Spike in cyclist ticketing a response to pedestrian accidents - lsureveille.com: News

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Spike in cyclist ticketing a response to pedestrian accidents

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  • Bike Tickets

    A parking ticket sits on a bike outside Lockett Hall.

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:17 am

A recent spike in biking tickets on campus is attributed to an increase in pedestrian accidents, according to reports from the LSU Police Department.

In 2012, LSUPD reported 613 traffic crashes, 27 of which were bike or pedestrian-related accidents, said LSUPD Spokesman Capt. Cory Lalonde. Of the 27 accidents, 16 took place in the fall semester, Lalonde said.

Lalonde said LSUPD stepped up enforcement in November 2012 and handed out 51 traffic violations to cyclists between then and Monday.

After the increase in traffic citations, LSUPD reported one traffic accident with bikers or pedestrians since November, Lalonde said.

Stop sign violations accounted for 30 of the 51 cyclist citations, Lalonde said.

Noah Baldridge, English junior, was issued a $152 ticket on his bike while riding across a crosswalk.

“I saw a guy on a bike hit an SUV during spring testing, but since then I have witnessed no accidents,” Baldridge said. “There are some individuals who ride like idiots, but a cyclist is responsible for his or her actions. It would be wrong to villainize every bike rider for the poor decisions of the few.”

Landscape architecture junior Greg Dahlke said he believes the police are just handing out tickets and not trying to enforce the law.

“I got pulled over for turning at a yellow light,” Dahlke said. “The cop said it would be my fault if I got hit. And my friend got a ticket for riding a bike across a pedestrian crosswalk. People don’t want to ride bikes anymore — they are worried about getting tickets.”

Tammy Millican, director of communications for LSU Campus Sustainability, said her office is working closely with LSUPD and Parking, Traffic and Transportation to enforce bike safety rules.

“We do know that the number of bicyclists on campus is steadily increasing, and that’s a positive for LSU and the environment,” Millican said in an email.

Lalonde said bikers should obey the same traffic laws as cars, including traffic signals and stopping at pedestrian crosswalks.

LSUPD has more information about biker and pedestrian laws on its website, the LSUPD Facebook page and through broadcast emails, Lalonde said.

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  • Gherri1 posted at 8:42 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Gherri1 Posts: 1

    The simple fact of the matter is that cyclist aren't pedestrians, by law. I'm so glad that LSUPD is finally enforcing the law and holding cyclists accountable!

  • Patio posted at 8:14 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Patio Posts: 1

    In my opinion, not enough tickets are being issued. I say this because I STILL see cyclists , daily, riding on the sidewalks, riding in and thru the crosswalks, no signaling, racing thru the stop signs ( not even bothering to pretend to look for thru traffic nor even pretending to slow), racing around pedestrians with no verbal warnings , riding on the wrong side of the street, no lights, no reflectors etc. It's getting better but, IMHO, we aren't there yet. Please continue to ticket PROFUSELY until we see a much safer, respectful cyclist community. And please ticket me if you ever see me cycling in an unsafe, illegal, disrespectful manner......I have ridden IN THE STREET for almost 55 years now . If it's safe for me, others can get off the sidewalk, also.......or walk your bike on the sidewalk if you feel you are in an area where biking is unsafe....... It's not rocket science . Just MY take on the issue, your opinion may vary.

  • jb posted at 9:15 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    jb Posts: 54

    My gut reaction to these numbers is to become very angry. My bike has been my sole form of transportation for almost 3 years, so it may seem like I'm being singled out.

    All anger dissipates once I realize that 45/51 violations are basic stopping/direction laws. This is a step in the right direction.

    I'm still (mildly) bitter about the 6 tickets issues to those biking on the sidewalk. There is a massive power differential between cars and bikes, and with the two bicycle fatalities in Baton Rouge in 2012 alone it's perfectly reasonable to be intimidated and stick to the sidewalk. I personally NEVER bike on Perkins because it's a death trap. The same goes for River Road.

    So here's the deal, LSU PD: I'll stop taking shortcuts on the sidewalk once you start ticketing motorists for their offenses against cyclists. I can't tell you how many times I've been passed in a no-pass zone. The same goes for rolling through stop signs - I can't tell you how many collisions I've avoided by slamming my brakes to avoid motorists lurching too far into traffic after a "stop" sign. What about ticketing for turning without a signal? I realize that's a city-wide epidemic, but I've even seen LSU PD cars break this rule. Technically, cyclists should also be signalling, so ticket away!

    I'm very interested to know the recent ticketing statistics on vehicles and pedestrians since November, as well. Are motorists getting more tickets than usual? Are pedestrians being ticketed for jaywalking, crossing against the crosswalk sign, and walking through the street? It would be a shame if cyclists were unfairly singled out...

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