For years cyclists have been complaining about the dangers of cell phone use while driving, and finally lawmakers in various states are passing laws banning hand held cell phone use and texting.
California is one of those states, and now there is a proposed bill there to extend the ban on cell phone use to cyclists. Why not, was my first reaction; because I am a cyclist I don’t use a cell phone when driving. To do so would make me the worst kind of hypocrite.
So why would I use a cell phone while riding my bike? I find I need my full attention on the road ahead, not to mention both hands on the handlebars. Also the need to keep an eye on what everyone else is doing; I cannot afford the distraction of using a cell phone.
So imagine my surprise when I read a piece titled, “Why Are Cyclists Included in Distracted Driving Bill?” The argument is that a car driver is more of a danger to other road users than a cyclist; I’ll agree with that but even a dog running into the street is a potential hazard.
How can a cyclist complain about drivers of automobiles using cell phones, when cyclists are doing the same? It just doesn't look good.
It is the same issue as cyclists running red lights. It is not whether this is a danger to other road users, it is one of how does this appear?
It smacks of special rights for cyclists; I don’t need special rights, I just equal rights.
I want to be able to ride my bike on the public highway, without harassment, or endangerment from others who should be paying attention.
Can anyone explain to me a situation where a phone call is so important that a cyclist can’t pull to the side of the road, stop and take it?
In other words, why does a cyclist need to talk on the phone and ride his/her bike at the same time? And if this is the case why are cycling advocates getting their bicycle shorts in a twist over this issue.
What are your views?