Police in Prairie Village, Kansas recently launched an offensive against bicyclists who don’t stop at stop signs in their community:
A group of 17 bicyclists were written tickets for failing to stop at a stop sign, all at the same time.
Prairie Village police have cracked down on a group of bicyclists they had warned about following traffic rules. Police said they had tried to educate and warn the riders in several groups of bicyclists in recent months.
On Aug. 13, 17 bicyclists from a much larger group were stopped when they allegedly ran a stop sign at 79th Street and Belinder. Police said the entire group of bicyclists numbered over 30.
“All laws apply equally to cyclists, as well as vehicles,” Prairie Village Police Chief Wes Jordan said. Jordan said that they wanted the bicyclists to work with officers, but once they continued to not follow traffic laws, officers had to react. [read more]
(There’s a video accompanying the article, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be embeddable…)
It’s no secret that some bicyclists run stop lights (as do some motorists), but sometimes it takes a crackdown such as this to get people’s attention, and to pound home the message that if you break the law, you shouldn’t be surprised to get a ticket.
If you’d like top avoid a citation (and the accompanying costs — reportedly $95 per ticket — plus possibly a hit on your driver’s license, which could affect insurance costs), here’s the thing to do: Come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Just stop. Unclip. Put a foot down. Cease movement.
Slowing down and doing a “rolling stop” doesn’t count. And there’s no such thing as a “group stop” — each bicycle must stop separately. If the cyclists at the front of a group stop, but the cyclists in the rear keep rolling, that’s a violation.
Yes, it’s an inconvenience. Yes, it means your “average speed” takes a hit. Yes, perhaps a cyclist doing a slow roll is nearly as safe as a cyclist doing a full stop. And yes, we’re only stopping because that’s the letter of the law.
But so what? It’s just not that hard to stop, and none of us are really in that big of a hurry.
Now, are the police targeting motorists who blow stop signs as well?
By the way, there was one important sound bite from the video that didn’t make the article: “Police say the majority of cyclists in the area do follow the rules.”
See, we can do this…