Living in a community that is bicycle and pedestrian friendly is both wonderful and taxing for everyone.
But more and more we are running into not only rude drivers, but rude and inconsiderate riders. Lets face it, it’s hard enough to drive while watching the oncoming traffic, the rearview traffic, thru traffic (so you’re not t-boned), and pedestrians. Now it’s necessary that drivers are mindful of bicyclists riding in and out of traffic assuming you would not dare run them over, then giving you the stink eye when you nearly do because you thought it was clear.
As a pedestrian, rider, and a driver I can personally vouch that it is possible to share the road safely and productively. But this entitlement people believe they have is just out of control. No one has the right to create havoc they way people do while their on the roadways. Being aggressive while in transit to your destination will eventually catch up to you. Sound judgement doesn’t apply as the norm now-a-days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm/, rank accidental fatalities as fifth on the list for leading causes of death in the United States.
We all can do our part to create safer streets when traveling either by car, motorcycle, bicycle, or walking.
1) Abide by your state laws.
Police Officers will issue Cyclists traffic citations violations. According to the Statutes in Idaho, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles. If the light’s red, that means stop not yield. When a car is turning, stop and wait behind it. Do not take your chances that the driver sees you.
If there is a bike lane it’s necessary to use it. If not, the cyclist should ride as close to the curb as possible and be able to keep a reasonable speed. This prevents accidental incidents that can occur with truck mirrors.
3) If riding at night be certain you are seen by using lights, and reflectors.
One thing to remember, when person driving a car isn’t able to see you the consequences could be dastardly.
4) Never ride while under the influence.
Not only is this illegal, it’s extremely dangerous.
5) Pedestrians concede to traffic control devices and traffic regulations.
As silly as it sounds, always use the crosswalk if possible and do not assume a car will stop because you have the right of way. Remember, drivers are extremely distracted and it takes only one to seriously injure a pedestrian.
A lot of these details are plain common sence. If you are not certain about the traffic laws in your state, google (your state) bicycle laws.
Example; Idaho State bicycle laws.
Here is the link for those in Idaho: http://www.itd.idaho.gov/bike_ped/
The great outdoors is just that, it’s great! When the weather invites one to come out and play we should enjoy it to the fullest extent. One thing to remember is that there are others out and about as well.