Share the road and the rules

June 16, 2014

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

Driving me crazy

 

There are some things that are just not worth worrying about; but I do. There are some things that I can never change; but I try. There are some things that need saying once in a while, just so I can maintain a little sanity.

 

My focus right now is on the use and misuse of Colorado’s streets, roads and highways.

 

Just for my own peace of mind, I recently confirmed that Colorado still produces the Driver Handbook. This is a small publication mostly intended for those who are either getting a driver’s license for the first time or renewing the one they have. I am guessing that very few of those renewing have looked at this book for many years.

 

First of all, I want to call attention to Section 12 of the manual, Sharing The Road, and in particular sharing it with bicycles. You see, I am more than happy to share the road. I just want the bicyclists to share the traffic laws.

 

In this section we learn that, “Motorists must be on the lookout for cyclists and anticipate sudden and unexpected moves from them.” We are also told that, “Bicycles travel in the same direction as motor vehicles and are entitled to the full lane when traveling at the normal speed of traffic.” If we refer to Section 16, we find that bicycles are legitimate forms of transportation and considered vehicles and that bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists. We also learn that those bicyclists can be ticketed for not obeying traffic laws. Yeah right!

Ask your local police officer how many tickets he or she has issued to bicycle riders lately. I will let you ponder the rest of Section 16. The entire manual is available as a PDF from www.colorado.gov.

 

So, on to my next point of contention when it comes to traffic laws and regulations: Right of way. That same manual describes in detail the concept of right of way and explains that the law requires who must yield and does not give anyone “right of way.” I will guarantee that there is no instruction in this section (10.2) that tells anyone to stop at a four-way stop sign and start waving other people on, when those others are merely trying to obey the law and yield according to safe driving practices. More often than not, those doing all that waving are doing it from behind a tinted windshield where other drives can, depending on the lighting, barely see what all the motion is about. Sometimes I think maybe there should be a required sticker on the sun visor, along with the seatbelt and airbag notices, which includes the right of way rules of the road. That way some of these so-called drivers could flip down the visor and refer to the proper rule. Even with that diversion, traffic would probably move more smoothly.

 

I was going to talk about “bump-outs” and “round-abouts,” but that just adds to my mental decline. Maybe another time.

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2014

 

 

 

 

 

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