Friday, September 28, 2007


Traffic laws, like most all laws in practice, are relative. They are completely situationally dependent. I spent some time thinking about this on my ride home last night. What prompted such a random line of thought? Well, it's not so random actually. As a daily commuting cyclist I see motorists and cyclists alike egregiously violating traffic laws all the time. I'm sure many of the decisions I make while riding tick people off too. Last night though I saw a cop roll a stop sign right in front of me where I had the right of way. He didn't stop, slowed a bit, but accelerated right through. No lights or siren and it didn't seem that he was in a rush to get to some crime or accident scene. Now, he didn't come close to impeding me; I didn't even have to touch my brakes. But the issue I have is that he pulled his little stunt (which, as a cop, if he is wont to do he can get away with) in a loaded intersection. At least three other drivers saw him do it.

You don't have to hold a degree in psychology to get where I'm going with this. If the folks empowered to uphold the law break those same laws, what are the witnesses of such behavior bound to take away from the incident? I surmise they will subconsciously reinforce their own rogue beliefs that certain things like a seemingly random stop sign placed at a residential crossroads aren't really necessary to regard. Laziness begets more laziness -- that's the law of inertia. Thanks, Richfield patrol crossing 70th and Thomas yesterday at 4:10pm. I wish I'd have gotten your cruiser number. I hope you saw me give you the 'attaboy' arm gesture and shout 'WTF?!' in the direction of your rearview mirror. Way to lead by example.

No comments: