Bicyclists must obey same traffic laws as drivers

Published 9:57 am Thursday, September 3, 2009

I would like to encourage our residents of Ironton to join me in reporting bicycles that are traveling the wrong way on one way streets and operating bikes at night without proper lights and reflectors.

I have had some close calls recently with bicycle riders. I do not want to put a 3,000-pound van up against a less than a 100-pound bike and its rider.

When a driver stops at a three-way intersection and traffic is flowing to the left — the driver sometimes only looks to the right for oncoming traffic before proceeding.

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On numerous occasions I have had bike riders approach the intersection from the opposite direction of the traffic flow and nearly collided with them.

Likewise, reflectors on bicycles pedals are a great help, but well lighted bikes should be mandatory. None of us want to collide with bike riders and possibly kill them.

If we, as residents who carry cell phones, would call the Ironton Police (740) 532-2338 and stay with the bike and give the location of the improperly lit bike or a bike traveling the wrong way on a one way street, it may save a life.

I recall, as a boy of 12 years of age, several of us boys were traveling on our bikes on a county road and we were all over the road. An adult motorist stopped and gave us a lesson on “bicycle safety.”

I have never forgotten this. Possibly this concerned citizen saved our lives. If we want to help our youth and some illegal bike riding adults, may we do our God-given responsibility and report illegal bike riders, in order to save a life.

Hoyt W. Allen, Jr., Ironton