I have this discussion a lot with friends and co-workers. Many car drivers point out that they see cyclists that roll through stop signs without coming to a full stop. Why don’t bicyclists stop at the STOP sign? I always mention that on my bike rides to work, I also see cars that roll through stop signs and only stop if they see someone coming. Sometimes that is too late. I guess it is not “cyclists” or “car drivers” it is just people. We all tend to take short cuts along our path in life. And sometimes the shortcuts catch up with us. Until it does, it is a nice shortcut.
I myself have tended to relax my ways over the years. Can’t I justify a roll through the stop sign if no one is around? When cars or people are around I want to stop (or track stand) to show I am a cyclist that obeys the laws. But with no one around, no one knows what I do, right?
Maybe not. Maybe the laws are there no matter what. I had to think about this the other morning as I did a slow roll through a stop sign since no one was around (and yes, this would bug the hell out of me if I saw a car do the same thing). But as I glanced both ways, I saw a police car further down the street. I slowed down enough I am sure, or did I, or did he see me? Now I was worried he may have seen me not fully stop. And that got me to thinking – why do I act different when a police car is around? I need to act the same way all the time. If I know it is wrong, why would I not stop every time? So, I am setting out to stop when I should stop and go when I should go. Wish me luck, I am not sure how long this will last!