Georgia On My Mind

By Ben Bull
Published July 05, 2007

If the 'car drivers own the road' argument needed any more reinforcement (and doesn't it always?), a feisty letter in today's Ottawa (GA) Citizen goes a long way to putting the record straight.

"According to the Georgia Code, bicyclists have a legal right to operate a bicycle on Georgia roads. That legal right is spelled out in many sections including 40-6-290, 40-6-291,and 40-6-294," writes Fayette, GA resident Wesley Walker.

The letter is in response to a previous writer, who complained about spandex wearing cyclists blocking her way and stated, "I have a right to the road and you do not - I will only share the road with another tax-paying vehicle."

Sound familiar? For some reason we hear a lot of this on RTH and, to be honest, I don't know where it comes from.

"Whether you like it or not," continues Walker, "you (car drivers) do not have the authority to exclude bicycles from our state or local roads. That is a right guaranteed by the law. With that right also comes recourse when that right is violated."

One wonders how many more times this point will have to be made before everybody gets it.

(On an unrelated note, RTH readers may wish to know what the hell I was doing browsing the Ottawa, Georgia Citizen during my work days. Well, what can I say - I was bored. :)

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.

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By Councilwatch (anonymous) | Posted July 06, 2007 at 23:22:48

All people have a "right" to travel on roads, just so long as they do not impede or endanger the safety of others. However it is not an uncommon habit for cyclist to switch from one road to another and often endanger the safety, or even life, of pedestrians. Example, on approaching a red light, often a cyclist will switch to pedestrain crossing and then back on to the route he has just left. Unlike automobile users, cyclists carry no liability insurance and any pedestrian being hit from this practice may suffer long term injury with the only means of compensation for loss of employment coming from his own resources. Suing the cyclist is futile since he has already demonstrated his level of irresponsiblity.

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