Monday, October 31, 2011

Why is it that Pedal Protest Groups Always Push Freedom of Cycling While Ignoring Highway Traffic Act and Helmet Safety Issues?

If we are honestly and truly interested in the safety and health policy issues for bike riders and the peddling commercial activities along city streets, then hopefully a majority of law abiding and safety conscious citizen’s would agree with me, that if we are to continue to the idea of biking activities on city streets, we must greatly improve the safety of cycling by the mandatory wearing of a bike helmet at all times.
To date it is fair to say that the most successful and important steps used and effective in traffic safety are based on restrictions to the freedom of car driving through regulations and enforcement such as, speeding, highway speed limits, traffic restrictions within the city core, signalized crossings, penalties for DUI and rightfully so, intersection camera stop enforcements and the obligatory use of seat belts for car drivers but NOT as yet for bike riders and or bike couriers daily cycling on city streets!
As far too often we witness bike riders illegally evoking the rights of pedestrians by dangerously peddling on city sidewalks and then darting across or through intersections and skirting red lights and stop signs because of cyclist’s complete disregard for the rules of the road.
Unfortunately, it appears that they are of the opinion that the rules and regulations under the Highway Traffic Act do not apply to them and when accidents do happen it is automatically the fault of drivers, pedestrians or others because as peddlers and not polluters they miraculously believe that they are above the laws of society.
And because, unfortunately to date, the policies adopted by city politicians and traffic services for improving the safety of cycling has been preceded and driven the policy and argument by the special interest groups of cyclist activists solely for their unlicensed freedom of cycling and not safety.
So what is the answer to curb such abuse of our traffic laws by cyclists and bike riders who continually ignore the laws when occupying city streets and sidewalks and at the same time make our city more cycle friendly?
There are hundreds of thousands of Torontonians, made up of cyclists and car drivers who want that bicycling commuters, pedestrians and motorists to safely coexist on Toronto streets.
The primary goal and answer, by our City council   and Transit Services Committee, to promote acceptable and friendly city street bike use must NOT be one of simply adding bike lanes throughout city streets in a political attempt to appease special interest protest groups of either car drivers or cyclists.
Might I foolishly suggest and recommend to all councillors and career politicians that now is the time for making your intentions clear by introducing and passing a city bike license, registration and insurance requirement program   which includes the mandatory wearing of a bike helmet when cycling or riding city streets before it is too late and there is another fatal accident or head injuries to citizens or tourists of our bike friendly Toronto.

Warmest regards,

Peter Clarke

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Thanks for your thoughts, comments and opinions, will be in touch. Peter Clarke