Stephen Colbert’s Tips for Drivers and Cyclists

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You know an issue has hit the mainstream when it’s mocked on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report.

Colbert, on his mock-conservative talk show, took aim at the dangers created by texting while driving.  After a series of jokes that end with the problems of texting a 911 call; Colbert introduced his new twitter series, Stephen Colbert’s tweets for drivers.  His first tweet is, naturally, an advertisement followed by "You’re in the wrong lane!"

However, as Colbert rambles on, his desk is struck by a cyclist causing an air-bag to shoot out of it protecting him.  Apparently in their zeal to make New York the Portland of the east coast, NYC DOT painted a lane right up to it.  After a brief exchange, ("Didn’t you see the bike lane?" "Didn’t you see my desk!?") it’s revealed the cyclist was busy reading Colbert’s "tweets for cyclists" all of which are reminders that cyclists look stupid in spandex.

While Colbert’s humor is absurdest, there is a hidden reminder that cyclists are a heck of a lot more exposed on the street than car drivers.  When a driver misses a signal because he’s distracted, he not only has thousands of pounds of steel protecting him, he also has a defense system built into the car.  When a cyclist makes the same mistake, he has no such protections.  Maybe that’s why I’ve never actually seen someone texting while riding their bicycle and I saw two people texting while driving just on my way to the store this morning.

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