From Pine View Farm

Brendan Writes a Column 0

In Philadelphia, there has recent been a rash (that is, two) accidents in which bicyclers ran into pedestrians and the pedestrians died. At least one was a hit-and-run–the bicyclist is still unidentified.

Philadelphia City Council, which Mayor Green once called the “worst legislative body in the Free World” (it’s not; the Pennsylvania state legislature takes that honor), is considering requiring bikes to be registered, I guess so there will be little tiny license plates that no one can see the next time a biker is involved in a hit-and-run with a pedestrian.

Brendan finds this outrageous.

I find it silly.

Police are overwhelmed trying to keep track of dangerous, inconsiderate, selfish, and just plain stupid drivers of motor vehicles. Dangerous, inconsiderate, selfish, and just plain stupid bicyclists get scant enforcement attention. Registering bikes will not change that.

What will change it is ticketing bicyclists for traffic violations and putting points on their motor vehicle operators licenses for moving violations, such as running red lights and going the wrong way on one-way streets.

It is true that pedestrians often put themselves in harm’s way. It is also true that rude, inconsiderate, and stupid behavior by adult cyclists in their funny clothes seems to be the norm.

I can count on my right big toe the number of cyclists I have seen actually stop at a stop sign or a red light in the past month. There is a reservoir of ill will towards bicyclists amongst motorists (including amongst me), nurtured by cyclists who act as if they are exempt from the rules of the road.

If this very bad bill passes, cyclists can blame themselves.

Full disclosure: I have two bicycles on the back porch. (I haven’t been riding them often. The little hills in upper Delaware look a lot bigger from two wheels than from four.) I look forward to riding them in the flatter terrain of Virginia Beach.

But I always stop for stop signs and red lights, ride on the correct side of the road, and obey one-way street signs.


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