffic (no lights, and what kind of brakes do they have, enough to stop them if they were going down a steep hill?). It IS still just a big hunk of metal.
It makes me think of and ultra light fiberglass and aluminum version with adequate stopping power and working lights and horn. Still in the shape of a large Buick or caddy though. It would truly test the law here in California, which states that a bicycle (human powered vehicle) is entitled to use of the entire lane. I’m talking about a local conveyance on streets where the speed limit is 25 mph or less.
btw, I have been hit by a car while riding my bike. It wasn’t fun, and I was told it was because they couldn’t see me (or were not paying attention, my opinion). This would be hard to miss!
I’m sure I’d want to run through red lights and stop signs in that thing just so I wouldn’t have to start from a dead stop.
I like this lighter design:
In most places in the us, the cops wouldn’t have even stopped them, preferring not to do the paperwork and instead just pointing and laughing.
though the youtube clip seems to be down, here is a clip from the artist’s website (http://www.micheldebroin.org/) :
I was part of the Oxygen Fueled Car crew, a 1989 Honda Civic turned into a tandem bicycle for Savannah, GA’s 2005 International Car-Free Day. We did some research before building to avoid being pulled over, and rode all around town without any tickets at all (except for a nasty note from a bed and breakfast).
A car without a motor but with pedals is not a car anymore, just a big bike. It doesn’t need a licence plate, insurance, a title, inspections, etc. It does need to meet the requirements of a bicycle, though: in most places this means stopping in a certain distance, lights for nighttime use, and obeying traffic rules. Our ‘car’ stopped fast with its original back brakes, steered tigher than it did when it was whole, and moved about as fast or faster than Savannah city traffic.
In practice, we found the least conflict in being a bike sometimes, a ‘car’ sometimes. We would ride in bike lanes and on sidewalks only where bikes were allowed (a civic will fit about anywhere if you’re daring) and would take the lane (as the law allows) when it was in our best interest and safe.
We also didn’t have a horn, but did have two bike bells.
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