KTSP’s Bob McNaney got an early start to spring sweeps month on Tuesday with an exposé on bicyclists breaking the law, but according to Minnesota statutes, his own investigation may have violated the rules of the road.
McNaney sets the scene: “When the weather breaks, a battle on Minnesota roadways begins. It’s a battle between drivers and bicyclists and it’s a fight both sides feel passionate about.” That battle, he says is because bikers break the law: “Our investigation uncovers that it’s the bicyclists who are often the ones laughing off the rules of the road.”
McNaney cited Minnesota statutes pertaining to bicyclists and videotaped bikers blowing through a stop sign. The camera crew also drove along side bikers, interviewing them from a camera truck, as they pedaled down the road. According to Robin Garwood, aide to Minneapolis city council member Cam Gordon, that camera crew probably violated the law. “Interestingly, you also ‘caught’ multiple drivers (including your own car, when conducting ‘interviews’) violating Minnesota Statute 169.18 Sub. 3 (3), which requires drivers to ‘leave a safe distance, but in no case less than three feet clearance, when passing the bicycle,'” wrote Garwood in a letter to KSTP.
Police told McNaney that “about half the time a bike is involved in a crash, it’s the cyclists fault.” Garwood says that number is bunk. She sent a list of 2006 bike incidents to KSTP. “If you look through it, you will see that 120 of the 200 crashes (or 60%) for which fault can be determined were caused by drivers, while only 80 (or 40%) were caused by cyclists,” she wrote. “It is a clear indication that driver error and violation of law is a significantly greater threat to bicyclist safety than bicyclist error and violation of law. I expect KSTP to correct this misstatement of fact on the air.”
Also caught on tape by KSTP? Two cars failed to make a complete stop at the same stop sign that KSTP filmed bikers ignoring. McNaney failed to acknowledge those violations.
Will the next installment of the “battle on Minnesota roadways” include an expose of vehicular rule-breaking?