Comment 84076

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted December 18, 2012 at 09:32:12 in reply to Comment 84055

The problem with argument of degree is that any amount of speeding is illegal, and not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign is just as a illegal as rolling through slowly on a bike.

Maybe the argument of degree is more about risk? In that case the motorist breaking the rules "slightly" (e.g. running a red light) almost always poses a greater risk to others than a cyclists "completely" breaking a rule (e.g. by rolling through a red light). He or she (mostly he) is risking himself far more than he poses a risk to others.

I think this is part of the problem: motorists believe that they are allowed to speed a certain amount, roll through stops, accelerate through amber lights (when they could stop). All these actions are illegal (not semi-illegal) and often far more dangerous to others than the sorts of law breaking of cyclists. More fundamental, the sorts of rule breaking cyclists engage in would in fact be extremely dangerous for motorists to engage in, and this is part of the reason for the strong disapproval (even though the risk posed by cyclists is far less). As the article points out, even motorists who engaged in such dangerous and repeated speeding that they were ordered to take a speed awareness course were not remorseful about their behaviour, which put others (as well as themselves) at extreme risk.

I am always extremely law abiding on a bike, but I realize that certain laws (like coming to a complete stop at a stop sign) just make no sense for a bicycle.

I do agree, however, that it would be better if cycling became normalized to the extent that cyclist behaviour was more predictable by and safe. But it would still be the case that motorists and cyclists would develop their own social conventions of what's acceptable and this would still annoy motorists (especially when cyclists managed to travel faster).

By the way, recent surveys have actually shown that the average cyclist is wealthier and better educated than the average driver, so the perceptions probably need to change!

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2012-12-18 10:14:24

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