GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

September 13, 2013

Safe cycling get short shrift from bike riders

:Dear Abby: Now that California law prohibits drivers from using cellphones and texting while driving, an additional issue needs to be addressed and acted upon. Bicyclists are supposed to abide by the vehicle codes, too, but they rarely do — and that includes not wearing protective gear.

I’m now seeing people on bikes texting, talking while riding and routinely ignoring stop signs. Disappointingly, I have never seen a single rider pulled over or ticketed for doing this. How many lives must be destroyed or lost before the police start enforcing penalties for the danger these people cause to others?

:Caring Reader, Sacramento, Calif.

:Dear Caring Reader: You’re asking something I have been asking myself for some time. I understand that teenagers may think they’re immortal as they whiz along the streets, but the adults I see weaving in and out and ignoring stop signs are old enough to know better.

Many cities promote bicycling as a way to mitigate traffic congestion and encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle. Police may ignore the infractions because they have more serious crimes to attend to. Or perhaps they have been instructed to do so. (If members of law enforcement would like to address this, I’d love to hear from you.)

While I’m on the subject of cyclists, I should mention my own concern about riders who wear dark clothing and ride after dark. Not all neighborhoods are well lit, and I have seen near misses because of it.

Although dark colors are fashionable, wouldn’t it make sense for people who ride at night to wear jackets with reversible linings in a lighter color? (I have seen a few with fluorescent trim, but there haven’t been many.) And if drivers are pulled over for broken or missing headlights or taillights, shouldn’t the same be true for bicyclists?

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