Health advocate urges calm when dealing with other road users, safety issues

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Your column and blog has recently hosted a string of letters and comments regarding negative interactions between bicyclists, motorists, pedestrians, and wheelchair users. I would like to step back and give some big-picture perspective to the issue at hand. The roadways are intended for many types of users. Whenever there are a variety of users with different needs traveling at different speeds, all users should try to be sensitive to each other and exercise extra caution. Bicyclists and pedestrians are more vulnerable than motorists. Both the bicycle and pedestrian networks should be usable for people of all ages and abilities, and everyone has the right to expect sidewalks and bicycle lanes/routes to be in good condition. Deficiencies or gaps in the bicycle and pedestrian networks can be reported using a Bike . These forms will be updated later this summer to include an option for people to load photos of the issue and pinpoint the location on a Google map. Try to understand and be patient with other users' experiences rather than blame and get angry. One observed incident is not representative of the behavior of an entire group. Many accidents are the result of one or all involved parties insisting on the right-of-way. Modes of travel can be obstructed at any time for any number of reasons. We should all practice taking a deep breath and looking beyond the immediate situation and respond in a safe, courteous manner. Even if it means giving up the right-of-way. It's not worth the risk of injury or death of a fellow road user to do otherwise. Sarah Harmon, MPH, Health Educator, Traffic Safety Programs, Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency A: Thank you.
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One Response to Health advocate urges calm when dealing with other road users, safety issues

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would agree with most of what Ms. Harmon has stated, with one exception.nnThe statement of abilities.u00a0 If a pedestrian does not ensure their safety by being sure that it is OK to cross or realize their responsibility in this, then there is nothing a cyclist or motorist can do when a pedestrian crosses immediately in front of them or in the middle of traffic or wears all black at night.u00a0 Cyclists, regardless of ability, must realize that they must adhere to California Vehicle Code to ensure their and others’ safety.u00a0 If they do not know or adhere to these rules, then they should not be allowed to cycle.u00a0 Motorists, being the heavier vehicle has the greater responsibility and has to at least pass practical and written tests to obtain a driver’s license.u00a0 However, motorists cannot be held liable when faced with those who don’t know the law or refuse to acknowledge it and their responsibility to it and behave against their own safety.u00a0 nnIt’s common sense, but unfortunately, we have not reached the point where we require cyclists and pedestrians to have full knowledge and execution of safety rules of the road.

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