The report of bicyclists ticketed for stop sign violations on the High Trestle Trail have been met with concern by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. We believe this was an isolated incident that no parties wish to repeat. We know that strategies to harass and intimidate bicyclists are not effective in addressing real safety concerns.
Further, the Coalition supports law enforcement’s efforts to protect the safety of cyclists and motorists. We recognize that, overall, law enforcement officers have made a positive impact on bicycling. Iowa has received top marks on the Bicycle Friendly State rankings due to the training law enforcement officials receive.
Stop sign violations have long been a bicycling safety issue. The Iowa Code requires bicyclists to stop at stop signs on roadways, and failure to obey stop signs can have devastating consequences. Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable when crashes occur.
Yet, very few stop sign crashes involving bicyclists have been reported. Motorists hitting bicyclists from behind remain the bigger threat and distracted or drunk driving compound the occurrence of overtaking crashes.
To move forward, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition wants to see community, law enforcement and cyclists efforts focused on responsible and realistic actions to solve the real threats to the safety of bicyclists (and all traffic for that matter). Tactics that are used to intimidate bicyclists should not be tolerated.