Jerry Agar makes my point for me.
ON the way home from the studio this morning I saw a van burn a yellow light turning red at St-Clair and Yonge. There was also a car parked ON the sidewalk outside of the Starbucks. Clearly a majority of motorists are not obeying the rules of the road.
Last week I was in a traffic jam and a motorcyclist roared past me going between the two lines of cars (a biker listener tells me this is called "lane spitting"). Obviously a majority of bikers are completely reckless and don't deserve to use the roads at all.
The point I made this morning during Free For All Round 1 was that cyclists are the only group made to wear the sins of a few. Jerry Agar asserted that a "majority of cyclists" disobey the rules of the road. I asked him what his evidence for this position was and he replied that this morning he saw a cyclist break a rule. Well that’s proof enough.
Jerry promised to come back with facts and figures to prove his point and he posted them on his blog. Except what he came back with was an NPR summary of studies on who is to blame when bikes and cars collide. Not exactly the same point. But my thanks to Jerry anyway since every single study (save one) cited in the column concludes that in a majority of accidents the cyclist is NOT to blame.
The myth that a majority of cyclists are breaking the rules is one of those easy talking points that obscures the fact that law abiding cyclists have just as much right to the road as law abiding motorists. So punish everyone who breaks the rules. It's that simple. But this idea that one group behaves better or worse than the other is sheer bunk.