Monday, July 10, 2017

Natchez Trace Incident

      By now everyone has seen the Go-Pro video of the bicyclist being hit on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Everyone familiar with TN Traffic Laws says the bicyclist was LEGALLY "in the right." Frequently, victims of road rage are only exercising their legal rights.  
     However, the video also suggests that the bicyclist was in violation of good sense and basic courtesy.  It would have saved the bicyclist a lot of pain and time to have simply moved over as far to the right as practical (another TN Traffic statute) and given the motorist plenty of room to pass.
     About a decade ago this lane hogging behavior caused the Williamson County Commission to pass, on first reading, an ordinance banning bicyclists from country roads.  Fortunately, cooler heads and pleading by the president of a very large bicycle club stopped the ordinance from passing.  A similar situation occurred about the same time in Rutherford County. Again, identical remedial action saved the roads for bicyclists.
     The last thing I want is a motorist taking out his rage on me or on my riding buddies for another bicyclist's bad behavior, no matter how legally "in the right" that other bicyclist was.  Also, never engage with motorists who are ignorant of your "bicycle rights." It only elevates the problem.  Ride defensively.  Priority #1 is your own safety.
     Here is a list of the critical laws when bicycling in a Federal Park
https://www.nps.gov/natr/planyourvisit/safety-guidelines-fro-bicyclists.htm 

  • Ride single-file (that's the law in federal parks) and on the right (with traffic).
  • While bicyclists may use the entire lane when necessary, the Parkway encourages bicyclists to ride as far to the right as is practicable unless
  •    - it is unsafe to do so
       - the bicyclist is passing another bicyclist or pedestrian or
  •    - the bicyclist is preparing for a left-hand turn.
  • 1 comment:

    coastdownhills said...

    Bicycling Maxim number 2. You are more like a possum than a Lexus.