Bus drivers in Japan are no better. I was assaulted by one on Okubo Dori and even got pictures. He slammed into me on the side and knocked me over the kerb. Police did nothing - and just told me to 'be careful' because the bus was bigger. F*tards.
..Suddenly, I can't wait to return back to Ishikawa. Lots of space there, although the typical inaka driver is a different kind of "beast".
Seriously though, was there any way that could have prevented the accident? I'm always thinking that claiming your space by driving at the center of the lane is the safest way to ride, regardless of any annoyed looks you may get from drivers behind you.
Do you actually think the bus driver meant to hit the cyclist, or just to scare him a little, and mistimed the swerve? I just can't understand what was going through his mind. He's supposed to be a professional driver. There are witnesses on board his bus, cameras installed to monitor passengers, driver and the road ahead, and traffic cameras all over the downtown core. Not just catastrophic thinking, but self-destructive thinking.
Seventeen months is a good start, but I hope it's followed by a life-time suspension of his public transport license.
This makes me think: We all get pretty worked up over incidents on the road, as pedestrians, as cyclists and as drivers, but most of us stop short of blowing a fuse publicly and taking these incidents to the next level. Even so, how many so-called accidents do you suppose there are that begin as an incident out of control? When you think about it, we're at fault most of the time. But when there is no intent, does that absolves us partially?
I can think of the following causes of "accidents":
Inattention to one's environment (i.e. I didn't see the pedestrian, I was texting; your fault) Mechanical failures (i.e. My brakes stopped working; your fault for not taking care of the machine?) Others not paying attention (i.e. She ran a red light and I hit her broadside; really not your fault) Weather or nature (i.e. Black ice on a blind corner, tree branch falls on you, earthquake, etc.; your fault for driving too fast/despite intolerable conditions?) Ignorance or lack of training (i.e. Never could drive a standard! or I have been cycling now for three whole weeks... again, your fault) Act of God/the gods (i.e. Sorry, mate, but your time's up! - nothing you can do about that..., but your fault for annoying the Great Powers - try putting more money into the shrine coffers or helping out at the soup kitchen)
When you look at these, very few of them are really "accidents" in the strictest sense, because they can be prevented through attention, care, attitude, behavior... Well, maybe not the last one...
Accident: late 14c., "an occurrence, incident, event," from O.Fr. accident (12c.), from L. accidentem (nom. accidens), prp. of accidere "happen, fall out, fall upon," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + cadere "fall" (see case (1)). Meaning grew from "something that happens, an event," to "something that happens by chance," then "mishap." (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=accident)
So, we return to the cases that started me thinking about this:
Agressive/unacceptable response to other road-users (i.e. So you wanna know what it's like to be cut off! Stupid, very stupid, and most of the time we back down short of a physical altercation; definitely our fault) Lunacy (i.e. I was having a bad f***ing day and a little voice whispered to me...) That's the Bristol Bus-ter, and absolutely HIS FAULT!