Sunday, November 10, 2013

Riding a Bicycle is Often Like Going to War

It also doesn't help that it is rare for a motorist to be charged when he or she kills a cyclist.

Unless there is a hit-and-run or a DUI involved, it just doesn't happen.

What drivers don't seem to understand is bicycles are vehicles, and they need to be treated as such.

Smart people are working to change all this. Protected bike lanes are popping up in some cities, separated from car traffic. Several states have passed Vulnerable User Laws placing extra responsibility on drivers to avoid harming cyclists and pedestrians. Nobody wants to kill a cyclist, but the total absence of consequence does little to focus the mind. These laws seek to correct that with penalties soft enough for authorities to be willing to use them, but severe enough to make drivers pay attention. In the Oregon version, that means a license suspension and a maximum fine of $12,500 or up to 200 hours of community service and a traffic-safety course.

As I have gotten older, I am more inclined to ride the Greenway most of the time. I largely confine myself to riding the backroads and such on the weekends.

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