Letter: Bicyclists are safer when riding on right

Bicyclists are safer when riding on right

To the editor:

The death of young Mary Wilk is a tragedy, but I do not agree with Patricia Spaniol that bicycling on the left side would be safer (letter, Aug. 4). Pedestrians can quickly step aside to avoid a collision and are safer on the left. Bicyclists move much faster than pedestrians, and a sudden move to the left — over a curb, onto loose gravel or onto a rough shoulder — could easily result in a loss of control and subsequent injury.

Another consideration is intersections. Automobile drivers stopping at an intersection look to their left for approaching traffic before making a right turn onto the other street. While we may agree that drivers should look both ways, many drivers taking a right turn at a stop sign don't even come to a complete stop, let alone look to their right. A bicyclist approaching an intersection on the left side of the road would be vulnerable to cars making a right turn into their path, with no time to react.

Side-view mirrors are available for bicycles and bike helmets. I use one on my handlebars to help me stay aware of cars coming up behind me.

I was taught to walk on the left and ride on the right. A childhood of riding on the right in city streets taught me how to deal with traffic and prepared me to drive an automobile safely.

Jimbo Doucette, Dalton


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions