Viewpoint - September 22, 2010

Letter: Ticket motorists, not cyclists, for violations

Rolling through a stop sign on a bicycle is illegal, but it should be kept in perspective.

The bicyclist who rolls through a stop sign does so mostly at his or her own risk. Motorists who talk on a cell phone while driving, or exceed the speed limit, even by as little as 5 mph, are also breaking the law, but more importantly, they represent a vastly greater risk to other users of the road.

So maybe the police should have zero tolerance for either bicyclists or motorists who break the law. The reality is though that police resources are limited, and they can't catch all law breakers.

In this environment it's unfair and inappropriate to single out bicyclists for ticketing. The police should make safety their top priority and go after motorists who speed and use their cell phones. When they've got those problems under control they should begin to worry about what cyclists are doing.

John Higgins, Marmona Drive, Menlo Park


Posted by I concur, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Well said John! It's true that some cyclists roll through stop signs, but so do motorists, and they should be punished equally - both legally and in the court of public opinion (since many motorists complain about cyclists but break the law themselves).

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I don't think peopleare particularly excercised by lone bicyclists blowing stop signs. Still illegal, but should be kept in perspective. I think what upsets people is teh pelotons of 20 or more bikes that blow through stop signs and basically ignore teh vehicle code. That's vastly different in its effect.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I suspect that the cyclists ticketed en masse in Woodside did not roll through the stop sign but blew through it.

I agree with the sentiment for equal treatment among cyclists and drivers in cases of the so-called California stop at a stop sign.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm

By your reasoning it's ok for a bicyclist to blow thru a stop sign (I've never seen a bicyclist just roll thru) and cause a motorist with the right of way to swerve to avoid said bicyclist and in the process swerve into another bicyclist killing that bicyclist. Yep that first bicyclist is totally innocent, because bicyclists who ignore the traffic laws are always innocent and never do anything reckless and without regard to the safety of others.

Give it a break John - they broke the law and doing it in packs is even worse than doing it individually. Next time the pack does it the cops should confiscate their bikes.

Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 27, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Let's keep this in perspective:

If I do it, moderation, common sense and latitude are called for.

If YOU do it, let's throw your *** in jail.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Bikers that think that the rules do not apply to them need to be cited and jailed for creating a dangerous situation.

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