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Special Traffic Laws for Cyclists?

Posted by Bruce Hildenbrand on Jun 24, 2008 11:57:22 PM

The City of San Francisco is considering a new law which would allow cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs if there is no other traffic in an intersection. This proposed law is based on an Idaho statute which has been on the books in the land of potatoes since the early 1980's.


Personally, I think it is an interesting idea. While it makes sense and will obviously benefit cyclists, there is a very real possibility that passing such a law would only widen the gulf between cyclists and motorists. Already motorists feel that cyclists do not respect traffic laws and are basically asking for special privileges. While the law would make it legal I think motorists would be quick to forget that point and just see us as scofflaws.


The real question should be, for cyclists to have their rights respected on the roadway is it more important that we cyclists be treated more like cars or more like a special vehicle which has its own special laws?


My feeling is that for cyclists to get the respect we need to survive, we should have the same laws as cars and basically be treated the same as four-wheeled vehicles. Once we start treating cyclists as special or different vehicles we stand a very real chance of losing access and rights we had as normal vehicles.


Others may argue that we need to have special laws for cyclists because they are not the same as cars. Some say we have a better field of view, are more concentrated on our driving and are able to go places where cars just can't.


How do you all feel about this issue? Should cyclists be treated the same or different as cars?



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