Why As A Bicyclist I Refuse to Look Like a Traffic Cone
While I commend advocates and advocacy groups for organizing workshops about road safety; I abhor when they include telling the most vulnerable users they have to dress like traffic cones!
Why not have workshops where you educate all users of our roads, people driving, people walking, and people biking about the rules and of the road that apply to each user. Educate everyone about how we all belong in the space, so we will be more respectful of each other. Which at times, I don't see happening at all.
Our communities don't want to pay higher taxes to pay for more services. That is a reality. Which means our police force does not have time to spend on traffic infractions, which drivers have figured out. There is not a red light I come too that at least one, (often times more) drivers don't run. The speed limit has become a suggestion and people walking and biking are deemed less important because, (actual words I have heard from someones mouth), we can be run over if we don't get out of the way. Which is true, but as a person walking or biking I have as much right to be using the roadways as a person driving and I shouldn't have to dress up like a giant reflector. Parents also shouldn't have to worry about letting their children walk or bike to school. (Think: Most obese unhealthy country in the world.)
Why do I have to give the illusion that I am "more visible" to people who can't manage their time, are distracted, or impatient; because those people are the same ones who crash into police cars with their light flashing on top of them. They will hit me whether I am lit up like a friggin lighthouse beacon.
I don't hear anyone recommending vehicle drivers wear bubble suits, although it would probably make them safer in a crash. Because…and I know you said this in your head…that is ridiculous.
Now before the bashers start their tirade, I am not saying all people driving are like this. I still own a car and drive it, I am a multi-user of our roads. But just like people who don't pick up their pets poo, bad people driving, walking, or riding ruin it for those of us who follow the rules.
What I am saying is: as advocates or advocacy groups let's focus on educating ALL users of our transportation system. Everyone should be aware of each other and the laws, so every user knows what the other is allowed or not allowed to do. Not add something to be able to blame victims of crashes for getting themselves run over!
This is the article that got my panties in a bunch: Spike in bicycle, car crashes leads to safety workshops | Idaho Statesman