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Ask Cam

Rules of the road

February 2, 2010

Question:

Cammie, some guy was yapping on & on about new fines for bicycle riders. What’s the deal? I can’t afford to pay any fines. I can barely afford books.

Cam’s answer:

No worries – as long as you’re riding legally!

The fines your buddy mentioned aren’t for people who merely ride bikes. The fine is a $35 surcharge added to traffic tickets issued to cyclists who tend to flout the law, like running red lights or riding on the wrong side of the road. This so-called "traffic calming" surcharge was approved by Fort Collins’ City Council in early January.

The new surcharge, which motorists already pay, is issued to violators by the Fort Collins police.

What about bike fines on campus?

“Those new bike fines are for the City of Fort Collins Police to issue,” says Joy Childress, supervisor of CSU-PD’s Traffic & Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program.

“Our campus ticketing procedure has not changed in any way.”

Support from Bike Fort Collins

I also talked with Jeff Morrell, president of Bike Fort Collins, and he says the board of the organization is in full agreement with and supports the new surcharge assessed to bicyclists who violate the same rules of the road that vehicle drivers must follow.

“If bicyclists expect fair and equal treatment from law enforcement and vehicle drivers, we should be willing to follow the same laws,” Jeff says. “We believe this surcharge and increased enforcement is a step in the right direction in making Fort Collins a safer place to ride a bike.

“We’re hoping the word gets out that if a rider gets caught running stop signs and lights, rides at night without a light, and rides against traffic, he will get a ticket and a fine.”

Register that two-wheeler

And remember – registering your bike on campus is still mandatory! It doesn’t take very long, and the registration lasts as long as you own your bike.

And wear a helmet! And brush your teeth! And call your mom!

Here’s to safe riding and bugs in your teeth -

Cam the Ram