Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Running red lights

While we officially have three more weeks of autumn, my numb fingers from this morning's commute tell me that winter weather is officially here.  Winter makes for some frigid morning commutes and today it took 10 minutes for my fingers to thaw out before I could use a computer. 

When the mercury drops I tend to be more likely to treat stop signs as yield signs, and treat stop lights as stop signs.  Sometimes it is just too cold to wait for a light to change, and if there’s no traffic coming, I say “Why suffer?”  But don’t forget to check for police cars behind you before you run the light.  I made that mistake once and got this little memento to show for it:


Some states, including Idaho, allow cyclists to roll through stop signs and stop lights after yielding to other traffic, and if Representative Carol Spackman Moss gets her latest bill through the Utah Legislature, Utah cyclists will be finally be able to do it legally too.  There’s a good article about the bill here.

Moss’s reasoning:
If we want people to use bikes as alternative transportation, if we want this to be a bike friendly place, because people speak about Utah more and more and move here for recreational activities, we ought to make that something that we really focus on, making cycling safe.
Moss’s bill would make great strides in eliminating some of the hassles of bicycle commuting and likely would induce more people to commute if they weren’t required to come to a complete stop every block.  Sometimes the safest time to pass through an intersection is when the light is red and no cars are coming.  Think of running red lights and stop signs legally as rewards for good behavior that benefits us all. 

If you think this is a good idea, I suggest you call Representative Moss and tell her you support it, even if you don’t live in her district.  You should also call your own representative and urge her or him to support the bill.  Don’t know who your representative is?  Find out here