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Please Remind All Officers To Protect Bicyclists

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  • Please Remind All Officers To Protect Bicyclists

    Dear Driver: Please Share The Road

    Over 40 million Americans bicycle safely on our shared public roads. But many more are afraid to do so because drivers sometimes squeeze past them. Though drivers rarely intend harm, squeezing past is frightening and dangerous, and has illegally scared millions of cyclists off public roads. Please understand: not everyone may drive a car, but every person does have a fundamental civil right to travel, in safety, on public roads.

    Almost everyone has forgotten that when there isn’t space for safe passing, then bicyclists are to use the entire vehicle lane. Overtaking drivers must pass safely; squeezing past is simply unsafe. Please note that this is, and has always been, common sense and standard traffic law:
    "Drivers shall pass at a safe distance."
    "Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to other drivers." (Uniform Vehicle Code)

    If bicyclists squeeze over to the right, they endanger themselves. They end up squeezing between hazards, sliding on sand or debris, or colliding with parked car doors. That is why, bikelane or not, in most states the ride-right rule for bicyclists has always been: "ride to the right *EXCEPT* when passing or turning left; or to avoid objects, parked cars, moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface or other hazards; or when in a vehicle lane too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane."

    Safe bicyclists must politely *merge* left and ride nearer the center of a vehicle lane, instead of squeezing next to hazards -- just as any safe driver would do. Some may think this unsafe: but please note that there is only one general rule in the law for safe bicycling, and it instructs that safe bicyclists behave the same as safe drivers:

    "Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights, and all of the duties, applicable to other drivers."

    While this may briefly slow others, all drivers slow others many times every day; when turning, parking, and more. So please; don’t squeeze past. Bikelane, crosswalk, or not, squeezing past anyone is illegal and dangerous, no matter where they are on the road.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    For cyclists, safety depends on how you ride, not where. Millions manage to "drive" a bicycle in traffic through-out their lives without collision or trouble. Cooperative Bicycle Drivers have taught themselves to use all the rules of the road to politely cooperate with other drivers: not only to signal, but to politely merge, yield, change lanes, use lights at night -- all the rules. Such cyclists enjoy traffic and are rarely squeezed past. And studies show that they are far safer -- some as safe as drivers overall (Bicycle Drivers Manual at www.cyclemedia.org ).

    Sadly, police and prosecutors don’t always protect cyclists and their right to safe travel. All cyclists are often blamed because some cyclists break rules. Please remember that our traffic laws apply only to individuals; and protect even those who have previously broken laws. Please use traffic laws to protect the public: most especially, from cyclists who ride recklessly through traffic or without lights at night; and from motorists who drive recklessly, harass, threaten, or squeeze dangerously close to cyclists or pedestrians.

    Please be aware that public roads were not built just for cars: before the car, roads in the USA were already being paved for cyclists. Every cyclist, young or old, without exception, has a fundamental civil right to travel on public roads -- in safety, and protected by the law.

    Please remember that every State Drivers’ Manual recommends that safe practice for motorists includes:

    "Adjust speed for pedestrians, bicyclists, slow-moving vehicles, blind curves, and hills.
    These conditions make the posted speed limit unsafe. By law, you must drive slower.
    It is your responsibility to adjust your driving to assure everyones safety." (Va. DMV)

    Thank you for your thought and consideration.

    Ms. Lauren Cooper, Professional Bicycle Commuter
    Chief J.W. Rittenhouse, Retired Chief of Police
    Equal Rights for Cyclists Campaign [email protected]

    In Agreement: Colorado State Patrol,
    Florida Highway Patrol ( www.fhp.state.fl.us/html/BST.htm )

  • #2
    Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to other drivers." (Uniform Vehicle Code)

    Y'know, I'd be much more likely to champion cyclers if they would understand that the law applies to them EQUALLY!
    IMHO, they are as much a pain in the tail as buggies. I'm all for someone getting out and riding a bike, but not when they think that just because they are on a bicycle, a motor vehicle is required to do everything they can, including putting themselves and all passengers in danger because of some cyclist that thinks they OWN the road...not share it.
    But, I always was glad for the "cyclists must obey same rules", it usually made my day to write an "Obedience to Traffic Control Signals", and better yet.....Driving Under the Influence. Especially when they run right into the patrol car!
    I htink you need to work on educating the cyclists, first....and the biggest pains in the *** are the ones all tricked out with their little outfits, not Joe Blow that is just trying to get to the corner store.
    I never thought I'd say this, but I rather have the buggies. At least the Amish are polite.

    [ 12-09-2002, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: Traffic_Goddess ]

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey, ever get in a pursuit with a buggy?
      Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, as a matter of fact, I have!LOL
        A young man was in that stage...damn, I can't remember what they call it....when they turn 16 and are allowed to try the "English" life before deciding to dedicate themselves to the Church...
        Anyway, the kid was drunk and decided to joyride.
        Thank God the horse finally had the ****s of the kid sawing on the reins and stopped.
        That was one that ended well!
        But, my favorite pursuit was the drunk driving his riding mower down the street with a wagon towed behind carrying a keg...threading the hose up to the operator. I don't know why, but I always was a magnet for the weird ones or the naked!LOL

        Comment


        • #5
          Nearly every day I see a bicyclist blow a stop sign or red light, ride on the wrong side of the road, or ride without a headlight at night. I even see them speeding on my campus (speed limit 20).

          Some bicyclists do ride on the right side of the road and use headlights, and I appreciate that. But I have yet to see one deliberately come to a stop at a stop sign. Even the ones that stop for red lights do so only until they can see that no cars are coming, and then continue straight through the intersection.

          The overwhelming majority of bicycles are a menace to society.

          TG~ Ever gotten into a pursuit with a horse?

          Mike
          "Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!" -- Captain Lance Murdoch, The Simpsons

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes.....today as a matter of fact. When we finally caught up to 'em....the damn horse kicked my partner and broke her hand.
            [email protected]
            ---------------------------

            It's better to die happy..........than just die

            May Tyr watch over and guide my hand each day.........to do the right thing

            Comment


            • #7
              Bikes, pedrestrians- Yeh,you gonna work with them. But, you can also ticket them.
              "All the people like us are we,
              And everyone else is They"

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm in agreement.............. I've got no problem with affording cyclists the same rights, but I'm tired of them thinking that the laws don't apply equally to them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  == (Traffic_Goddess) : ... they think that just because they are on a bicycle, a motor vehicle is required to do everything they can, including putting themselves and all passengers in danger ...
                  ==(Oregon Mike) : Nearly every day I see a bicyclist blow a stop sign or red light, ride on the wrong side of the road, or ride without a headlight at night.
                  == (209) :Bikes, pedrestrians- Yeh,you gonna work with them. But, you can also ticket them...

                  Yes! We encourage officers to ticket cyclists as well. Please concentrate most on those who are truly endangering others: riding recklessly, against traffic, or without lights at night.

                  == Oregon Mike : the ones that stop for red lights do so only until they can see that no cars are coming, and then continue straight through the intersection.

                  Please remember that if the light does not detect cyclists (which is common), then it is not functioning correctly. If other traffic is not present to trip the light for them, then the cyclist (or any driver at a non-functioning signal) should do exactly as above. That's lawful.

                  == Traffic_Goddess : ... I'd be much more likely to champion cyclers if they would understand that the law applies to them EQUALLY!... I htink you need to work on educating the cyclists, first....

                  We are working to educate all sides. There is a small but growing number of cyclists nationwide who are also doing exactly that. But please remember that most cyclists have no cycling education beyond 3rd grade; that's why they ride like 3rd graders! We badly need ongoing traffic education throughout the grade school years, so they progress from careful pedestrians to cooperative cyclists and only then to attentive motor vehicle operators.

                  == Traffic_Goddess : ... some cyclist that thinks they OWN the road...not share it.

                  Not sure exactly what you're thinking of here, but please understand that sharing the road also means that sometimes cyclists get the full lane when necessary. They should never squeeze over so that motor vehicles can squeeze past. It all works out in the end: sometimes you have to wait behind the cyclist, but sometimes the cyclist has to wait behind you. We all slow others at times; that's part of sharing the road.

                  Thank you again for your thought and consideration.

                  Ms. Lauren Cooper, Professional Bicycle Commuter
                  Chief J.W. Rittenhouse, Retired Chief of Police
                  Equal Rights for Cyclists Campaign www.cyclemedia.org

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:
                    don't know why, but I always was a magnet for the weird ones or the naked!LOL
                    I tried to leave that part of the comment alone, I really did......Traffic Goddess, is there something we should know about your weird or naked magnetism????

                    Out
                    American by Birth, Aggie By Choice, TEXAN by the grace of God...

                    "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, what matters is the size of the fight in the dog."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Equal Rights,
                      But many more are afraid to do so because drivers sometimes squeeze past them. Though drivers rarely intend harm, squeezing past is frightening and dangerous, and has illegally scared millions of cyclists off public roads.

                      are you talking about lane splitting?

                      or when in a vehicle lane too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane."

                      Isn't that a matter of judgement? If there is no collision was there enough room?

                      [ 12-09-2002, 06:54 PM: Message edited by: Bill R ]
                      Bill R

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:
                        illegally scared millions of cyclists
                        It's not illegal to scare cyclists.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by Mike Tx:
                          quote:
                          illegally scared millions of cyclists
                          It's not illegal to scare cyclists.
                          Maybe if you considered them livestock...

                          quote:

                          CA Vehicle Code 21759. The driver of any vehicle approaching any horse drawn
                          vehicle, any ridden animal, or any livestock shall exercise proper
                          control of his vehicle and shall reduce speed or stop as may appear
                          necessary or as may be signalled or otherwise requested by any person
                          driving, riding or in charge of the animal or livestock in order to
                          avoid frightening and to safeguard the animal or livestock and to
                          insure the safety of any person driving or riding the animal or in
                          charge of the livestock.

                          Bill R

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Equal Rights For Cyclists Campaign:

                            == Oregon Mike : the ones that stop for red lights do so only until they can see that no cars are coming, and then continue straight through the intersection.

                            Please remember that if the light does not detect cyclists (which is common), then it is not functioning correctly. If other traffic is not present to trip the light for them, then the cyclist (or any driver at a non-functioning signal) should do exactly as above. That's lawful.

                            You're ignoring his point. It's not a matter of the light not working. Its bikers who think they don't have to stop for the light, who ride the wrong way down the street, etc.

                            I didn't own a car until I was 21; until then I biked everywhere. However, the way I see bicyclists behave every day, I think they pretty much need to stay off the road, because they are the primary hazard to safe travel, not the cars.

                            == Traffic_Goddess : ... some cyclist that thinks they OWN the road...not share it.

                            Not sure exactly what you're thinking of here, but please understand that sharing the road also means that sometimes cyclists get the full lane when necessary. They should never squeeze over so that motor vehicles can squeeze past. It all works out in the end: sometimes you have to wait behind the cyclist, but sometimes the cyclist has to wait behind you. We all slow others at times; that's part of sharing the road.


                            WRONG. If there isn't room in the lane, then I expect to see the bicyclist take the shoulder and get out of the lane.

                            I expect to see you bicyclists ride as far to the right as practicable, NOT take up the lane. If you can ride to the right of the fog line on the shoulder, even better.

                            More bicyclists don't get ticketed because quite frankly, officers would get laughed out of the station and the courtroom for emphasizing bicyclists violations. That lack of enforcement has made too many bicyclists bad operators and a real risk to everyone else on the roadway.

                            If bicyclists only have a third degree education in bicycling skills, then they need to be removed from the roadways until they can safely operate their equipment.

                            [ 12-09-2002, 11:09 PM: Message edited by: tcsd1236 ]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And if they ride in the center of the lane for no apparent reason? Isn't there some sort of vehicle code about not going too much BELOW the posted speed limit... something about impeading the flow of traffic?? (certainly not something I will EVER get a ticket for doing !!! If the speed limit is say, 30 mph, don't they need to go at least 20 mph?

                              I didn't know it was illegal to scare people on bicycles or pedestrians... I'd be in prison by now if it was !!
                              Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.

                              Comment

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