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Aldermen Clash over Cars and Bikes Sharing the Road

Kevin Killeen
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Aldermen Scott Ogilvie and Tom Villa, (KMOX/file photo)

Aldermen Scott Ogilvie and Tom Villa, (KMOX/file photo)

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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Motorists who drive in a threatening manner around bicyclists could face tickets and fines, under a plan before the Board of Aldermen.

Sponsoring Alderman Scott Ogilvie says the proposal would apply to bicyclists and pedestrians, giving police the tools to go after motorists who menace meeker modes of transportation.

“The bill talks about bad behavior such as forcing a cyclist off the road,” Ogilvie said, “Even if the car doesn’t hit the cyclist, if you force somebody off the road you could seriously hurt somebody.”

The plan would allow police to ticket offenders who could then face up to $500 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

Alderman Tom Villa says he’s all for sharing the road safely, but has a problem with bicyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road.

“The bicyclists have a brazen attitude, and that probably is a small percentage of them, but that small percentage gives the rest of them a pretty bad name,” Villa said.

Ogilvie was asked why his bill does not address the perception that bike riders are sometimes “more equal” and don’t always stop at stop signs.

“If we want to go around ticketing every person who rolls through a stop sign and every cyclists who rolls through a stop sign, we’re going to need thousands of more police officers,” Ogilvie said.

Villa says he believes the bill as it is now written is already “unenforceable” and will put more strain on police. Ogilvie’s bill was perfected today and could come up for a final vote next Friday.

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