Opinion Your Views — 23 May 2013
Cyclists will break the law as long 
as they can get away with it

To the editor:

On Saturday morning — the day after this year’s Bike to Work Day — I was walking from my house to the center of Old Town. As I approached the intersection of Queen and Payne streets, I noticed a bicyclist pedaling north. He approached the intersection and looked both ways without hardly slowing down — let alone stopping at the four-way stop.

Seeing no cars, he blew through the intersection. I asked, as he passed, “Isn’t that a stop sign?” to which he replied: “Stuff it!” As I crossed the street, I watched him pedal through the intersection of Princess and Payne streets at the other end of the block — also a four-way stop — without stopping.

So long as bicycles aren’t required to be registered and have visible forms of identification, like automobiles’ license plates, bicyclists will feel licensed to behave unaccountably.

- Dino Drudi
Alexandria

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(3) Readers Comments

  1. Yay! Back to the crazy bicycle bashing. Maybe Kathryn Papp can write a letter next week.

  2. You could replace the word ‘cyclists’ with almost any other word in that headline and it would hold true.

    Drivers will break the law as long 
as they can get away with it
    Pedestrians will break the law as long 
as they can get away with it
    Skateboarders will break the law as long 
as they can get away with it
    Rollerbladers will break the law as long 
as they can get away with it
    Pogostickers will break the law as long 
as they can get away with it

    Everybody is trying to get where they’re going quickly and many folks will break the law to do it. Right now we have minimal enforcement across the board. I’d love to see major enforcement across the board, unfortunately that doesn’t seem likely due to how expensive it would be. If we can’t have major enforcement across the board, I’ll take major enforcement against those most likely to harm other people over major enforcement of those who are likely to only harm themselves with their law-breaking. Based on that, bike enforcement should probably be pretty low on the priority list.

  3. Since when do car drivers follow the traffic laws? At about one of every 3 or 4 intersections I approach as a pedestrian, a car will try to beat the yellow light, miss it, and then blow right through the red light. Car drivers frequently speed through right turns on red, without bothering to slow down or look for pedestrians in the other crosswalk. Some car drivers will get frustrated by pedestrians who are walking in the crosswalk WITH A WALK SIGNAL and try to force them out of the crosswalk.

    Perhaps a majority of drivers speed each and every day. Many drivers are texting and driving. Many of them even admit it, on survey after survey after survey.

    Do all cyclists follow the traffic laws? No. But then again, neither do the vast majority of car drivers. The difference? Well, car drivers end up killing people. A heck of a lot of them. Well over 30,000 in the U.S. every year. (Cyclists kill people too, but maybe a couple nationwide every year. While that’s bad, why isn’t 32,000 deaths a whole lot worse? I sure think it is.)

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