On Friday afternoon, 73-year-old bicyclist William Thomas was riding near 9 th and Central when a
motorist passed him, pulled over to the side of the road, got out of his car, and attacked the bicyclist in
what appears to be a fit of road rage.
The full details of the story are available via WLFI. If a pedestrian were attacked for daring to cross the street, would that be “road rage?” And if a person climbed onto a bus and attacked the driver and riders because the bus stopped in front of him, would that be “road rage?”
What is most disturbing about this incident – as well as the media coverage and comments – is the insinuation that this was somehow the fault of cyclists. The police officer reported that some motorists “don’t agree” with the law, that bicycles belong in the road. And comments submitted by community members below the article have shown that some Lafayette residents believe that bicyclists who obey this law are being insensitive to the preferences of motorists.
There are many forms of transit, and a car is only one of them. According to the law, bicycles are considered vehicles and are supposed to be in the street. Riding on the sidewalk would only endanger pedestrians. Like busses, bicycles are a much greener, healthier, and more economical mode of transportation…especially with gas at nearly four dollars.
Lafayette residents should watch for bicycles on the roads and treat them with the same respect as other motorists, pedestrians, and anyone else who has the right to share the road. More information on safely sharing the road with cyclists is available at Bicycle Indiana and Bicycle Lafayette.