Comment 84055

By moylek (registered) - website | Posted December 17, 2012 at 18:45:31

I basically agree with (what I understand to be) Nicholas' point, but I think that it's disingenuous to talk as if there is not another kind of lawlessness found amongst a significant minority of cyclists but vanishingly rare amongst drivers: the absolute disregard for rules or courtesy.

I expect that we've all seen cyclists ...

  • run four way stops even when there are already cars lined up
  • run red lights
  • move from road to cross walk to road
  • run cross walks with stop signs without yielding to pedestrians
  • turn the wrong way up one-way streets or ride on the wrong side of the road

I've seen all of the above in the past four days. I rarely see any of the above from drivers (not that I don't have a whole litany of complaints about drivers, particularly from my two-wheeled perspective).

As drivers, we tend to break the law in terms of degree: we go too fast, primarily. But many cyclists simply break laws whole-hog, and in very unpredictable ways. Pretending that these are the same sorts of law breaking comes across to the already-unsympathetic, I fear, as jesuitical.

Part of the problem, I venture to suppose, is that cycling is still regarded largely as the special province of children and the down-and-out - people who are cycling because they can't drive. That perception is shared by drivers and these cyclists themselves - I think that these cyclists feel themselves outside of the system. Certainly, it's generally barely-adult undergraduates and the down-trodden (if I may judge by demeanour, dress and facial expressions) who commit most of the flagrant acts of road anarchy that I listed above*.

* With the special exception of the spandex-clad set who hold momentum as the highest good.

Comment edited by moylek on 2012-12-17 19:00:27

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