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Friday, October 20 2017 @ 11:09 PM UTC

We all break traffic laws. Why are bicyclists different?

Biking ElsewhereBy Robbie Webber, State Smart Transportation Initiative

Bicyclists break traffic laws, but they do so at a lower rate than either drivers or pedestrians. It would be safe to say that almost 100 percent of roadway users break traffic laws. Yet the general public’s perception of lawbreaking behavior by drivers and bicyclists is vastly different—at least if you listen to talk radio or read the comments section to online news stories.
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In an article in the Journal of Transport and Land Use, Marshall concludes that while almost 100 percent of road users are scofflaws, regardless of mode, the reasons for lawbreaking differ. Drivers and pedestrians generally report that they are saving time. Saving time came in third as a reason for bicyclists, but personal safety was the top reason, with saving energy as second. Visibility to other road users was the fourth place answer.

All road users feel they are acting safely, and statistically they are. Even drivers who speed or run red lights have a small risk of a crash, even with decades of driving. However, if a fatal crash does happen, there is a 50 percent chance the fatality will be an innocent party. This is in contrast to the chances of an innocent-party fatality due to a scofflaw bicyclist, which is extremely rare.
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http://www.ssti.us/2017/04/we-all-break-traffic-laws-why-are-bicyclists-different/

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