Edmond OK Bike Law

15 Apr

Some will view the news that the Edmond Police Department will begin their campaign to ensure that motorists and cyclists alike are aware of and obey the new bicycle ordinance as bad news. 

The campaign, set to officially begin May 1st, will include newspaper articles, t.v. spots and the use of social media, such as Facebook to get the word out. 

The awareness and enforcement campaign is to highlight the need for both motorists and cyclists to obey the traffic law and to ensure the safety of bike riders.

It may come as a surprise to many of you that some of those unhappy people will be bike riders.

As a driver and a bike rider, I’m happy about the news.  First, for motorists to be aware that by law they are required to give me 3 feet of clearance when passing me and subject to a ticket and fine if they don’t, will help to ensure my safety when I’m out biking.  Second, cyclists who have been used to riding through red lights and stop signs will hopefully cease and desist that practice immediately. 

I get beyond frustrated when I observe cyclists not following traffic law, last year I actually tried to chase a couple down to tell them so after observing them blow through a four-way stop, but I ran out of gas and couldn’t catch them (I had to stop at a stop sign ;)).

This type of behavior is not only wrong (not to mention stupid), it’s dangerous.  Every time a cyclist goes through a stop sign without even slowing down, rides with friends more than 2 abreast, fails to stop at a red light – it solidifies the negative opinion many drivers have of people that ride bicycles.  And some drivers will take it out on the next cyclist they see – whether they happen to be obeying the rules of the road or not.

If bike riders and motorists alike all follow the rules of the road we will be safer on the road. As I wrote in my post last year, Good Karma,

“Bad behavior begets bad behavior.  Good behavior improves your chances of being treated fairly and negative likewise improves your chances of getting that back.  I choose the positive approach, when out on the road cyclists need all the good karma we can get."  

To be clear, a cyclist can do everything precisely right and fall victim to the inattentive or aggressive driver. It’s tragic when it happens and it happens way too often.  The unlawful behavior of a cyclist generally doesn’t put anyone at risk of harm, unfortunately the same is not true of motorists.  It is a fact that when I ride my bike I am at greater risk than I am when I am behind the wheel.  Until there are more bikes on the road than cars I’m afraid that’s what we are faced with.

The new bike ordinance, and more importantly the enforcement of the new ordinance with drivers and cyclists alike, will serve to make the roads safer for those of us on two wheels and consequently for drivers too.  It will only be successful to the extent that we all follow the law – that means you “speedy-on-the-bike” and you, “impatient–in-too-big-a-hurry-driver”!

 

Related PostsEducating Motorists 

                   Let us Ride Our Bikes in Peace 

                               Outrage 

                       Improvements in OK Bike Law 

Tags:

3 Responses to “Edmond OK Bike Law”

  1. Sue April 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    On one of our busy arterial roadways where I see many cyclist ride, and which I have not yet had the courage to ride because there are no bike signs telling driver’s to share the road with cyclist, but yet the other day I noticed a new sign erected by the city: a yellow diamond shaped sign with a silhouette of a mother duckling crossing the road with her baby chicks. Yes, the city has more concern for the safety of ducks than they do human beings. Nothing against ducks, but this made me extremely angry and I plan to write the city about it when I get the chance.

  2. Susan April 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    Sue,

    That’s a very good point, sad and pathetic that it’s the case, but a good point! God forbid something should happen to a duck, but for the cyclists – it’s every man, woman and child for themselves.

    I’d take a sign like that warning motorists to look out for me and every other cyclist who is potentially in harms way from vehicles.

    I’m glad you’re going to write your city reps, let us know what they say – I’m curious.

    Thanks for the comment.

Creative Commons License
For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.loveofbikes.com.