Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HB 91-- A bad Bicycling Bill

Blue in Red Zion has pointed out a bill being run by Representative Carol Spackman-Moss that "allows bicycle riders the right to blow through intersections when no other cars are there. No having to legally wait for the light to change in a downtown commute, no need to stop in a residential area with a stop sign, no riders can simply keep on riding, provided it is safe for them to do so."

I used to ride my bike a lot. Anyone who has seen my calves can attest to that. However, anyone who has seen the rest of me can probably guess that I haven't been on a bike much since getting home from my mission a decade ago. My parents and I have been involved in the local cycling community in varying degrees since the late 80's.

I think this is a bad bill for many reasons. I feel that one of the problems cyclists face today is that they don't get any respect from drivers, compounded by the fact that they many in their ranks don't respect the laws that are out there. How many times have I seen a cyclist just about get themselves killed blowing through a stop sign or a red light. Now, having times that they are allowed to is just foolhardy. Even fewer cycling laws will be enforced.

You see, in Utah, a bicycle is a vehicle, and has the right to be on the road (at least in the right half of the right-most lane of traffic) with a few exceptions (freeways when there is an alternate road, some local restrictions). With that right, bicyclists have to obey the same laws as everyone who drives a car. Yes, I have heard of cyclists getting cited for speeding and running stop signs.

So, creating a special set of rules for cyclists is a dangerous path to go down.



Anonymous said...
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Misty Fowler said...

I think it's worth considering. It's been done in other places with very positive results.

Dan W. said...

I am a current commuter and recreational cyclist. The law makes perfect sense to me. Unlike most motorist cyclists have not obstruction of view and are more aware of surroundings, so it makes sense to use a stop as a yield. Note:YIELD not "BLOW THROUGH". Part of the laws hold cyclists accountable. Another part I find it so frustrating to sit at a light w/ no traffic and no green for me because the sensors do not sense cyclists, cyclists should be able to proceed w/ caution and carry on their way. As always ride w/ common sense and respect; simple.