Trenton’s Spinning Its Wheels Again

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

BicycleDid someone put something the drinking water of the Statehouse, Save Jerseyans? What is going on with our legislators?

Property taxes are going to continue to go up, and not one politician is willing to say “let’s sit down and see about getting some real tax relief for the citizens of this state.” Foreclosures, lost jobs, people leaving the state taking potential revenue with them and we have an Assembly that wants to prioritize… forcing motorists to give cyclists four feet of leeway.

Yes; if it becomes law, offending drivers would face fines of between $100 and $500.

Where does it ever stop with our legislators?

It’s hard to even understand the mechanics of this latest overreach. If bicycle riders do not obey the law, how do you pass a cyclist without breaking another law as you are forced to go over the double yellow line? Can they penalize you for NOT breaking a second law in order to obey a new one? And if a cyclist is in a 40 mph zone doing 8mph, is a motorist obligated to slow down for the 3-miles behind him or break the law to pass? The cyclist should then be ticketed for impeding the flow of traffic…. right?

Presumably, cyclists would be treated like any other vehicle on the road. That’s a curious development. Anyone that drives a vehicle with a motor must have a license, a registration and insurance. Cyclists do not have to pay the same fees as motor vehicle drivers.

I have seen cyclists traveling in large groups taking up the entire lane meant for motor vehicles. I’ve also witnessed cyclists riding two, three or more abreast, without any regard to vehicles behind them. Under the Operating Regulations, every person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall ride as near to the right roadside as practicable.

crooked roadWe’ve all been there. I have avoided early morning cyclists without any reflectors or lighting either on the bike or themselves. According to the New Jersey Bicycling Manual, regarding the topic of Lights on Bicycles, when in use at nighttime every bicycle shall be equipped with a front headlamp and a rear lamp. The manual also states that a cyclist take steps to enhance their visibility by wearing light, bright colored and/or reflective material.

Bicyclists must stop when crossing any highway or intersection, and a motor vehicle driver has to ascertain if that bicyclist is going to stop or try and get through the intersection.

For all practical purposes, Save Jerseyans we have bicyclists that either pay no attention to the New Jersey Bicycling Manual or probably never picked up the book to read it. It’s as if our Legislature is looking to place the onus on the motorist. The law needs to be enforced both ways. Right? Anyone can walk in a store and purchase a bicycle, but not everyone picks up a bicycling manual before they decide to ride one.

Bicyclists need to follow the rules of the road for their chosen mode of transportation, just the same as licensed drivers are expected to do.

Don’t get too excited, bicyclists. It won’t be long before our legislators, always looking for ways to raise revenues, eventually decide to require testing in order to ensure that a cyclist has read the manual. Then charge a fee, and issuing a cycling license to “verify” that the manual was read. Be careful what you wish for!

This is another bill that should go the way of the Runny Egg law and pedal its way out of town; there are more pressing issues in this state than effective control of highway shoulders.


2 thoughts on “Trenton’s Spinning Its Wheels Again

  1. Just like Washington…who focused on the Redskins’ name (guess they forgot about the Braves/Indians/etc.) New blood definitely

  2. Pat makes a valid point. But to add to it, legislators of all levels will never follow the rule of law or obey the will of the people until we stop treating them like rock stars. How many times have you seen this, a politician, even a local one, walks into the room and people go nuts and fawn over them. How many invitations have you received from your local party organization dangling an elected servant as the special guest? These people are our employees and need to be reminded of this more and more. Winning an election makes you a servant to the people, not our leader. Reagan said it best, government is the car and the people drive the car. Time to remember that and start acting on it.

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