Yesterday, I was reminded of why us cyclists need to follow traffic laws both out of safety and wholesome courtesy. I just left the bike warehouse which is located in Papillion. It was dusk, so I wanted to hurry home to avoid the dark. I rode through the neighborhoods like I always do. This one particular stretch involved taking a wide swooping right hander, descending down a smooth road to a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. As I descended, I did hear a car coming up to me, so I sped up slightly since I was a block from the stop sign and didn't want the "impatient car swerving around me to get to the next stop" scenario.
Like every time I come to this stop sign, I come to a complete stop and look both ways. The car that was following me came to a lurching stop behind me. I did a slight glance back just to let them know I knew they were there and impatient, however, I didn't actually see that car. I continued on around the bend of the road and signaled the left hand turn I was going to make since the car was following me, but not right on my tail. I started the climb out of this little valley, still wary of the car that was a block behind me. This was a narrow road with cars parked along one side, so at least this car was nice enough to wait till I could get over before it passed me.
As it passed, I found out why it was on my tail at the stop sign - it was a police car. Had I not come to a stop at that stop sign, my guess is he would have ran the lights and whooped his siren to pull me over. And I would have deserved the ticket for blatantly ignoring the law.
So to all you who are on the fence about whether bikes should follow traffic laws or not, I would highly recommend it.