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Letter: Education key to bicyclist’s safety

December 5, 2013 | By More

300-ron-berbenLetter: Education key to bicyclist’s safety

Ron Berben
St Augustine, FL

Dear Editor:

The recent attention given to the hit-and-run death of 43-year-old Randy Wayne Miller has brought the safety of our bicyclists in the city to the discussion table. I have always been a supporter of our cyclists in this city and always will be.

As a resident of Lincolnville, I know just how important it is as a means of transportation for many — and a healthy hobby for others.

Everyone has seen cyclists violating traffic laws in our city, failing to stop at signs and lights, sidewalk riding, against traffic flow, to name a few. I think many cyclists simply don’t know the laws or which are applicable to them, including out of town visitors renting a bike for the day, hobby cyclists or our daily riders.

When the rules are not fully understood or not enforced equally when violated, everyone loses, education and fair enforcement go hand in hand.

Not to single out cyclists, but let’s face it, the very nature of a person on two wheels, basically unprotected on the road in a perpetually dynamic situation with bigger, faster things in an area like our downtown and higher density residential areas simply places them at greater risk.

Seeking a real solution for cyclist safety begins with education and equal enforcement of the rules of the road. Be it cars & trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians …everyone… same rights, same rules, and same enforcement. In almost every instance of an accident either between auto and bike, or bike and pedestrian, one or both have violated the rules of the road in some respect. Just by the nature of the weight and size of the traffic involved, the cyclist will always be the most vulnerable.

To seek a solution that includes changing the city’s infrastructure can never be achieved in this historic city. Debating sharrow lanes of state roads at a city level is unrealistic… meanwhile injuries and deaths are occurring at an unacceptable rate.

The cyclist’s safety is a public safety issue plain and simple. Dealing with it as such begins at our city level with education and equal enforcement of existing traffic statutes. Until the laws set in place for the protection of those who utilize the roads are enforced equally, these casualties will continue to mount with our cyclists paying the price.

Category: Editorials

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