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Cyclists need to follow road signs too

By Al Wyllie
Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - Cyclists across the triangle are reported to be more concerned for their safety now that an experienced and prominent cyclist in Apex died, reportedly from turning in front of a vehicle. From what I have read, he was an avid proponent of educating others on the rights of cyclists on the road and their safety.

On the same day that he died, I got behind a herd of cyclists "on a mission" in northeastern Chatham County. Not only did none of them stop at the STOP sign before turning onto busy NC751, but none of them were even observed looking to see if any vehicles were coming on NC751. Does it take one of the frequent dump trucks flying down the road, also driving like they are on a mission, to take out part of your herd one day to get the point that the signs on the road are also the responsibility of cyclists to obey. And, if you are arranging or leading one of these herds of cyclists, you bear some responsibility also in the safety of the herd, and that includes the obeying of traffic signs. As a former avid sports car rallyist, we had to obey traffic signs and speed limits in our road rallys. Is their some reason that cyclists can't obey them?

Just as motorists have to take a road sign test when getting a license, why wouldn't it be just as appropriate to have cyclists register and obtain a cyclist's license, and take a road sign test when obtaining their license? A small registration fee would also be helpful for the state's income problem now anyway. Perhaps having license plates on the bicycles is another good idea. At least we could identify a cyclist when they need to be reported for disobeying road signs and/or other infractions of the road. We could also be sure that cyclists have sufficient insurance if they should be at fault in an accident. If cyclists don't want registrations, then perhaps if they behave properly on the roads, no one will find a need for them.

Yes, I have a bicycle and enjoy riding it on the American Tobacco Trail which has miles upon miles of relatively safe cycling environment. Having seen so many people hauling boat trailers and horse trailers around Jordan Lake, that have no idea whether their trailer wheels are on the road or off the road, you wouldn't catch me riding a bicycle on any of the roads around the lake. Even with motor vehicles, I have heard people say, "If they hit me it is their fault." When you are residing in a cemetery as a result of an accident, or laid up in a hospital for months or years, or strapped to a wheelchair for life, will it really matter to you then that it might have been someone else's fault? Get real folks...stay out of harm's way when you can! And, if you are cycling down the middle of the road at 10-15 miles an hour, you might as well be jogging down the middle of the road...would you do that, too?

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Cyclists need to follow road signs too

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