Cyclists must pay

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Does anyone else believe that there are cyclists out there on the road hoping to get hit by a vehicle? Why else would they ride their dark bikes after dark while dressed in dark clothing without a light on their bike? Of course, I don’t believe they would intentionally set out to get hit by a vehicle, however, they should use a little common sense and there should be guidelines or regulations set for them.

We as commuters have to make sure our vehicles are inspected and registration is renewed every year as well as pay for our license. All of these fees help to maintain the roads we drive on. Cyclists want the same rights of the road. Fine. Register your bike with the state; get a license that says you passed the state required testing to be a cyclist; have your bike inspected to make sure the brakes work, there are no loose parts and put lights on it. Also, as a safety measure for yourself and those of us driving at night, wear reflective clothing!

I do not want to be held responsible for hitting someone because I did not see him (or her) until it was too late. Which brings me to another point – insurance. Cyclists should have to pay for insurance. They can cause or be a part of an accident just as well as we can. They have been given part of the roads, so share in the cost of maintaining those roads.

Set up stands that are out of the way and let cyclists pay to park their bikes, just as we have to pay for parking our cars. Let’s face it, a cyclist doesn’t have to pay for gas; that money saved should cover the cost of those things listed above.

One last item: Cyclists are supposed to obey the rules of the road and yet they go through stop signs and red lights without stopping, weave in and out of traffic and the one that gets me — if a road is closed to vehicles, it should be closed to cyclists. During the Columbus Day parade, a cyclist rode down Liberty Avenue and seriously injured an entertainer who was walking in the parade.

Tickets should be issued to those who fail to abide by the rules. If bicyclists want the “freedom” to ride on the roads, well, like everything else in life, it is not free. They should pay up and enjoy the ride.

PATTI ZUNIC
Shaler


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