The following letter to the editor was published in the Arizona Republic Jun. 1, 2010, under the heading “Bicyclists should ride facing traffic“:
Once again, it has happened – another bicyclist run down. This time an 8-year-old girl is in serious condition.
I want to know why the law hasn’t been changed to have bicyclists ride facing traffic so at least they can see if the car is being driven erratically, giving them a chance to avoid being hit. This type of accident will surely increase as warm weather approaches. I have lived here since 1959 and come from a state where this has always been the law – and I don’t remember any bicyclist being hit there.
This letter, of course, shows a profound misunderstanding of traffic safety, so Gene Holmerud, our VP of education, penned a short response letter that was published June 7:
Regarding Ms. Hilliard’s letter “Bicyclists should ride facing traffic”.
I am glad for the writer’s concern for the safety of cyclists and desire for cycling to be a legitimate mode of transportation in our state. The latest comprehensive study of bicycle crash and injury incidents shows only one-third involve a motor vehicle. Of those incidents that do involve a motor vehicle, the largest single category of causes is the error of riding against traffic, nearly five times the motorists’ error of being hit from behind.
The League of American Bicyclists and the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists present fact-based classes for cyclists and motorists on how to “Share the Road” safely and effectively. State laws are an important part of the program, none of which condone riding against traffic. We encourage participation in these classes.
Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists
League Cycling Instructor #1193