In the wake of the recent death of Quan Chu after being hit by a cyclist who then left the scene, WABA is reminding cyclists of their responsibilities on the road, and asking them to pledge to be more responsible. Cyclists are asked to pledge to be responsible, to respect the rights of road users, to better follow the law, to yield to pedestrians, and to help make cycling easier and safer for all. I think this is a great step for cyclists to take. We have to recognize that we play a part in road safety as well, not just for ourselves but for others too. And while I have sometimes been critical when we've been held to a higher standard than other road users, it doesn't hurt to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
As Daniel Hoagland of WABA put it
it's not true that most cyclists are scofflaws, but understands why that's a widely held belief.
"The ones who do break the law are the ones who are most visible and they're certainly the ones who will be most remembered by motorists who are sitting patiently at a red light when a cyclist blows through past them," Hoagland says.
"They're the ones who reflect on the rest of us and we just want cyclists to take that into account when they're deciding what to do at the next intersection."
To further drive ride home the message, WABA will be hosting a New Year's Resolution Ride on Jan 8th.
We at WABA are resolving to ride more responsibly and we want everybody who rides a bike to join us in this effort. Using the road responsibly isn't about laws or lane markings, it's about respecting other road users. We all have the right to use the roads, but with that right comes the responsibility to use them respectfully. Help WABA and your fellow DC area bicyclists make the roads safer and more fun for everybody by riding more responsibly in 2011!
Nobody wants to be that person who hits and injuries someone else with their bike, and besides being the right thing to do, riding responsibly is certainly in your own best interest. Responsible riding, by the way, involves staying on the scene - and rendering assistance if necessary - if you are involved in a collision.
Hope to see you at the ride, and riding responsibly in 2011.
Update: More from the WABA press release:
“WABA is always working in the community and in area schools to provide safety education for cyclists and pedestrians,” says WABA Executive Director Shane Farthing, “but we felt that rather than avoiding the difficult issues raised by the death of a pedestrian due to a cyclist’s failure to yield appropriately, we should address the issue of riding responsibly as an opportunity to better educate WABA's members, other cyclists and our community as a whole.”