Road Wars: How motorists and cyclists can best share the road -


Road Wars: How motorists and cyclists can best share the road

As more people are bicycling, there is a battle to share the road. Whether you're a motorist or a cyclist, there are some tips you should know on how to navigate the battleground that is the road.

In the United States, we're a car culture. But today, more people are bicycling for transportation and for health – creating a war to share the road between motorists and cyclists.

Los Angeles County is one area of the country where the problems have gotten to the point where officials launched a campaign to educate both drivers and cyclists. Lieutenant Alan Hamilton said that he has people that aren't aware that per the vehicle code you have to share the road. "Everyone, pedestrians, cyclists, people on motorcycles, vehicles, they all have a responsibility to operate safely."

Hamilton says just like motorists, not all cyclists operate safely.

"A lot of times the bicyclists just don't obey the rules of the road. They just seem to think they have some sort of priority," says driver Janice.

Josef Bray-Ali, a leading bicycling advocate, says, "There's a lot of ignorance in general about how to safely conduct yourself on the right of way. I see car drivers and cyclists doing crazy dangerous things to shave 2 seconds off of their time. I think the main problem quite specifically doesn't necessarily have to do with motorists or cyclists as individuals but the way our streets are planned or designed."

He continued to say that, "In Amsterdam they've taken bicycles as a means of transportation seriously and that's a big gap in America. We decided to go in the opposite direction and what we're looking at now are a lot of hard realities."

Because our cities aren't bike friendly, Josef says every cyclist should install turning signals on their bike.

He also recommends cyclists obey traffic laws. Always ride in the direction of traffic and don't wear earphones so you can hear cars. Drivers need to stay at least 3 feet away from a bicyclist when they're together on the road. 

You should also slow down when riding next to cyclists, be careful opening car doors and yield to cyclists when turning. The most important tip is to remember that we all have equal rights and equal responsibility. If we do that, perhaps we can reduce the number of heated confrontations.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved. 

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