A Better Region 8: All of us are responsible for safety

A Better Region 8: All of us are responsible for safety

In 36 hours there were 3 deadly events between bicyclists and vehicles.  The latest tragedy happened here in Region 8.

In fact, it happened just feet from the parking lot at KAIT on County Road 766.

Bicyclist Jason McDonald lost his life when a truck hit him during an afternoon ride. I can't imagine what Jason's family is going through, and how the driver must feel.

I want to remind everyone that the investigation into this tragedy is ongoing, and we need to let the Craighead County Sheriff's Office investigators do their job. But starting today, there are some things we all can think about as we drive or ride in Region 8.

Just last week, NEA Bicycle Coalition board member Bill Smith did a guest editorial on this subject. He informed us that in Arkansas, motor vehicles must pass a minimum of three feet away from a person on a bike or earn a ticket and a fine.

I call on all Region 8 law enforcement to step up and hold violators accountable if they break this law.  But all of us are responsible for making things better.

I call on all bicyclists to make sure they are riding safe and within the law.

I call on all drivers to exercise patience when bicyclists are on the road.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McDonald family for their loss and to the driver.

This Saturday, the bicycling community will hold a "Ride of Silence."

Riders will leave Gearhead on Main Street in Jonesboro at 7:30 a.m. and ride past the spot.

As a memorial, a "Ghost Bike" will be placed at the spot where McDonald was killed.

Each of us being aware, understanding the dangers we face and taking responsibility together will make this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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