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Does anyone break more laws on thier bike than in their car?(5 posts)

Does anyone break more laws on thier bike than in their car?niteschaos
Jul 10, 2003 2:14 PM
Who in thier right mind would run a redlight on any machine? Or completely blow off a stop sign? I have a roommate that is an avid motorcyclist and even though they can run circles around cars (speed and manueverability) they are persecuted in about the same way we are.

Cyclist get lumped into one group everytime some blockhead runs a redlight or blows off a stop sign. When I tell a driver that they most likely broke a law (speeding) on thier way over here (GA Tech) they usually get really defensive.

I'll admit that I go through an occasional stop sign during a group ride, but the group slows down to the speed of a car that rolls through the same stop sign. If no one is coming, do you actually bring your car to a full and complete stop every time? Unless you are taking a driving test I don't think anyone does. I've never seen it. I also go above the speed limit on my bike on some stretches of road. Downhill and through a school zone...I'm doing 30mph. But if I hit a school bus on my bike, the driver probably won't even know it happened, as opposed to the results in my S-10. A bike just can't get going fast enough to ever do the damage that a car can at even low speeds. The kinetic energy and momentum just aren't there on a bike like they are in a car.

When cyclist break the laws, we are most likely the ones that pay the price, not the motorist. I just wish that I could have a conversation with someone who doesn't cycle withouth them getting all high and mighty and making gross generalizations. Of course there are usually faults on both sides of the table.

One thing is for sure. That "I pay taxes to use this road" holds about as much water as Marge Shot's G-string. Since 90% of road money spent on the state level comes from the federal government (read that in the paper so it must be true right?), don't all of us who pay taxes have money spent on the roads? I certainly don't roll up into the projects and start bossing people off the grass saying, "I pay taxes for this grass." Since I often ride through some projects on my way to group rides I'm pretty familiar with how they'd react to someone coming up in their yard telling them what to do about their grass. Not pretty.
I Dopurplepaul
Jul 10, 2003 4:09 PM
I once almost got rear-ended in my car when I stopped for a stop sign. The driver behind me couldn't believe I was stupid enough to actually obey the stop sign.

But, on my bike, the only reason I ever stop at traffic lights, other than traffic, is to check and see if there are cops around who might give me a ticket. In NYC, NOBODY on a bike stops for stop signs and red lights. So, when police enforce these laws, it actually seems unfair (it's so selective).

I didn't complain when I got a ticket last year for riding my bike the wrong way on a street; I was clearly breaking the law. However, in a city where pedestrians effectively have no prohibitions, police follow their own peculiar traffic laws and other cyclists have made it routine to ignore red lights, it does seem an unnecessary bother to fine someone on a bike who isn't endangering anyone.
Same here as well.niteschaos
Jul 10, 2003 7:12 PM
When a pedestrian gets killed for jaywalking at night wearing a black jumpsuit in the rain, everyone gets all serous about laws for a week, then they go back to being slack. In Georgia, due to the deltaV, bikes belong on the road and not the sidewalks as to not hurt pedestrians, but some people ride on the sidewalk anyways. Some drivers think that cycles belong on the sidewalk and act accordingly, but are wrong. You can get tickets for doing something so common you think it is the law, but really it isn't.
re: Does anyone break more laws on thier bike than in their car?filtersweep
Jul 10, 2003 7:26 PM
I constantly speed in my car- as does everyone else.

Is that any better than rolling through a stopsign on a bike when there is no one around?

Or- shall I slow everyone down, unclip, come to a complete stop and touch my foot to the ground?

How practical is it for a group to each function as a bunch of individuals in this regard (like at a 4-way stop, allow a motorist between each cyclist)?

The key, IMHO, is to at least acknowledge that you know the traffic laws...

BTW- the only red lights I ever run are the ones that have sensors that bikes can't trigger...
I tend to followSteve_0
Jul 11, 2003 3:52 AM
the ~intent~ of the law, rather than the letter of the law.

Certainly, the letter of the law states that all roadway users must stop for the redlight. Certainly, when city planners requested state permission to install the redlight to abate rush-hour gridlock and/or collisions, they intended for motorists and cyclists to obey. I consider that good engineering, and good reason to stop.

On the other hand, when the rural-farm community replaced the stopsign with a sensor-operated traffic light, it was done to avoid high-speed collision resultant from a hidden stopsign. Planners never intended for late-night or early-morning cyclists to have to stop and wait for non-existent traffic. I consider that solution poor engineering, and a poor reason to stop. So I dont.

Of course, the judge may take a different perspective of the intent of the law, but I would certainly take a good portion of the police department and court's time if they're collecting revenue from cyclists who are not creating a safety hazard.