Stopping for stop signs will end the criticism of cyclists

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By B. Marquis, Alexandria
(File Photo) 

To the editor:

It has been amusing to read the recent responses to my letter “We must stop the ‘cycling anarchy’” (August 7), which recounted the behavior of a few bicyclists.

I could have written in advance what they were going to say in response. The cycling deniers all use the same script. They never once address the conduct of the cyclist. Instead, they go right on the offensive and blame others to try and excuse their breaking the law.

First and foremost are drivers. It’s all the fault of cars. Speeders, poor public planning, parking issues, pedestrians, etc., are all cited as excuses for why cyclists feel they can flagrantly break the law. Their reasoning seems to be: If motorists do it then we can too, so there.

But here’s a big difference: Cars have license plates and drivers have licenses. We know who they are. The police stop speeders and drivers who go through stop signs while there are cameras to catch motorists who run red lights. Drivers are ticketed and fined. Insurance rates go up. In some cases, licenses are taken and people even are jailed.

When was the last time a cyclist was stopped and ticketed for blowing through a stop sign or running a red light?

Of course, not every driver who breaks the law is caught, but it is certainly a lot higher number than for cyclists. So cyclists just need to stop the excuses, stop the denials and well, just stop: at stop signs and stoplights. All this criticism of cyclists would stop if they would as well.