Laws can’t help everyone |

Laws can’t help everyone

Jim Cameron
Vail, CO, Colorado

Being a seasonal resident, I just learned of Colorado’s new bicycle law. Without commenting on the controversy this law has caused, I would like to share a scary experience I had several years ago involving my car and a bicyclist.

I was eastbound traveling North Frontage Road between the West Vail roundabout and Aria. There was a major social cycling event going on, and that stretch of frontage road was filled with eastbound cyclists, some four abreast across the eastbound lane.

I had slowed to about 30 to 35 mph. There was no oncoming traffic, so my car was centered over the center line on the road to avoid the cyclists.

Upon approaching a group of riders extending pretty far into my car lane,

a young female rider suddenly lost control and fell directly into the path of my car.

I instinctively yanked my steering wheel to the left. The last I saw of the young rider’s helmeted head, it was disappearing under the right side of my front hood. I didn’t feel my car running over anything, and my intense fear of having killed someone was alleviated by seeing the rider picking up her bike in my rearview mirror. My adrenaline spiked, and so did my heart rate. I was a nervous wreck for several hours after this.

I stopped, and a rider coming up behind me said she was OK and that it wasn’t my fault. Wasn’t my fault? I am really happy to hear that it wasn’t my fault that she lost control and fell in front of my car.

I haven’t read the complete cycling law now in effect, but my experience tells me that responsible laws can help reduce injuries and deaths, but common sense on the part of motorists and cyclists will be a better solution to a potentially bad situation.

There are those who live their lives with heads up, paying attention and anticipating the events going on around them on a daily basis. These are the motorists and cyclists who avoid lethal contact with one another. Then there are those self-absorbed types, often immersed in cell-phone conversation and totally clueless as to what is transpiring around them.

Laws help, but the self-absorbed will always be such.

Jim Cameron


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