Respect & Responsibility – Safety at Intersections
Judging by the number of sources we found while writing this article, cyclist’s behavior at intersections is a pertinent topic of conversation around the world. We’ve linked to a number short articles that are way more interesting than you might initially guess and have important and enjoyable information.
Weekly, we receive comments from community members sharing frustrating and dangerous stories about cyclists who don’t stop. Just this week, a cyclist wrote:
I saw someone almost get hit two days ago while they were blowing quickly through a line-up of cars at a 4-way stop. A car was turning and almost hit the biker, so they honked. The biker simply flipped off the car and kept going. It’s disconcerting and these dangerous situations seem to be occurring with more frequency.
Is there a way to better educate folks before we have another tragedy?
While cycling, most folks loathe coming to a complete stop. It takes a great deal of energy and can add minutes to your trip.Stopping at stop signs is the law, makes cycling safer, and it’s the respectful and responsible thing to do.
In the state of Wyoming, bicycles are vehicles. Neglecting to stop can result in a traffic violation, costing over $100, with each additional violation increasing in cost. Some states, including Idaho, have laws that permit cyclists to yield at stop signs when the situation is appropriate. Until Wyoming adopts similar legislation, cyclists will be treated as motor vehicles at all intersections.
The most frequent type of intersection collisions between a cyclist and a car in the US occur at intersections where the cyclist has a stop sign and a driver does not. These easily avoidable accidents account for 9.7% of intersection accidents. In most of these cases, the cyclist is a fault, rolling right in front of the vehicles, when he should have stopped.
Further, running stop signs creates community opposition to cyclists. Tom Stafford, in BBC article titled “The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers,” theorizes that “motorists hate cyclist because they think they offend the moral order.” Driving is a moral activity with formal and informal rules of the road. When cyclists don’t follow the rules of the road, drivers perceive cyclists as breaking the moral code and over time become more and more angry. Stopping completely demonstrates to drivers that cyclists care about the rules and are willing to follow them.
Be Today’s Solution: STOP completely. Please use Respect & Responsibility.