6.28.2005

image from BIKE MAINE.org
Bicycles and Red Light Running
(or Stop Sign Running)
My friend DT loves to play Devils Advocate
frequently he responds to rants (whether in person or online) with an eye opening suggestion
well...
not this time
the issue of running a Red Light or a Stop Sign is something I have taken into account when I make my attacks on car drivers and car driving behavior
my issues are not with the law....
my issues are with Common Courtesy and Mutual Respect!
F-an-A
toss in some Common Sense while you are at it

when I speed on my bicycle or run a stop sign on my bicycle I am putting one person at risk... myself
on the other hand.... when some joker is cranking his AC and blasting his tunes while exceeding the speed limit he is putting others at risk...
the focus of the driver tends to be on most anything other than driving
there are countless electronic devices that people use to entertain themselves while they drive
all of which should be outlawed behind the wheel...
many of which have been outlawed.... but the law is never enforced
sure this joker's air bags and his crumple resistant side panels are sure to keep him safe for his next adventure... insurance will cover the damages.. but the car he runs into, the kids on the sidewalk he runs over, or the cyclist he forces off the road are not surrounded by the same set of safety mechanisms
no insurance will replace any lives...

my running a Red Light while on a bicycle is a slight modification of the law....

being on the bike I have learned that it is safer to view Stop Signs and Red Lights as YIELD SIGNS
rather than rules for complete stops....
making a complete stop puts me at greater risk as well as makes me a greater hinderance to the flow of traffic behind me
if you think a bicycle pisses people off in their cars...
well, lets see how pist people get when the bike makes a full stop.... puts their feet on the ground... looks both ways... then gets back on the pedals and makes a resonable acceleration to top speed

heck... making a complete stop in my car puts me at risk
try it some time
stop your car a the stop line and make a complete stop
you just might find the car behind you in your back seat.... imagine taking that risk on your bicycle
don't try this on your bicycle
in the dual between the bicycle and the car.... the car tends to win each time
I know
I fought the car and the car won

car drivers modify the laws of the road all the time.... not always with a clear head
the speed limits are viewed as absurd
most people tend to come pretty close to doubling the speed limit
car drivers are likely to be more irrate by seeing a driver going the speed limit than when they see a driver doubling the speed limit
give that a try
go 25 MPH in your car.... people will honk at your.... people will flip you off... you will insight ROAD RAGE
when going 25MPH in a 25 Zone you will most certainly be passed whether it is a safe passing zone or not
then try going 50MPH in a 25MPH Zone.... for the most part... business as usual
there may be one concerned citizen who tosses their bag of dog poop on your windshield, but for the most part the speeding car would go on by unnoticed

so often at a party someone will try to do this little Devil's Advocate arguement about me and my red light running....
but it all comes down to the fact that I am giving people the space and respect that they need and deserve
I am not buzzing pedestrians by inches
I am not putting families lives at risk
I am simply riding my bicycle
sometimes fast
sometimes slow
but always with concern for the rights of others

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