It’s Tuesday morning and I’m riding my bike to school. Admittedly, I’m riding on the sidewalk and have just run two stop signs in the bike lane, when a cop comes running over full speed and jumps in front of me.

She proceeds to lecture me on how bikes are like cars and are legally obligated to follow the same rules. The whole time I’m being polite and cordial, but I can’t stop thinking that this is the biggest waste ever.

Only in America would we first write and then spend all kinds of time enforcing stupid idiosyncratic laws such as this. I talk my way out of the ticket by claiming ignorance on all counts. It kind of hurts my pride, but I don’t argue with her, she’s not the one it would do any good to argue with anyways.

Now I’m thinking what about all the old ladies who ride their bikes on the side walk? Is that illegal? And what about all the times I’ve almost been hit by oblivious motorists while riding totally legally? What about all the fear that bikers have to endure at night as cars blaze by a foot away? Bikes are not like cars, though we are expected to follow the same laws. It is a waste of time for cops and society to be imposing and enforcing traffic laws on bikers who do little more than annoy pedestrians occasionally. It annoys me when a car doesn’t use its turn signal and cuts me off; are we going to start pulling over everyone who doesn’t signal? I’d like to know when walking space became so sacred, and cars so holy that bikes had to be relegated to the likes of second-class citizens.

We live in a very flat, biking conducive town, yet still everyone drives. Society should be rewarding bikers for doing their part to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and conserve the world’s dwindling oil reserves, instead they are reprimanding us.

It seems that cultural paradigms are being shifted such that personal judgment is slowly being overturned in favor of conformity to overly restrictive and randomly enforced laws. My point here is admittedly a bit convoluted, but bikes are not cars and should not be treated as such.

Brad Moschetti

Forestry and natural resources

Senior

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.