Regarding an article by James Reed, who recommends new laws to protect bicyclists, what could best serve safety is having all bicyclists travel on the left side of the road. This stipulation would give bicyclists the advantage of observing all oncoming vehicles and maintaining a safe interval between them and others.
If anyone assumes all vehicle drivers are 100 percent focused on the road, they are seriously deluding themselves. Given the hazards of drivers using cell phones, texting, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (prescription or otherwise), and some drivers being just plain reckless or careless, to turn your back on these possible hazards is like playing Russian roulette.
Is it lawful for bicycles to travel with traffic? Yes. Is it safe? No. Our traffic bureaucrats and politicians pander to the bicyclists, who are adamant about riding with the traffic flow, for their support of votes. They want to pass even more laws putting both motorists and cyclists at unnecessary risks where motorists must intrude into the oncoming lane to avert a cyclist who swerves (for one reason or another) into the driving lane of traffic traveling 50 to 60 mph, which also can produce tragic outcomes.
Let us not lose sight of the fact the onus for the bicyclists' safety lies with themselves. Parents who allow their children to travel with bicycles on public roads with the flow of traffic - that is total irresponsibility.
If all bicyclists traveled into oncoming traffic, the death-accident rate could be halved or lowered even more. To those bicycle riders who wish to travel with the traffic flow and are injured or killed, one can only think of those sad, sad words - "if only."