Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 1999

SAFETY ISSUES

September 7, 1999

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To the editor:

Living in the country, I encounter bicyclists and farm vehicles frequently and I'd rather meet the farm vehicle. I've never seen tractors riding two, three or four abreast. They don't run stop signs. They might have flashing yellow caution lights and almost always have a big red and orange "slow moving vehicle" sign on the back. When they notice a vehicle behind them most will pull over so that the car behind can pass safely. The person driving, if born after a certain year, has had special training before being able to get behind the wheel of that vehicle and possesses a permit to do so, unless they grew up on the farm. Not to mention that these people are using this vehicle to earn a living.

When I was learning to ride a bike, admittedly when they only had one speed, there were sessions held at the grade schools by the city police. We were taught the correct way to signal, turn, change lanes, etc. Single file was the way to ride in a street or on a highway. We were to walk our bicycles across busy intersections and came to a complete stop before riding across any intersection. Bicycles yielded to motor vehicles, which meant pulling over to the side of the road and waiting for the car to pass even if that meant having to stop. When we came to an intersection and wanted to make a left turn, we signalled our intentions, got in line behind the cars, as any other vehicle would, and turned with the traffic. We didn't have to have any special lanes and we did not pull up beside vehicles. These rules still make sense today and some are the law.

Highways and city streets are made for and paid by the people that own the motor vehicles. I realize that cyclists own vehicles too, but if the bicyclists want to be equal to cars and trucks and have special lanes built for them, then bike driving licenses and fees from those and bike taxes may be in order to help fund their requests. Until then, give motor vehicles the right of way and obey the rules of the road that you so badly want to share.

Hollyce Morris,

Lecompton.

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