If you’re a cyclist, and you have family or close friends who are not, you’ve probably gotten in to an argument about those darn cyclists who are always running stop signs. If you’re blessed only with family and friends who ride, then you just get to hear about those scofflaw cyclists from the police and LAPD as an excuse not to treat other cyclists with respect.
Well, it turns out that Southern California drivers don’t always obey stop signs either. And, surprise surprise, they also don’t like getting tickets, either.
A recent article written by Associated Press writer Daisy Nguyen chronicles a debate that has sprung up over seven “stop sign cameras” in Los Angeles County parks and the people ticketed by them. Read some of the quotes from scofflaw car drivers and ask yourself if there would be a sympathetic article written about 34,875 cyclists getting ticketed for clearly breaking a law and being upset about it. Then consider the track record of reckless cyclists killing anyone but themselves with reckless driving being one of the leading causes of death in America.
Here’s some of the quotes from the A.P.:
“I was totally shocked,” Wilson said. “I knew there were signs there. I didn’t think they’d be that strict and be that expensive.”
According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 13,627 cars involved in fatal automobile accidents caused by running a stop sign in 1999 and 2000.
“Enforcement of something so small to add to the revenue stream strikes me as very wrong,” said Eli Sanchez, who was nabbed twice for breezing past a stop sign at the entrance to a park overlooking the San Fernando Valley.
Just yesterday, a renowned burn surgeon in Fort Worth Texas, was killed by a motorist running a stop sign.
“I did break a law but I don’t think I did anything unsafe,” Wilson said. “If you get pulled over by a cop you get shaken and say ‘I’m not going to do this again.’ I had no warning between each one.”
Well, no warning besides the big red sign telling him to STOP.