"What scares me is the amount of children who whiz by me, silently sometimes, riding their bicycles on the sidewalk." "After turning a corner a teenager on a bicycle came through a STOP sign. She did not slow down at all, nor did she have a helmet. Thank GOD we were able to stop the car in time!" "Some bike riders seem to believe that now that they’re on two wheels, they’re exempt from the rules of the road; others clearly have a death wish, and a few actually handle themselves really well."
These are just a few of the comments on bicycle riders that I have received from readers recently. If they are pedestrians, they are worried about being hurt by errant cyclists. If they are motorists, they are worried about hurting those same cyclists. All of them wish that bicycle riders would realize that they must follow the rules of the road.
I can say from experience that even adult cyclists don't believe this. One middle aged male rode past me on the right one evening while I was waiting at a red light in an unmarked police car. He looked both ways for cross traffic and then ran the light. I pulled him over and wrote him a ticket for disobeying the red light.
We met again in traffic court over that ticket, where he argued that the Motor Vehicle Act did not apply to him and he should not be found guilty nor have to pay a fine.
The Justice had a different interpretation of the rules, finding him guilty and impressing the fine.
Children learn by watching their elders. If we don't teach them what is right and then reinforce it by providing a good example, is it any wonder that some of them ride like this man did?