Letter: Blake's Law isn't the answer for bicyclists to be safe
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To the editor:
In reference to “Blakes Law,” the story in the March 23, 2022, Echo Press says, “She said Blakes Law would require bicyclists to ride on the other side of the road so they can see oncoming traffic.” That puts bikes and walkers in the same category. At present, walkers must step to the side if a close encounter happens. Easy for a walker to do that.
Different situation for a bike. For a bike, leaving the pavement can spell disaster. It can tip you right when the motorist is going by close. For the bike to be safe, he would have to have his speed at a crawl for every car he met.
At present, the motorist legally must clear you by at least 3 feet. They can adjust their speed as they approach from behind so they should not have to pass in a dangerous manner. If need be, they can slow to your speed and follow until safe to pass. Truly professional drivers such as UPS and FedEx, in spite of always being in a hurry, have absolutely never given me a close call. (We appreciate you guys and gals!)
If bikes are forced to face traffic, it would be impossible to adjust speed during approach or fall in behind the bike. The closing speed would be quite high with the bikes speed added rather than subtracted from the motorist’s speed.
Last year, these 70-year-old bones put over 4,000 miles on bicycles. Much was on roads. I hate those close calls as much as the next guy. But I do not believe “Blakes Law” is the answer. Being as visible as possible from behind is still the best safety.