Disclaimer: I am critical of our current system of traffic controls. The U.S. could be doing better. But we have a system. We know what it is. And until we come up with something better, all road users are obligated to follow the system we have.
How hard is it for a bicyclist to stop at a stop sign or red light?
Really. How hard?
Answer: Not hard at all. I know this because I 1) Ride a bicycle everyday in traffic, and 2) I stop at all stop signs and red lights.
Now I acknowledge that there may be a few, limited circumstances in which stopping is not appropriate or not safe. I can’t think of any examples at the moment, but I’ll bet a few Carbon Trace readers can.
That said, for the most part (and with the acknowledgement above), I believe failure to yield to proper traffic controls — e.g. stop signs and traffic lights — is a failure of morals. It is a declaration that the person failing to stop is simply too damned important to be inconvenienced by such trifles. (Note: I do not accept the typical excuse that it is somehow difficult to stop in terms of cycling efficiency. That’s just a silly excuse to run stop signs springing from the hegemony of sport cycling in our culture.)
Do you protest?
Let’s just ask Dionette Cherney what she thinks about the need for bicyclists to follow traffic laws.
Oh, wait. We can’t ask her because she just died because a bicyclist ran a red light and hit her causing a head injury.
Even if there were no laws governing traffic, even if there were no orders of right-of-way, bulling ahead without regard for the safety of others would still be wrong.