Bikes unfairly immune to road laws | AspenTimes.com

Bikes unfairly immune to road laws

I have just been made aware that dirt bikes and ATVs are no longer allowed on Aspen or Smuggler mountains, while bicycles and pedestrians still use them freely.

A car is considered a legal vehicle. It is necessary for the owner/operator to have adequate insurance, register the vehicle with license plates and carry a valid driver's license to be on any street, road or highway. While neither bicycles nor dirt bikes are legal vehicles, they are actually more similar than they are different.

Allow me:

Bicycles do not have registrations, insurance or a license to operate (illegal vehicles), yet their riders use them on all mountains, city streets, roads and highways.

Dirt bike riders (also illegal vehicles), are limited to the mountains and use the streets only to get to the beginning of their off-road adventure.

Bicyclists are not expected to obey any traffic device or cross walk while dirt bikers are expected to obey everything.

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Dirt bikers keep up with traffic flow and don't impede.

Bicyclists often ride abreast rather than single file.

I have heard the argument that dirt bikes are loud. However, please keep in mind that they are within the local sound ordinances and far less than every Harley in town.

I have a suggestion. If dirt bikes aren't allowed to use our mountains, bicycles shouldn't be allowed to use them either and especially not on any road that has a yellow line on it — specifically Independence Pass.

Nikki Hennings

Aspen