Cyclists should think more about dangers they pose

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I would like to respond to the letter by Nicholas Dobratz ("Cyclists Have as Much Right to the Roads as Motorists," June 16). I am not a fan of cyclists on the road; in fact, I cringe every time I see one. But my reasoning has nothing to do with fees paid or unpaid. Safety and common sense are my only concerns.

As Mr. Dobratz noted, "Any collision between a car and a bicycle poses almost no risk to the driver and great risk to the cyclist." That's hardly an endorsement for letting cyclists on the road. I have encountered one cyclist in my town who consistently rides at night and in harsh weather. No reflective clothing is worn, and the pitiful flickering light on the back of the seat barely registers visually until an approaching car is almost on top of the cyclist.

Perhaps Mr. Dobratz is willing to risk being hit by a car, but I am unwilling to risk involuntary manslaughter by accidentally hitting him. I am curious if Mr. Dobratz and others trying to "save the planet" would find it quite so reasonable if they were required to ride only on public sidewalks. Having the responsibility for maintaining pedestrian safety might open their eyes to the hazard they present to motorists.

Cycling is a wonderful and relaxing form of exercise. It is not, however, a safe form of transportation on a busy public road. Mr. Dobratz should worry less about his "rights" and more about the danger his choice poses to himself and his fellow travelers.

GARY CAMPBELL
Forest Hills


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