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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: Bikers aren’t above the law

Bikes+are+stowed+on+racks+in+front+of+the+Academic+Building+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+18%2C+2023.+%28Photo+by+Chris+Swann%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Chris Swann/The Battalion

Bikes are stowed on racks in front of the Academic Building on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (Photo by Chris Swann/The Battalion)

Let me set the scene. I was driving to class in my Jeep. Lana Del Rey’s “A&W”  was blaring through my speakers as I approached the usual four-way stop I pass to get to my West Campus classes. Her sultry voice was belting the bridge, and it became my turn to proceed. As I sped up to turn left, a biker flew through the stop sign. I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting her, and she turned to me, gave me the dirtiest look and flipped me off.

What a peach — peach of crap, I mean.

I hate to break it to you sweetheart, but you’re in the wrong. It baffles me to this day that someone could get into a prestigious university such as this one but not understand simple road rules.

How many Aggies does it take to figure out how to function at a four-way stop? Obviously, more than two.

This has not been my first run-in with a biker who has little to no understanding of road rules. It’s actually a very common occurrence in Aggieland. With the staggering amount of wrecks our university has witnessed, we need to be safer on our already lethal roads.

So, my question to the bikers of College Station is: Did you know a bike has to follow all of the same rules as a car? If you said no, I’m not sure how you haven’t died in a fiery bike accident yet, or, at the very least, caused one. So, to the angel from heaven above that flipped me off, here are the bicycle rules of Texas A&M. Do us all a favor and open a book.

Not only are bikers maniacs on the roads, but they are maniacs on the sidewalks too. Did you know, if there is a bike lane, you shouldn’t bike on a sidewalk? For real? Are you serious? Yeah dude, it’s basic common sense. All drivers and pedestrians are begging you to gain a little bit of it. I have been almost run over by a bike walking on a sidewalk to class too many times to count.

Let me tell you, ringing your bell or shouting “left” isn’t going to help anyone if you’re biking at the speed of light. Are you telling me to move left, or you’re approaching from the left? Both situations have happened to me this year. I can’t react to your stupid bell and incoherent screaming in one second; you’ll have to give me at the very least four seconds to appropriately take shelter.

Hi-Yo Silver,” get away from me.

I’m being very harsh on the bikers, but seriously, you guys need to be more aware of your surroundings. These interactions have convinced me that I need to invest in a dashboard camera, and maybe you guys should get a bike camera.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a biker, though. It’s more economical and environmentally friendly than a car, but what I do have a problem with is the average irresponsibility seen in bikers. It is irresponsible to bike around College Station thinking you’re above the law.

Riding on your bike without knowledge of traffic laws is like getting behind the wheel and not knowing how to drive — it’s irresponsible. And while you may be thinking “calm down, it’s not that serious,” you are absolutely wrong. In all honesty, getting in a wreck on your bike is more dangerous for the unprotected biker than it is for a driver.

Even though you bikers are a thorn in my side, I never want any of you to risk your life every time you get behind the handlebars. So do your due diligence and research the traffic rules, be a defensive biker and for Christ’s sake, wear a helmet. I know it’s not fashion-forward, but it’s for your own good.

I’m thankful everyday that I’m a defensive driver and didn’t hit that girl on the bike because even though it wouldn’t have been my fault, that would’ve taken a serious toll on me and probably an even worse toll on her. But going forward, I’m armed with my dash cam, and to any biker irresponsible and inattentive enough to blast through a stop sign — me and my video footage will see you in court.
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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