John Chew Posted January 30, 2015 Share Posted January 30, 2015 (edited) Hello. This is my first MAJOR posting on this forum (there was an earlier, small one about the IPS 111/132, but that was largely insignificant!). However, as people who are also on the Electric Unicycles group on Facebook will know, I'm CONTINUOUSLY sticking my oar in and giving opinions ... However, back to the subject in hand. Those on the Facebook group will know there was a recent incident where one of our fellow EU riders was crossing a road and got hit by a police car, being driven the wrong way down that piece of road at high speed. I won't go into details (it's not really my place to do so) but THANKFULLY our fellow EU rider "got away" with it - only minor injuries and a smashed EU. It could have been SO much worse! FIRSTLY I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN IMPORTANT POINT. Yes, sometimes police cars are called to emergencies and have to be driven fast and not "in accordance with the rules of the road". We all accept that. Yet when this happens it puts a great EXTRA RESPONSIBILITY on the police driver. He's doing things people DO NOT EXPECT HIM TO DO (like driving the wrong way down the road!) and it is HIS responsibility to ensure nobody gets hurt because he's doing it. If he's driving the wrong way down a road it IS possible that people will not realise what's happening, look for traffic approaching the "right" way - and when they see none step into the road. The police driver has to UNDERSTAND AND ANTICIPATE this risk - and DRIVE APPROPRIATELY, so that no-one gets hurt. In this particular case, the EU rider DIDN'T realise what was happenning, and got both hit and hurt by the police car. This was something the police driver should have anticipated and not allowed to happen. This incident is, I believe, the POLICE DRIVER'S FAULT - if fault is to be allocated. Yet now let's get away from finger pointing and fault allocation, and to another point this incident raised. THE EU RIDER WAS WEARING HEADPHONES, LISTENING TO MUSIC, AND DIDN'T HEAR THE POLICE CAR'S SIREN. Does this make this incident the EU rider's "fault"? No, it doesn't. Not even slightly. You have EVERY RIGHT to listen to music as you ride your EU (or walk, or run, or skateboard for that matter). HOWEVER ... IF he had not been listening to his music and heard the siren, then he would have been aware of what was happening. He would not have moved off the pavement and he would not have been hit by the police car. PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES. They say "to err is human", and it is. Sometimes, indeed MOST of the time, we get away with those mistakes and no-one gets hurt. Occasionally people DO get hurt, or even killed - as could have happened in this case, the EU rider in question should consider himself a very lucky man. However there are things we can do to MINIMISE the risks we face. Not only the risk of making mistakes OURSELVES, but also the risk of suffering the UNFORTUNATE CONSEQUENSES OF THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS. When riding our EUs our EYES may tell us what is happening in front of us, but it's our EARS that give us information about what is happening EVERYWHERE ELSE. If we render ourselves "deliberately and artificially deaf" by means of headphones and music, then we are inevitably limiting what we are aware of - and by doing so we increase the risks we face. Your EARS are as much "protective equipment" as any helmet, elbow pads or knee pands you might wear. Now everyone must make their own choices, of course - but for me, I DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES AND LISTEN TO MUSIC while riding my EU. Edited January 30, 2015 by John Chew 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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