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letters | city studies bike-crash data

Sometimes cyclists take greatest risks when they follow the rules

As a year-round bicycle commuter, I am pleased to read that the city is studying the data on bicycle crashes (“With crash data, city tries to make bicycling safer,” Page A1, May 15). But I also hope that the analysis can be thoughtful enough to recognize that not all violations are the same.

I join many bicyclists in carefully taking some liberties on the road, and sometimes going through a red light is as safe as waiting at it. Many of us are familiar with the experience as pedestrians. Helmets are nice, lights even better, and riding so that you don’t surprise any cars is best.

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The danger comes when bicyclists are reckless, even legally so. For example, passing vehicles quickly on the right is legal but can be deadly, as in the case of at least two recent bicycle deaths in Boston. This is what should be focused on in enforcement and education.

Jason Targoff

Cambridge

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