Ongoing List of Logical Fallacies in Bike Policy Conversations

Posted on July 19, 2013

"You would be safer if you slowed down."

Driving 70 miles per hour is less safe than driving 30 miles per hour.
Therefore you should not drive 70 miles per hour.

False. That's a "Sweeping Generalization".

"You are running red lights - that's unsafe."

Transiting red light intersections is illegal.
Illegal things are unsafe.
An intersection has a red light.
Therefore it is unsafe to transit the intersection.

False. Illegal things are not necessarily unsafe.

"You deserve tickets for running red lights."

Running a red light is illegal.
Illegal actions must be punished.
Therefore running a red light must be punished.

False. The intent of the law is intended to promote safety. If an illegal action is safer than the legal option then the illegal action upholds the spirit of the law. Illegal actions are not aways "against the law" nor deserving of punishment.

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