Freeman Cebu Sports

Let Bicycles be

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

Last week, a local radio host put up a poll on an a social media page, after a some folks allegedly complained about cyclists who don’t follow traffic rules. To paraphrase, the question went like this: would you agree to ban bicycles on national highways?

Article 1, Section V of RA 4136 prohibits “motor vehicles and trailers of any type” not registered with the LTO from using highways. Although bicycle are not specifically mentioned, it didn’t stop the Consultants of the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board to ban bicycles from crossing the bridge last year. The reason? Suicide prevention. Fortunately, the ban was lifted on Sept 13, 2019.

And now, here is this silly, no, stupid, call for a poll. I say stupid since smart people make silly mistakes, only stupid people does stupid things.

Now, it can’t be denied that there are cyclists who think that they are above the law and act as if the roads are extension of their living rooms. They are the same minority cyclists who make the majority look bad. Ergo, we ban them?

Now, what if some cyclists are going to make a complain about a few abusive drivers of buses, jeeopneys, private cars, motorcycles, armoured cars, trailers or dumptrucks, who don’t follow the traffic rules- are we going to ban them, too?

Look, the bicycle is a flimsy mode of transportation. A song gust of wind can easily blow off a cyclist passing by the Marcelo Fernan Bridge. The cyclist basically is riding naked, with only a helmet made of styrofoam as their main tool of protection. What makes you think that that majority of cyclist would risk our lives to meet a 4000lb of moving metal?

A few years ago, a car driver made a video of two cyclist riding side by side going up to Busay. Driver complained of this abusive cyclist, who was riding at 5kph, riding on the middle of the road, delaying him. Probably delayed him for no more than 60sec and he wished the authorities would do something about it. Now, what if he was in the middle of Mandaue, 530pm on a Friday, stuck in traffic for more than an 60min. Would he had complained so loudly on FB about the 0kph traffic that was in front his car for that amount of time?

Of course not.

These days, bicycles and cyclists are the new whipping boys of the road. I can’t understand why there is so much venom when it comes to somebody on a bike. Is it jealousy that we can move around faster than their cars?

Another driver said on FB that he lost his respect for a cyclist he didn’t know, after the cyclist didn’t stop on two red lights. To think that the cyclist was in a complete gear, he added. Why, are cyclist the only road users who run red lights and in proper gear? If this is the line of thought, and applied to all road users, he’d be friendless until he dies.

Please remember that 9/10 bicycle commuters in Cebu use their bicycles to work. Think about that. Also, bicycles are not toys, who don’t belong on the road. Of course, impatient people don’t understand that and they blame bicycles for their tardiness and their level of respect for others.

There’s no need for a poll. What we need is effective enforcement of the traffic rules.

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