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Jim Luippold: Outraged by bicyclist’s disregard of safety in Route 9 riding

To the editor:

I was taken aback reading about the arrogance and stupidity of the bicyclist who has brought a harassment case against the Hadley Police Department. This 36-year-old man, and apparently avid cyclist, must know the rules of the road and one of them is to always keep to the right when in traffic.

The idea that he has challenged this is absurd, considering that if he is allowed to ride in the center of a lane, then all cyclists should have the option to follow suit.

I think area police officers should take a more proactive stance on giving tickets to cyclists who are not obeying the rules of the road. I constantly see cyclists cycling on the wrong side of the road, riding double or triple on back roads, not wearing helmets, cycling at night with no lights or reflectors and not stopping at crosswalks but cycling through intersections without looking.

What with the increased traffic in the area, something needs to be done to educate cyclists on the rules of the road. Apparently a judge had to rule on riding to the right. How sad and what a waste of time for the court system and the Hadley police force.

Bravo to Hadley police officers for enforcing good bicycle safety!

Jim Luippold



Judge rules on bicyclists' right to road; long-running Hadley bicycle harassment case moves to trial

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

HADLEY — A federal magistrate has ruled that bicyclists must ride to the right of traffic unless safety issues dictate otherwise. That conclusion was reached in a 54-page decision released last month by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth P. Neiman in connection with a complaint brought in 2011 by bicyclist Eli Damon of Easthampton against the Hadley Police Department. Hadley police …

Legacy Comments7

Luippold never used the word "outraged", it was the Gazettes headline.

Haha! You know what's ironic? If they really did add that kind of needless hyperbole to his comment, that almost WOULD be just cause for outrage!

Please, can we not have this pointless old argument again? One person comments on how outraged they are by some infraction by a cyclist, and goes on to unload a general tirade against infractions by cyclists, somewhere, sometime. Then somebody responds by saying, no, the culprits are the car drivers, and recites some litany of sins committed by car drivers. Or the sinners are the police, whatever. Please. Yes, there are cyclists who ride badly. A small minority. And we all know there are drivers who drive badly. Also a minority. And, in general, the police do the best they can. Cars and bikes both have a right to be on the road, while trying not to interfere too much with each other. Let's just all take a deep breath and get along out there.

Mr. Luippold is right. Police should issue tickets to drivers (cyclists and motorist who are committing a traffic violation. In this case the police chose to threaten, intimidate and terrorize a cyclist who was traveling in compliance Massachusetts cycling statutes. I suggest Mr. L. read them sometime. It will help abate his outrage.

Our legislature continues to make laws that are... simply put, not enforceable. For example, 10,000$ fine for littering by the mass pike on ramp. Anyone get nabbed yet ? Look at the trash ! Txting and driving..just look around at the heads looking at their laps when you're driving,... it's already rampant. Stop signs, how many people REALLY stop? Only if they have to. These are abused every and all day long, everywhere..Just because we're a FREE nation people think they can do what they want and forget that you have a duty to your fellow man/woman to be a good citizen. It's the breakdown of the family. Once the foundation goes....well

I can understand annoyance, but "outrage?" If this is what passes for an "outrage" in Belchertown, it must be a pretty nice place to live.

AGREE 100%

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