I really do not understand the objections to this law. As a motorist, I have absolutely no trouble slowing down for a cyclist. All I have to do is wait for an opportunity to pass, then once that opportunity arises, put my foot on the gas and go. Is going the speed limit for the entire drive worth anyone’s life? Is getting to where you’re going one minute faster worth someone’s wife losing her husband?
Like it or not, cyclists are entitled to the entire lane whenever they deem it necessary, and, as a cyclist, you can’t always ride on the edge of the road. That’s where all the potholes are, that’s where all the glass is.
And, here’s the kicker. Mr. Egan brings up the useless rhetorical device of the , and I quote
"reckless ones who fly through stop signs, red lights, hop on sidewalks, and whatnot." As if drivers _never_ break any laws at all. As if I don’t see at least 10 Highway Traffic Act infractions any time I drive to work. Speeding, unsafe lane changes, and even, yes, running stop signs and red lights. (Even when you’re making a right on red, you have to come to a full and complete stop)
Here’s the big difference. When drivers break the law, somebody’s life is inevitably at stake. You want to know why cars have to be licensed, and bicycles don’t? Bicycles weigh 25 - 30 pounds and travel between 25 and 30 kph. Cars are 2000 lb death machines traveling at 100 Kph.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a car, and I even love my car, but I’m always conscious that I hold people’s lives in my hands every time I get behind the wheel. In Canada, nearly 3000 people are killed by car every year. (or at least in 2004)
And to pour salt on that wound that Mr. Egan opens up with this column, he has the audacity to blame cyclists for somehow using the road that they’re entitled to. For some reason, Mr. Egan seems to think that, if the roads are dangerous and crowded, it’s the cyclists fault for daring to tread on the sacred pavement that is reserved for cars. He does not seem to put two and two together, and realize that if the road is dangerous, that cars are bigger and heavier and an infinite amount more dangerous, and instead blames the 6 car/bike fatalities on cyclists, even though most of them were even riding in bike lanes.
Mr. Egan, I have news for you. If the roads are dangerous and crowded, it’s not the cyclists that are to blame.
“Europe’s leaders, our own Prime Minister and Chancellor included, were parked on sun-loungers as London burned. Although the epicentre of the immediate economic crisis is the eurozone, successive British governments have colluded in incubating the poverty, the inequality and the inhumanity now exacerbated by financial turmoil.”—London riots: the underclass lashes out - Telegraph
“Noone expected this. The so-called leaders who have taken three solid days to return from their foreign holidays to a country in flames did not anticipate this. The people running Britain had absolutely no clue how desperate things had become. They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen. They were wrong. And now my city is burning, and it will continue to burn until we stop the blanket condemnations and blind conjecture and try to understand just what has brought viral civil unrest to Britain. Let me give you a hint: it ain’t Twitter.”—Penny Red: Panic on the streets of London.
This situation is what Liz and I call a Wyoming traffic jam. Truck Drivers in most of North America are patient, overworked pleasant souls who I generally admire. Truck Drivers on the 401 are still jerks tho