Bicyclists must follow the rules to gain respectI've already expressed my exasperation with this sort of tiresome "friendly" advice to bicyclists, suggesting that respect is contingent on group behavior. If respect on the roads were earned by universal compliance by a class of users, then motorists--who, after all, kill more than 40,000 people every year in the U.S.--would be the first group banned from public thoroughfares.
For the most part, bicyclists who ride for recreation do follow the law, traveling with the flow of traffic and abiding by rules.
But if all bicyclists are going to get the respect they deserve--since they don't pack quite the heft of a car or truck--it is incumbent on all two-wheeling folks to follow the rules. We can't count the number of times we've seen a bicyclist, usually one not wearing a helmet or any safety gear, blatantly run a red light or stop sign while all other motorists sat there in shock.
Indeed, we'd like to see, just one time, a Murfreesboro Police officer pull over those lawbreaking bicyclists and give them a big fat ticket. Is there such a thing as "citizen's arrest" in Murfreesboro, and can we exercise it? (Read more.)
Bicyclists earn respect when they organize as a political constituency, forming advocacy groups that ally with other environmentalists, pedestrians, safety activists, clean air proponents (Lung Association, etc.), community organizations, preservationists, and others into coalitions challenging the pervasive hegemony of the motoring menace. Rights and respect aren't gained by "playing nice." Respect is earned by organized political power.
Image: Web capture.
Visit: League of American Bicyclists
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site