The Texas Department of Transportation has given the City of San Antonio $276,000 of federal money to fund a bicycle safety campaign as a part of the current “Get Cyched” advertisements. The money will be managed by San Antonio’s Office of Environmental Policy.
Texas law grants motorists and cyclists the same rights. Many people, however, misunderstand the current regulations that dictate how everyone on the road must follow.
Motorists often become angered by bikes on the road because they slow down the flow of traffic. The problems, however, are not one-sided. Many cyclists feel that they are immune to road rules. They frequently run stop signs, fail to make turn signals, and ride in the dark without lights. The new campaign will address these problems.
The advertising program, however, will have more hurdles to overcome than simply letting people on the road know what rules they have to follow. As biking has become a popular alternative to using gas-guzzling cars, trucks, and SUVs, many motorists find themselves outraged by the increasing number of bikes on the road. This can lead to a type of road rage directed solely at cyclists.
That rage is somewhat understandable. After all, who hasn’t felt frustrated while stuck behind a bike? Even residential roads have speed limits that are higher than most cyclists can reach. This creates an angering situation for motorists who suddenly find themselves stuck in an unexpected delay. This problem is further exacerbated on large roads. Spotting a biker who runs stop signs, rides on the wrong side of the road, and commits other flagrant violations of the law makes many drivers angry beyond belief.
Forcing cars to slow down could create traffic nightmares in congested cities, which could lead to more accidents and angry outbursts.
This may be the only situation where “separate but equal” works well. Creating a designated bike lane on popular roads could solve many problems. San Antonio’s advertising campaign, however, should help ease problems on the road at least a little bit by educating more people about the law of the road.