Bicyclists Deserve Protection

RECEIVED Tue., April 29, 2008

Dear Editor,
    In the early Eighties, my roommate Marguerite borrowed my bike to go down to Whole Foods to get some ice cream. She never came back. We got a call from the police saying there had been an accident. A man driving south on Lamar hit her from behind with his truck as she was traveling on Lamar. She was dragged beneath his truck when he turned right onto Sixth Street. He didn't stop for several blocks. Marguerite was from the United Kingdom and had a different understanding of bikes on the road.
    The driver never had his license revoked. The man never got a ticket, even though he failed to stop. He never went to jail. He never suffered any consequences for what he did, even though she died.
    On Friday evening as I was driving home from work, police were arresting Critical Mass bicyclists near Lamar and 12th; allegedly for not obeying traffic signs.
    My question is this: If bicyclists can get arrested for not abiding by the law, why can't the same laws protect them when they are riding on the road?
    Instead of arresting the Critical Mass bicyclists, the police should have been riding with them. Vehicle drivers need to learn to share the road with bicyclists.
Pam Thompson
   p.s. The above is not an isolated incident; Slave died on a corner by the courthouse when a truck turned right without stopping. Before that, Ben died on Guadalupe and MLK when someone hit him from behind, and no tickets were issued to car/truck drivers.
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