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Cyclists subject to more traffic citations

It may seem like a small violation. You are bicycling through town with your friends when you fail to stop at a traffic signal or stop sign. After all, no one else is on the road, and bicycles are not subject to the same rules as cars - right? Kansas City area law enforcement agencies would beg to differ with that argument, as an increasing number of cyclists find themselves facing citations for criminal activity on the streets. In one instance, local officers in Prairie Village were lying in wait for a cycling club whose members were known to ignore traffic signals. A whopping 26 riders received tickets for allegedly cycling through a stop sign after area residents submitted complaints.

Authorities say cyclists should realize that they not only have the same rights as drivers on the road, but they also share the same responsibilities. Even though local police departments have attempted to emphasize the importance of traffic safety among the increasing number of cycling groups, their attempts have not been met with success. Now, officers are choosing to enforce the laws instead of simply warning about them, an environment that could spell trouble for cyclists who ignore the rules of the road.

Representatives from area riding clubs say they are taking the citations seriously and are urging their members to proceed with caution while cycling. The importance of cycling safety is emphasized by the relatively recent death of a juvenile rider in the area who was struck by a vehicle when he ran a stop sign. That child later died because of injuries suffered during the crash.

Even though bike riders may not think they are vulnerable to criminal citation and charges because of their actions, officers reserve the right to preserve public safety by enforcing the rules. Cyclists throughout the region should be aware that an increased law enforcement presence could lead to a $100 fine. Attorneys can help cyclists understand more about their rights and responsibilities in court if they are facing legal action.


Source: 
www.kansascity.com, "Prairie Village police crack down on bicyclists who break traffic laws" Matt Campbell, Aug. 23, 2013

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