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Bicyclists in Madison must ensure their own safety by following the rules of the road. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, bicycles are considered “vehicles” on the roads of Wisconsin. This means that, just like automobiles, bicyclists must follow traffic laws while being treated the same way, too. Safety is especially important for bicyclists because bicycles offer less protection for the riders than what a traditional automobile with airbags and other safety features provide to a driver.

When driving in Downtown Madison this weekend, I noticed four individual bicyclists at two different intersections not stopping at the red traffic lights. They rode their bicycles through the intersections, while automobiles were stopped at the lights and only moved when the lights turned green. I had seen similar instances before, and finally felt prompted to write about it.

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Riding a bicycle is a great exercise, helps save gas and the hassles of parking. It offers a pleasant way to experience the city.

Madison recognizes this and offers designated bicycle lanes, bike racks and more. I hope that bicyclists, when taking advantage of the benefits, would recognize the importance of following all traffic laws to ensure their own safety.

Tawsif Anam, Madison

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