Friday, October 3, 2008

YDN Op-Ed: University, city must take responsibility for bicycle safety

Letter by Samuel Sims here: http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/25524

As a former student at the extremely bicycle-friendly University of Oxford, England (Oxford city center is largely closed to cars and dominated by bicycles — 2007 statistics show that 19 percent of Oxford commuters ride a bicycle to work), I recall frequent police initiatives whereby cyclists riding in darkness without lights were given a $60 fine, which was revoked upon the presentation of a receipt for the purchase of appropriate lights to local police within 48-hours of the offence – a highly commendable policy given that one Oxford University student a year on average over the past two decades has been killed as a result of a bicycle collision with a car. Surely Yale must act more responsibly to aid in accident prevention before it is too late.

Within the existing atmosphere of ignorance towards cycling safety in the city, the occurrence of accidents and associated fatalities are simply a matter of time. Therefore, as the driving force behind this proposed change in attitude towards the relative merits of two wheels over four, the University, in conjunction with the police, must surely take responsibility for educating its staff and students appropriately – a task with which it is currently falling dangerously short.

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