Photo: celesteh / Flickr
Translated by Angus B. GRIEVE-SMITH
Hundreds of thousands of cyclists ride the streets of French towns and cities every day. They do this under dangerous conditions because motorized vehicles have taken over the entire street, with the support of the powers that be and with disregard for the most vulnerable users of the roadway.
Because of this, yes, in order to outflank the smelly, noisy motorized pack, cyclists do at times cross intersections against red lights, just like any pedestrian does. And yes, they sometimes ride the wrong way on a one-way street, because it is less dangerous to meet a car or motorcycle head-on than to be passed by one. And in the name of a traffic code that was designed only for motor vehicles, the government sees fit to slap these cyclists with heavy fines.
I affirm that I am one of these cyclists: justified but illegal (at least in France). I affirm having run a red light, and ridden the wrong way. I affirm that, for my own safety, I will continue to do this, with absolute respect for pedestrians and without disturbing other road users, until the traffic code that we demand is passed into law.
Original: Manifeste des sans-voies « irresponsables », October 11, 2007.