Can you help settle an intra-spousal argument? What’s the legal position on cyclists who ride their bikes into oncoming traffic? I get the logic that they can see cars coming better, but shouldn’t they be required to follow the rules of the road like everyone else?
Auntie’s answer: I am always happy to resolve disagreements and hope that my response today is the end of this particular argument for you and your spouse. The issue of bicyclists and following the rules of the road has come up before in this column (see Cyclists and obeying the Traffic Law and Drinking and riding a bicycle).
As with those other questions, the important point is that whether you are driving a car or riding a bicycle, the same rules apply: You are required to follow the Traffic Law and will be liable for the offences contained therein if you don’t.
Basically, that means as cars legally (and illegally) go, so do bicycles. As a few examples, cyclists cannot go through red lights, cannot ride when under the influence of alcohol and can certainly not travel on the wrong side of the road.
I, like you, can acknowledge the reasons why bicyclists may prefer riding against traffic. However, as many drivers have all too often experienced, turning into the road to find a cyclist unexpectedly coming at you from the wrong way is, not to put too fine a point on it, a deadly accident waiting to happen.