Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The shame of a cycling scofflaw

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Potentially dangerous vehicles traverse the Esplanade Riel in Winnipeg.

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Potentially dangerous vehicles traverse the Esplanade Riel in Winnipeg.

Letter writers Dave Hall (Drivers on a power trip, May 27) and Robert Froese (Supporting cyclists, June 5) are both mistaken in their analysis of the reasons cyclists are maligned or treated as unworthy users of city streets.

Cyclists are traffic scofflaws. They must be, given the recent campaign to nab the errant two-wheel public menaces blithely running stop signs. Bicycles fall under the provincial Highway Traffic Act and, as vehicles, clearly pose a serious safety threat to the other users of our pothole-filled streets. How else can one explain $200.83 tickets for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign?

On May 15, members of the Winnipeg Police Service picked off law-breaking cyclists failing to come to a complete stop at the stop sign on Wolseley and Furby.

I was among the fish shot in the barrel. It's true; I didn't come to a complete stop, and I believe it is also true that I posed an unimaginable threat to the rear of the pickup truck making a right turn in front of me. Had the driver known what danger he narrowly escaped, he would have needed sedation.

If public safety is the prime objective of the provincial Highway Traffic Act, or even a minor one, ought not the punishment reflect the degree of public danger posed by the offence?

I apologize to the pickup driver for causing him what must have been a traumatic fright. Fellow cyclists, until we all become as law-abiding users of our streets as motorists, we cannot expect them to welcome us or even tolerate us.

WAYNE FERGUSON

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 7, 2013 A12

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