I am the woman who lay sprawled on Mountain Avenue last week Ä briefcase, eyeglasses, computer and much around me Ä after a bicycle ran into me and knocked me down. I had been walking within the painted crosswalk when I noticed that one bicyclist was less than a half block away. But since the cars were slowing to allow me to pass, I thought he would, too. We were both much closer to each other when I recognized that he could not, would not, stop.
My eyeglasses and computer were undamaged and my bruises and abrasions are fading fast. I do not seem to have suffered a concussion. I was very lucky, as my 58-year-old bones might have healed rather slowly. As far as I know, the bicyclist, (whom I would not know by sight), was able to continue to classes. So we were both lucky.
Since it's obvious that the consequences could have been much more serious, I won't belabor the point. Also I recognize that to step off a curb at 7:45 a.m., knowing what I do about our early morning "Tour d'Tucson," probably amounts to contributory negligence on my part. Rather than following any one set of regulations, bicyclists around UA seem to function in a perpetual confusion of identity: are they vehicles or pedestrians? In the absence of certainty they cut a swathe right out of the middle: they ride as they please.
The Student Discount Handbook carries this information: "Traffic Laws Apply to Bicycles. Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway or shoulder is granted all rights, and is subject to all the duties, of the driver of a vehicle." The fine for unsafe movement is $66, which doesn't even come close to the cost of an emergency room visit.
Therefore, bicyclist: if you find that you consistently rush to classes, don't ride faster, start sooner! You could save us both a lot of trouble and expense.
Sharan A. Bennett
Second-Year Law Student
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