Friday, July 2, 2010

Bicycle Safety

I'm not going to share the usual kids need to wear helmets here. I have an entirely different issue to talk about. I most recently about ran over a bicyclist, not intentionally of course, but it happened none the less. I live in a very bicycle populated area. More and more people are choosing to ride bikes for economical, environmental and health reasons. I'm okay with all of that. The problem I have is, some of them do not believe they should have to obey the rules of the road. I have encountered this on multiple occasions. Once, I was sitting at a stop light and had a bicyclist ride around me and go through the light. The issue I spoke about earlier where I almost hit one was very similar. I was at a 4 way stop and it was my turn to go when a bicyclist came around me on the driver's side and sped through the 4 way turning left. Not only was this man not obeying the rules of the road, but had no safety gear on whatsoever. If you're going to ride like that, you better at least wear a helmet because eventually someone is going to hit you!!! I did some research because I honestly just wasn't sure what the rules were for a bicyclist riding on the road. Here's just one statement that I found for SC: Rights and duties of bicyclists generally.

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter,

It continues on with specifics, but this was enough for me. I realize, I should give bicyclist their privilege to ride on the road, but they in return should obey the rules of the road.

I continue on with the fact that these rules need to be taught to children. Today's children seem to think everyone else should be looking out for them. When I was a child and occasionally got to ride my bike on the road, my mom said, "Get off the road when a car comes!!" My mom might have been a little excessive, but the theory is the same, get out of the way of the car!!! Too many times, I've heard of children being hit because a driver didn't see them. We need to teach our children to be aware. If they aren't responsible enough to pay attention to things around them and ride the bike, maybe they need to stay in their own yard. We can't control what other people do, but we can control ourselves. It is our responsibility to make sure whatever we are doing is done safely and by the rules!!

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