LETTER TO EDITOR: Time to replace an outdated biking law?
When my children were young — just after the Jacob Wetterling incident — I instructed them that they were to ride their bicycles facing traffic, that way they would be able to tell if someone was slowing down in a van, etc. to whip open the door and snatch them off their bikes. They were threatened by the police in that town, receiving a citation because they were supposed to ride with the traffic. I told the police department that my children's safety was priority, and if they wanted to give us a ticket, they could, which never happened.
My question is is this an outdated law? Does this law prevent people from protecting their safety? Does it really bother people when you drive towards them? I am more paranoid when I am coming up on bicyclists who are riding with traffic and may not hear or know a car is coming up and may suddenly veer into traffic. This is exactly what had happened in the 1980s to some friends of mine. They were driving down the road and some teenagers were riding their bikes with the traffic, and suddenly they decided to cut across the road. The other teenagers stated they didn't hear any cars, so they did not look. It was a very quiet, tarred country road. One teen died. Thankfully, there were witnesses as to who really was at fault.
So I ask again, in this day and age of child abductions and human trafficking, shouldn't kids and adults be allowed to ride their bicycles on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic so they are aware of who is in their surroundings?