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Mailbag: Drivers, cyclists need to obey traffic laws

September 26, 2012
  • A visitor pauses at the Ghost Bike memorial site on for Dr.Catherine "Kit" Campion Ritz, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Newport Coast Drive, Saturday.
A visitor pauses at the Ghost Bike memorial site on for… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

Re. "State report: Newport rates high in bike accidents," (Sept. 22):

As a motorist, I would like to make a few comments. Since one of the cyclists killed last week was my beloved doctor of 30 years, this is a subject near to my heart, but in no way is meant to imply that she was anything but an innocent victim.

However, cyclists in general need to take some of the responsibility for the increased amount of accidents. The very long article on this subject had but one very brief mention of cyclists having some training before getting a license. We motorists are told we are to share the road, and that is fine.

But then shouldn't it follow that cyclists share and obey the traffic laws? When was the last time you have seen a cyclist stop at a stop sign? They are much more apt to sail right through. They usually stop at signals, however, but not at red lights when they are turning right.

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Motorists are required at a red light to come to a full stop to check oncoming traffic. Then, if it is clear, we can make a right turn. Many times I have done just that, only to have a cyclist come out of nowhere, having not stopped.

Also, when there are cyclists riding together, the single-file rule does not seem to apply. Recently, on 22nd Street in Costa Mesa, a group of male cyclists, obviously old enough to know better, were riding four abreast down the middle of the street. Traffic both ways had to come to a complete stop.

When I rolled down my window and asked it they had ever heard of single file, they immediately got into that formation. They had been totally unaware of the fact they were blocking both lanes. So, suffice to say, let's put a hold on demanding more and more from motorists until cyclists decide to do their part by obeying existing traffic laws.

Gail Perkins

Costa Mesa

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Newport Beach drivers

In Newport Beach, if you're not in a car and are near the roadway, you're not safe. Folks around our town drive like banshees, and as if they're in a private road race.

"What are you doing in my way?" "I'm late — out of the way!" "Gotta go to the bathroom, bad!" "I'm on the phone, so look out!"

The bicycles on the road can act carefree and downright arrogant. Our Police Department has had its share of traffic motorcycle accidents. Maybe the healthy movement is putting more folks on the road and off the couch, otherwise when mixed with these "risk areas," more accidents will occur.

So do we compare this to The Wedge, as just another potential city killer, a "Newport Beach potential death zone." Perhaps a few signs cautioning folks taking it to the streets would work. How about, "Use extreme caution on Newport roads; death or injury to self or others, may result without any warning!" Or "Please use safe driving discretion and common sense."

Randy Seton

Newport Beach

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