Discussing: Sharing the Road
By Melinda Bane
(WINDSOR, ON) – Sometimes I hate being right. I told you in my article last week that cyclists and e-riders face death in the streets and last night an SUV collided with an e-bike not far from my house, killing the rider. There are no reports indicating that the e-rider was riding recklessly but that doesn’t seem to matter to some people.
Let’s take a look at some of the early commentary.
- “Was just a matter of time until someone on an E-bike got greased, won’t be the last time either.”
- “sad story, they don’t want them on the sidewalks or paths but on the road they get hit. I think the shouldn’t have ebikes, causes more issues. And they don’t pay insurance so what happens when a accident happens? they shouldn’t allow people who had their licence suspended by a dui to ride ebikes.”
- “Does anyone know which direction the bike was going and the SUV. I heard something on the news and was confused. What I am trying to learn is if the bike was travelling with the traffic or against. This is the problem we have been continuing to see when out and about in our vehicle. Rules of the road are for all that use a road. We have been out and then all of a sudden there is a bike coming at us on the passenger side I just cringe.”
- “they drive drunk on ebikes; have someone I know who had his ebike taken away for a year and received a huge fine.if they put insurance and plates on ebikes then they would have to do it to all bikes. Teaching road safety is good for all riders and vehicle drivers; people have to learn to be patient and polite again and not in such a hurry all the time, stay off their cells and pay attention when driving”
*Just a note, this is their spelling and grammar…not mine.
This was just the early stuff. The argument over e-bikes, and eventually cyclists in general, will continue for hours yet. There will be those who say e-bike riders are just trying to get around a DUI. There will be those who say that e-riders “never” obey the rules of the road. There will even be those who say that e-bikes should be banned outright. This frustrates me to no end.
I wish I could talk to these people directly. I would tell them that there are plenty of people with a DUI who still drive a car, as well as many drunk drivers who have not yet been caught. I would tell them that there are plenty of motor vehicle drivers that flout the rules of the road and drive dangerously. I would ask them to explain exactly why e-bikes should be banned when it is cars that kill so many people.
Why all the hate for the little guy on the road?
Allow me to enlighten some drivers on something you may not know. Many moons ago I spent a few years working as a waitress in a few Northern Ontario truck stops and big rig drivers hate you as much as you hate e-riders. The comments I heard toward car drivers were much the same as the ones I hear and read toward cyclists: they shouldn’t be allowed on the same roads, they are a danger, they drive erratically, they are hard to see/hear, etc.
I have heard quite a few stories about truckers who have sacrificed themselves or their trucks/loads to avoid creaming the family in the car that just cut them off and then hit the brakes.
“Oh,” you might say, “but not all drivers disrespect truckers like that. The majority of drivers obey the rules of safety. You shouldn’t judge us all on the actions of a few irresponsible people.”
This is exactly my point. The same applies to e-riders and cyclists. The reason that you only see bad riders is that the good ones don’t register in your memory because they don’t do anything to make you notice them.
You probably won’t remember all the good drivers you shared the road with today but you will sure remember that jackass that cut you off because that is how our brains work.
Motor vehicle drivers need to realize that they do not own the road. Times are changing and methods of transportation are changing along with the times. Deal with it and share the road.
There is a little bit of irony here in that it was an SUV that hit the e-bike. Unless it was a hybrid, it is kind of symbolic of the fight between those who wish to cling to the old big oil, gas guzzling ways of the past and those who wish to try and embrace a cleaner and more sustainable future. I see how this is going to go.
Here is my advice to city council. Take the advice I gave you in my last article otherwise there will be more tragedies like the one that just happened. Please don’t make me right again on this point.
So tell me, dear People, what are your thoughts on the matter. You can leave a comment below or e-mail me at email@example.com or find me on face book. I look forward to your insights.
Short URL: http://www.windsorsquare.ca/?p=35068