"It's for your own safety" actually means "So we don't have to take responsibility".
The other day I needed some cash. I was running several errands and the most convenient option was to go through the drive-through at the downtown US Bank branch. It was mid-afternoon and there was not much traffic. I waited behind one other person. When I got to the window, the teller said, "We can't serve bicyclists or pedestrians in the drive-through. You can come into the lobby." I did not go into the lobby. I left without a word, fuming.
A couple years ago when we switched banks, I had called the Kirksville branch and asked, "Do you allow bicycles in the drive-through?" I had heard of banks and fast food restaurants that don't allow bicycles and pedestrians in the drive-through.
"Of course," they answered, as if I had asked, "Do you allow Ford Escorts in the drive-through? What about Nissan Altimas?" Why wouldn't they allow bicycles in the drive-through?
But I only checked with the Kirksville branch. The downtown Columbia branch does not allow bicycles.
I called the branch manager, who claimed that most drive-throughs have signs banning bicycles. "That is not true," I replied. "This is the first drive-through I have ever been in that did not allow bicycles. Besides, you don't have a sign! I had to wait in line all the way to the window before I learned that I wouldn't be served."
He said it was for my own safety.
Generally, when anyone makes a rule for someone else's safety, it's a thinly disguised argument for their own convenience. Bicycles are banned from certain roads on certain days in certain conditions--for their own safety. Actually, it's so motorists won't have to slow down. It has nothing to do with bicyclists' safety.
I was skeptical of the branch manager's argument that the ban on bicyclists in the drive-through is for my own safety.
"It's a very short lane," he tried to explain. (That's true; it is unusually short.) "People pull in here really fast. They're careless." I am unable to understand how banning bicyclists will fix careless drivers!
To many people, including the branch manager, banning bicycles that inconvenience cars seems reasonable, just, and fair. But society is constantly changing, and to modern sensibilities, banning bicycles for the convenience of cars is ludicrous.
My attempts to understand the branch manager's point of view were cut short when I suggested he speak to bike/ped experts about his bike/ped policy that is ostensibly for bike/ped safety. "I recommend PedNet, the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, or the League of American Bicyclists, and I can provide you contact information."
"Frankly, I'm not going consult anyone," he replied, leaving me with the unshakable belief that he is just a jerk.
I filed a complaint with corporate, and I use a different branch that allows bicycles in the drive-through.