Letter to the editor: Cyclists confront confusion when they use a crosswalk

Letter to the editor: Cyclists confront confusion when they use a crosswalk

Recently, it was reported that a boy had been hit by a motorist in a pedestrian crosswalk.

The motorist was ticketed for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. However, the ticket was rescinded because the boy was on a bicycle.

Apparently, it is not OK for a motorist to hit a pedestrian, but it is OK to hit a cyclist.

I am sure there is some logic to this argument, but the logic escapes me. Is the lesson to be learned that cyclists must dismount and walk their bicycles through every intersection? What is the logic there?

A cyclist who remains on the road like a car can ride through the intersection, but not if he comes off the sidewalk and proceeds through the crosswalk.

This logic is so nuanced that the first cop issuing the ticket didn’t understand it and cited the motorist. It then took a senior cop to change the charge.

If the police have trouble with the law, how is a young boy supposed to know?

Nor is this the first time this has happened.

A few years ago, a police officer on a bicycle was struck while riding through a crosswalk, and then she was charged by a senior officer.

It is ridiculous that you can cross a crosswalk legally on foot, but not on a bicycle. Because it is such a strange law, it is almost never obeyed. Nor is it enforced, until there is an accident.

This is not an issue in most North American cities any more, because most cities have bike lanes, which solve the problem by giving the cyclist an obvious and designated bit of real estate.

For the most part, Red Deer has a policy of keeping cyclists as far away from the road as possible.

Requiring cyclists to stop and walk their bicycles through every intersection is completely unfair and discriminatory.

The problem is not cyclists. The problem is infrastructure. Red Deer needs to come up with a solution.

John Johnston is a Red Deer County resident.

Editor’s note: Red Deer RCMP say that if cyclists walk their bikes on a crosswalk, they’re treated as a pedestrian. If they ride their bikes on a crosswalk they’re treated as a motorist, according to the Traffic Safety Act.

Letter to the Editor