This year to honor Mother's Day I have a plea for every mother's son and daughter. A mother's greatest fear is that their child is going to be caught in a dangerous situation and be harmed to any degree or perhaps not come back to them at all. Most people would agree with this, yet every day I see grown children putting themselves in dangerous and potential life threatening positions. The beautiful weather we have been having has only made it worse. Of course, what I am talking about is bicycles. Newsday has reported that Nassau and Suffolk counties lead the tri-state area in Bicycle accidents. I believe that most people do not realize that like a motorcycle, a bicycle must obey all the rules of cars. This means a red light means stop; a stop sign means stop and a yield sign means yield. If the speed limit is 25 your bicycle should not exceed this speed even if your muscles can produce it. Bikes don't belong side walks unless there is a bike lane or path the cycle must share the road with cars. There must bea mutual respect. Too often I have cyclists complain of cars not paying attention but the cyclists must be aware and follow the rules also.
A customer told me about an incident he had and I know the spot. He saw the cyclist come down a curved hill side road;blow through the stop sign and because of the curve swerve into the middle of the road. Just missing the cyclist, he flagged him down at the next stop sign about a half mile down the road. When he asked him why he blew through the stop sign and put himself in harms way he said, "<Expletive> old man! You should watch out for bicycles!" I guess he doesn't know the rules of the road.
This comment also shows another thing. He put the onus on the driver to pay attention. If the driver were to hit the cyclist, the latter would blame to the former. Where is the responsibility for one's own actions?
I am not a big believer in regulation to cure all ills but perhaps it is time to make cyclist be aware of their responsibilities by making them get a license. Motor cyclists have a license, boaters must take a safety course and jet skis must have a license, why not bicyclists? What do you think?
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