batman, the law-breaker | The Life of K: batman, the law-breaker

Thursday, June 22, 2006

batman, the law-breaker

i have to admit that i break the law. daily. twice daily. when i bike i do not stop at every stop sign/intersection. i do what i please, as long as i'm alone on the road.

half of my daily commute is through residential neighbourhoods and you better believe i blow through every stop sign i come across. i treat them like yield signs. but i can tell you why i do this and why i think it's okay. first, let me say that if most of the traffic was bikes and not cars and the roads were proportionately smaller to accomodate bikes and not cars, i would obey all rules of the road. but in actuality, i believe that stop signs in residential areas are there for cars. if i blow through a stop sign and hit another car, i'm the only one who gets damaged.

plus, bikes can't move near as fast as cars and therefore, in my opinion, are much less threatening to pedestrians. that and the fact that they are much smaller and more nimble (depending on the driver of course).

by not obeying the laws, i do not believe i am putting myself at risk. i believe i am very safe on the roads and am only concerned for my safety when cars are around me. sadly, half of my commute is on busy roads, thankfully ones with bike lanes for the most part, but that doesn't help me feel safe near/around intersections. there is something about the way we drive these days - maybe distracted is the best word for it - that scares little me on my bike. i've been almost hit numerous times and i think for the most part it's been because drivers simply can't see me or don't see me. i've had one occasion when a driver almost drove into me while approaching me. i can understand if you're waiting to turn right and a bicycle comes up in your blind spot and you don't see them. she came up on me! she was in MY blind spot.

biking has made me much more aware or cyclists when i'm driving. i am much more sympathetic to them and aware that they are there and need their space. biking has also made me very aware of the speed at which cars travel. remember kids, speed kills.


  1. to quote Captain Underpants's Dad: "Bad laws were made to be broken"

    Definitely applies to this situation.

    I think the better solution is this:
    - In residential areas, remove 90% of the stop signs, replace with yields and teach people to drive (somewhat) defensively.
    - Outside residential areas, replace stop signs with traffic circles and teach people how to use them.

    Also, bike lanes made by painting lines are usually not good enough. it would be so much safer to have a dedicated bike lane separated from the main road by a curb to keep cars (and buses!) from encroaching. I can't see it ever happening, but hey.

  2. I totally agree -- I am WAY more watchful of bikes on the side of the road now that I use my own bike. I give them as much room as I can without straying into the next lane.