Do you agree with bike LAWS?

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posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:26 AM
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Recently, I was pulled over on the side of the road here in New Orlean for biking down the bike lane (that they put in within the last year), going in the opposite direction as the traffic lane it was built on. It is a four lane roadway with a median, or "neutral ground" in the middle of the two lanes.

Of course I was very upset. I didn't know that biking had become regulated. I had been under the impression that biking was still free. And then I did a little homework, and talking with people around my favorite haunts and with people on Facebook.

It seems that most major cities have created traffic laws that apply to bicycles. Most of the laws start by legally defining a bicycle as a "vehicle", therefore melding preexisting vehicle/traffic laws to bicycles. Then there are the bicycle specific laws. Laws requiring a helmet, or a night light that flashes, or at least one working brake.
Some laws even designate legal restrictions now on how your bike looks, or how tall it is!

Now, if I had been surprised at the way bikes have been castrated from their normally free ways, like wild horses that now live in fenced in ranches, I was even more surprised when I started to talk my peers about this! Most, if not all, of my peers (ages 23-30) agree with bike laws! Further, they even thought it was a little crazy that I was arguing them!

Then I did my research. I searched the major bike organizations and bike associations in the United States. I started to get the impression that bike laws were a consequence of a hard, and long fought battle to get bicycles recognized as a viable and legitimate form of transportation. The deal, it seems, was a deal with the devil. You see, for the city to recognize bikes as a legitimate form of transportation meant making bike trails and paths. It meant putting in bike lanes on busy city thoroughfares, and it meant trendy and artistic public bike parking spaces. And the City said, "There. Have your bike legitimacy." And the biking community thanked The City, and turned to leave. And The City said, "Oh, wait. One more thing. Well, actually two or three. You see, now that you have your bike legitimacy, you're one of the big boys now. And you have to start playing by the big boys rules. In this case, by next year, we're going to require bicycle licence plates big enought to be read by plate reading street cameras. In four years, we're going to require everyone to have a driver's license at $50 a year. In eight years, you will have to provide proof of insurance from a major insurance provider to ride your bike, which should cost about... $150 a quarter."

The bike organizations and people were willing to sacrifice the sovereignty of biking for some baubles!

Now, I started this thread by saying that bicycling is a financial handicap. I'll also say that bike laws are a tax on the working poor. Lastly, bicycling is a revolutionary activity, and a sovereign one as well.

The former sentence I say because of this:

This is a society of automobiles. Regardless of your eco-fascist wet dreams that cars all disappeared and we all bike everywhere and eat only Whole Foods, cars aren't going anywhere. In fact, they are the norm. Having a car is normal. And for now, all roadways are built with cars and semi-trucks in mind, not bikes.
And not everyone who uses a bike, does so for recreation. Some of us rely on bicycles because we are too poor to afford a car, repair a broken one, or can't pay over-priced car insurance and gasoline. We rely on our bikes to get us from point A to point B as quickly as possible. We use our bikes to get to work, to school, wherever. We don't have a choice. We can't walk because of how long it would take. Here's another way of putting it: I don't bike to work in the rain because it's good for the planet, while meanwhile all our goods are made in former US factories in the world's biggest polluter, China. I don't do it because I just love biking. I do it cause I have to.
In this way, biking becomes a financial handicap in the way that using a wheelchair is a physical handicap. Society works around people who are wheel chair bound. It requires places to be wheelchair accessible. It requires handicap parking for people in wheelchairs. What society doesn't do is regulate (see: tax) wheelchair usage. I mean, you don't need a license to use a wheelchair. You are not required to wear a seatbelt, or a helmet. You don't have to have wheelchair insurance. You don't assign any more hardship on the handicapped because... they're handicapped!
If biking is a fincancial handicap, it should be treated the same way; no regulations or fees involved with using one, and, as readily as it is attainable, accomodations for bike users.

Bike laws are a tax on the working poor.

I say this because the only people who use their bikes to travel (besides the goodniks on the West Coast), are people who turn to biking for it's one-time fee of buying a bike. I say, anyone making less than $20,000 a year, should have all bike related tickets and fines thrown out.

Biking is a revolutionary act...
With the economy in the tank, and less people able to afford a car, most are turning to more sovereign forms of transportation; skateboarding, rollerskating, and bicycling. So, some people, but no fault of their own, bike because it's meant to be cheaper than driving.

But some people bike to give a big middle finger to the oil and gas industries. Some, not most, to the insurance companies.

And some people have a whole ideology about biking. They want to turn the world into a biking paradise. Where no one drives cars anymore, and if we do, it's a car pool. This is the basis behind many Urban Planners that use the Smart Growth plan of city planning.

I don't disagree with any of the above definitions, though I do have my reservations to the Smart Growth crowd, but all in all...

My disagreement is with charging people to bike. Do you agree?


edit on 24-2-2013 by franklin555 because: Forgot a point.



+3 more 
posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:38 AM
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typical self involved cyclist bs, your riding a bike, its not a revolutionary act.

You are sharing the road with several ton motor vehicles, rules are for your safety and the curtsey of other people on the road.

But hey do what you will with your little 50 pound at most conveyance that gives you so much freedom, nothing teaches a lesson in physics quicker than a cyclist not obeying the laws designed to keep them safe when several tons of steel meets carbon fiber frame.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:39 AM
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reply to post by franklin555
 


I have seen more bicyclists have poor traffic habits than automobile drivers. I have driven behind a troupe (about 40 strong blocking both lanes) of bicyclists progressing on a busy one way street at less than 5 miles an hour.

They are part of a city's traffic and need to understand that, as well as obey the laws that are there for everyone's safety.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by franklin555
 


Just as pedestrians should be mindful about their own safety and in not becoming a motor vehicle hazard that could cause even more injury than just themselves, so also should bicycle riders.

It never ceases to amaze me the levels of self entitlement a number of bicyclists seem to exhibit.

The laws are there not only for your safety, but, the safety of the people that could swerve into oncoming traffic, another lane, or even the sidewalk, resulting in more death an injury than if they'd just run over the self entitled puffed up cyclist.

Quit making everything into some cause and just get from point A to point B happy and alive without it becoming an exercise in what you think should be your lawful right.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:52 AM
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If people want to cycle their bike do so on not busy streets . I hate when people ride their little bikes down truck routes forcing trucks in to on coming lane because they couldn't take the empty service road next to the main road .

There are tons of bike paths there are many safer places to ride a bike than on a freeway .

When I would ride my bike I would take residential roads I wouldn't take up a lane on a major road . Roadways are for motor vehicles not for peddle bikes doing 20 kph in a 60 kph zone .

or maybe go buy a motorbike if people want to ride on major roads . Cyclist are a nuance and a risk . They think they own the road and think basic traffic laws do not apply to them .



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:52 AM
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reply to post by franklin555
 


I haven't biked in a very long time. I think the last bike I owned was around 1996 - and even then I did not use it a whole lot. But for my entire biking experiences, as far as I recall there were always such laws - stating that bikes are subject to the same rules as cars and motorcycles. I even had a friend, a long time ago, who got a speeding ticket on his mountain bike.

As for my opinion? Riding a bike against traffic is not the best idea in the world. If one figured even a slow bike pace is ten to fifteen MPH - a head on collision with a car going anywhere from 25-55 would be exponentially more dangerous than if that same care clipped the biker from behind. One way adds to the impact inertia - the other way detracts from it.

~Heff



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:55 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by franklin555
 


Just as pedestrians should be mindful about their own safety and in not becoming a motor vehicle hazard that could cause even more injury than just themselves, so also should bicycle riders.

It never ceases to amaze me the levels of self entitlement a number of bicyclists seem to exhibit.

The laws are there not only for your safety, but, the safety of the people that could swerve into oncoming traffic, another lane, or even the sidewalk, resulting in more death an injury than if they'd just run over the self entitled puffed up cyclist.

Quit making everything into some cause and just get from point A to point B happy and alive without it becoming an exercise in what you think should be your lawful right.



wow that is the first time i have agreed with your post 100 % ...



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 03:58 AM
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I agree with bike laws, especially after having to deal with lawbreakers on heavily trafficed streets that will do foolish things BECAUSE they are on a bike.

Usually, you can tell a serious, law abiding biker well off, and see immediately they respect and know the laws. You can always tell the opposite, as well, and I have learned to be on high alert around those people, because they are the ones that will shoot out between moving cars, and zig zag through traffic like they are invulnerable.

My biggest nightmare with bikes is while passing a careless biker, they will fall into my path and I will hit them. I always wait until I can pass with a WIDE berth, then do so slowly and cautiously. Even if they do not respect their own safety and life, I do.

However, I do take offense to your comparison to wheelchairs. I am disabled, and though I only use a wheelchair rarely, I have needed one on many occasions, particularly at stores, because I cannot walk for more than a few (about 5 ) minutes without severe back and leg pain.

The reason I take offense is because wheelchairs are a necessity for disabled. They are not for convenience to get to work, they are required by many for simple mobility.

While you CAN walk if you were not able to ride a bike, people in wheelchairs cannot, they have no other option. This is why buildings must be made to allow access. When handicapped people are blocked from access because they cannot roll through a door instead of walk, how is that fair?

I do not understand at all, the comparison you attempt to make, it is like trying to compare apples and pumpkins.
edit on 24-2-2013 by Libertygal because: typos



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by Libertygal


My biggest nightmare with bikes is while passing a careless biker, they will fall into my path and I will hit them. I always wait until I can pass with a WIDE berth, then do so slowly and cautiously. Even if they do not respect their own safety and life, I do.




Yea scares the crap out me when I have to squeeze between with a car on my left and a cyclist on the right taking up a 3rd of the lane in a 18 wheeler in rush hour .

I often wonder if it scares the crap outta the cyclist too .



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:12 AM
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Originally posted by freedomSlave

Originally posted by Libertygal


My biggest nightmare with bikes is while passing a careless biker, they will fall into my path and I will hit them. I always wait until I can pass with a WIDE berth, then do so slowly and cautiously. Even if they do not respect their own safety and life, I do.




Yea scares the crap out me when I have to squeeze between with a car on my left and a cyclist on the right taking up a 3rd of the lane in a 18 wheeler in rush hour .

I often wonder if it scares the crap outta the cyclist too .


Well, I am fairly certain in my state, (Georgia) you have to treat them as a vehicle on the road, and can only pass if you are legally able to pass a car. For vehicles, you have to follow driving laws for the road as always, while treating the bike like a slow car.

That was how I understood it the last time I read up on bike laws, which, admittedly, has been a while. I do try to respect that, as I said, so if there is a double yellow line, I won't pass, but then, respectable bike riders are aware and many will pull over to allow traffic to go by.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Libertygal
 


You are correct about Georgia law. Bikes must be passed in the same manner, and under the same rules, that apply to passing cars.


Which of course makes driving on the sidewalk all the more complicated.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:20 AM
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reply to post by franklin555
 


When you start riding a motorcycle, a scooter, or anything else classified as a motor vehicle, you can then start throwing little princess temper tantrums when other motorists treat you like a bicyclist.

All in all, however, if you're going to be on the roads, the infrastructure that was put in place and designed for motor vehicles, mind the laws put in place for their usage.

Otherwise, stay on the sidewalk.
Peoples lives and health are at stake, including children you may not see inside a vehicle.
Keep your protests to squatting in a park, yelling about banksters, and getting petitions signed.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:21 AM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by Libertygal
 


You are correct about Georgia law. Bikes must be passed in the same manner, and under the same rules, that apply to passing cars.


Which of course makes driving on the sidewalk all the more complicated.


Just don't do it while the school buses are running their routes! You may end up on youtube.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:27 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
Otherwise, stay on the sidewalk.
Peoples lives and health are at stake, including children you may not see inside a vehicle.
Keep your protests to squatting in a park, yelling about banksters, and getting petitions signed.



What is stupid is where i live riding a bike on the sidewalk is illegal so they are forced to share the road with traffic.

Still commonsense doesn't seem to prevail or the instinct for survival



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:29 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by franklin555
 


When you start riding a motorcycle, a scooter, or anything else classified as a motor vehicle, you can then start throwing little princess temper tantrums when other motorists treat you like a bicyclist.



don't go there that is a topic for another thread where i can write a page of experiences i had on my motorbike.



posted on Feb, 24 2013 @ 04:57 AM
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I agree with franklin555 about fees and laws that are being placed on bicyclist.... I also agree that there are people on bikes that are a complete nuisance to drivers of motorized vehicles but not always because they have a choice but due more to the lack of tolerance of those on the road that think owning a car gives them more rights on the road but they are more likely than not the cause of accidents with cyclist... Bicyclist must comply with the same traffic laws as motorized vehicles and also have the same rights as drivers... In affluent areas there are trails for use by leisure riding but for people depending on a bike for transportation there is no option except to use the same roadways as is used by motorized traffic... I think that common courtesy extended by both sides would be the best thing for everyone but that isn't likely to ever happen in the USA.... I lived in a gated resort community where it was legal to drive golf carts with a top speed of 12 MPH and yet there was always older golfers that didn't like being passed by kids going twice that speed on their bikes.... Albert Einstein called the Bicycle "God's greatest gift" but pious Bible beaters with no sense of balance prefer to be behind the wheel of a V8 powered 4000 pound living room on four wheels and have never heard of or share anything in common with people like Einstein.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 02:40 AM
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Wow. Well, I asked the question, and I got some answers.

I was out today, driving a borrowed car, and it was raining. And I saw a number of people biking in the rain. And I thought, "That person is financially handicapped." They didn't have a smile. They were biking because time is money in the United States, and they needed to get from Point A to Point B.

To address a few responses from above, I am not a protester or "crusty" person. I don't squat in buildings. I work about 40 hours a week and pay my own bills. Even my food costs.

Biking is really, at the end of the day, only dangerous for the biker. PERIOD. Sure, you can imagine an instance where a menacing, unruly biker brazenly cuts off traffic and causes a poor, innocent family of four to flip their minivan and all die, but you can also imagine ANYTHING. Further, no amount, and this is proven correct, of bike laws stop people from being injured on bikes. A bike helmet may reduce head injury, but as one poster above correctly stated, you share the road with 4000 lb. pieces of metal going fast enough to destroy other cars, let alone fragile carbon frames.

Or you could imagine that a bike was going so fast, that the biker didn't have time to stop, as he or she flew into a crowd of pedestrians. But then, the likelyhood that any of the pedestrians would be fatally injured is again, little to none.

But also, and this is my impression from asking other people their opinions on this around New Orleans, there are people that have cars. Which, in the U.S. is normal. People that drive predominantly tend to view bikers as annoying. They also tend to have WILDLY unrealistic viewpoints of bikers. Sure, biking has become very hip and trendy, and there are some people that bike that, in a way, "test" motorists. But biking is done in a "cars world". We share the same roads as cars. We operate in their world.

So, besides predominantly car people defending bike laws on the one hand, on the other were the bikers that sympathized with the laws. Fellow bikers that said things like, "Biking is dangerous, there should be laws." But, and I'm going to show my hand here, I don't think that the government should create laws that effectively protect people from themselves. You know the type of laws: banning the sale of soda pop over 16 oz, etc. On a bike, you have many more advantages over cars to not get injured or in a wreck. For one, you are usually going, at most, about ten miles an hour. If you fall off, you scrape your knee, or at worse break a bone. Secondly, you are not insulated in a steel, sound resistant cage. You can hear someone shout, "Hey, watch out!" and you can apply your bike brakes and avert most disasters of bikes crashing into other bikers. You also have a greater field of view through which to see oncoming obstacles.

Finally, I just don't understand the basis of these "laws (see: taxes) to protect you from yourself." Laws that inherently treat you like an idiot, incapable of standing on your own two feet and saying, "I'm a human being goddamnit. My life has value." And look at all of the above responses. Are you all, who disagreed, the same people that believe that the Patriot Act was a good thing? I mean, it effectively considers you guilty until, at a later, costly juncture, you prove your innocence. And I apologize, as well, for even suggesting that illogical laws (see: taxes) be questioned. I'm glad I could come to the Above Top Secret forum and hear more intelligent, and non-insulting responses to a question I posited for the express purpose of having and developing a more refined and rounded opinion. Thank you to all that responded, you all helped me with my opinion, and also, this goes out to Druscilla, with a razor wit and philosophic bent. You truly have a well developed opinion that I will use in my own formulation of such.



posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 01:18 AM
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Rules of the road are for everyones' sake, not for, nor against, any certain group. Bikers are not targetted anymore than motorcycles, scooters, or any other mode of travel. We are in this together, but you have to consider there are more cars and trucks on the road than bikes, so bike riders will have to make some concessions to car and truck drivers.

To even again, attempt to compare this to anything like the Patriot Act is silly. The Patriot Act is a Federal Law, and by many is considered Unconstitutional.

There is nothing, that I have seen or heard of, that could be Unconstitutional about bike laws, unless you proclaim to be a Freeman.

Bike laws are state laws, and even then, can be based on counties. The comparison is wildly different. The laws are for everyone, not just bikers. If a car driver hits a biker that breaks rules, for instance by riding across a crosswalk when they are supposed to walk, without laws in place for both, the court outcome may not be pleasant for one or either.

Instead if looking at laws as something that restrict you, look at them as something that protect everyone involved. Of course, since you got a ticket and claim ignorance of the laws, you are going to be biased. That is understandable, but you should also be able to see that the laws can benefit you if someone wrongs you and causes you harm.
edit on 27-2-2013 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 02:03 AM
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I was an avid cyclist for a time.
Without getting into specifics, the laws of the road tend to be the same for cyclists as they are for vehicles.
Pretty sure you can get a DUI while riding a bicycle, for example...
It's all about safety.



posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 02:27 AM
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Back in the late '70s here in California, at least when I was learning to ride a bike, we were taught that bicycles were vehicles and should obey the laws including speed limits, stop signs and traffic lights, had to yield to pedestrians just like cars, and traveled the road on the right side (physically) just like cars... so it's nothing new.

So I thank you for appreciating us 'goodniks' on the West Coast. We do have reflector requirements for riding at night, though none I'm aware of regarding lighting. Helmets are required for minors < 16. Mirrors are suggested but not required. Hand signals for turning are required but can be avoided if one dismounts the bicycle and walks the bike across an intersection as a pedestrian would.

Unfortunately, most bicyclists I see, except for the serious ones, either don't realize they are riding on the street and thus subject to the rules of the road, or think that since they're not in an automobile or motorcycle they are pedestrians and ride on the sidewalk.

My advice is that if you are going to ride a bike, learn the laws and regulations.
And thank whomever you think you should that you don't need a drivers license like moped riders do.





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