Yes, cyclists should show respect, but drivers need to stay on the lookout too

I COMPLETELY agree with Derrick Z. Jackson (“To get respect, cyclists need to show some, too,” Op-ed, June 23) that cyclists, along with everyone else on the road, should behave safely, legally, and courteously. And MassBike has a long history of teaching helmet use and supporting enforcement of traffic laws. Everyone sharing our streets bears responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them.

My quotes in Jackson’s column came from a May 21 Globe report on a fatal crash between a truck and a cyclist near Kenmore Square, in which the only statement from police was that the driver “probably did not even see” the cyclist. Motorists have a legal responsibility to look for cyclists, and to expect cyclists to be on the road. Not seeing a cyclist, while it may be a mitigating factor in determining liability for a crash, should not automatically excuse a motorist from responsibility. Cyclists may need to earn respect, but no one should have to earn the right to safe streets.

David Watson

Executive director, MassBike