courtesy of ‘marciadc’
Oh Loudoun County. Generally, when you play host to a road race or other charity event that takes place on the public roads, you’ve got course officials that arrange for stop-sign waivers. Except this time, you just parked your deputies at intersections in Purcellville with their ticket books and held your own charity fundraiser at $91 a violation.
It sounds like the organizers may be also at fault for failing to engage with local and county police to avoid this kind of thing, though. Either way, sounds like a good way to just roll in some easy dough for the counties instead of actually making the ride safer.
This is a good reminder that bicyclists are bound to the same traffic laws that motor vehicle drivers are, but it seems like the organizers of the event could have done a better job of coordinating with police along the route to make it a safe, fun event, or else specifically warned cyclists that they had not coordinated with police and that they would be required to follow all traffic laws.
Not that cyclists typically follow traffic laws. Most of them I see ride along like idiots, seemingly thinking they are above the law. They don’t even seem upset or shocked when I have to slam on my brakes and almost hit them. Traffic laws should be enforced and riders who break the rules should be ticketed but it seems that some arrangement could be made for large events like this.
As a former Pville resident, I have no sympathy for Loudoun county cops. As I driver, I have even less sympathy for cyclists. The charity thing does cause me a small pang, though.
Time for everyone to take a deep breath and read The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist: http://washcycle.typepad.com/home/2008/07/the-myth-of-the.html
It’s well worth the time.
I agree it’s frustrating when cyclists break the law – partly because they irritate drivers and make them less tolerant of cyclists who are law abiding. Although as this piece points out, drivers break the law all the time too, and often don’t even know what the laws for cyclists are.
Having been hit by a car that failed to yield the right of way and having had other close calls while on a bike and following the laws, I’ve no sympathy for drivers who act like they own the road, either. In a perfect world, “share the road” works both ways!