Cyclist group reminding drivers, riders about safety

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Now that spring is in the air, more bicyclists are on the road. Because of that, one group of bikers wants to remind everyone to be a little more cautious.

On Wednesday morning, Jonesboro police worked a hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist just before 6:30 a.m.

It is the second reported hit-and-run involving a bike just this month.

The Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition is still offering a $500 reward for someone to identify the driver who hit one of its members on Lawson Road back on March 9.

Coalition president Bill Smith wants both riders and drivers to commit to being more aware of their surroundings while on the road.

"If I was going to speak to someone riding a bike, the number one things they need to do are follow traffic law, obey all traffic signs," Smith said. "That means stop signs and stop lights, don't roll through them. But you also need to ride with traffic. Nationally, the crash statistics tell us the number one way to be involved in a vehicle crash is to ride against traffic. You're not making yourself safer."

Smith also encourages drivers to be looking for bicyclists and obey state law when passing them.

"You have to give three feet minimum space in passing a cyclist and you have to do that pass in a legal place," he said. "In the video that many of us have seen recently, not only is a cyclist hit near the edge of the road, the vehicle that was passing them was crossing a double yellow line against oncoming traffic"

Another note that Smith made is that many people think cyclists should ride on the sidewalk, but that is illegal in many areas.

Also, a cyclist should not be riding as close to the edge of the road as they can.

"That is the most dangerous place to ride your bicycle because you blend into the side of the road," Smith said. "Cyclists that have had proper training, you'll see them riding their bikes in the same place that a motorcycle rider will be and that's in the wheels of the passenger side of a car, about three feet off the edge. So if you do the math, if we're riding three to four feet off the edge of the road so that we're clearly seen when you approach us, when you go to pass us, another three feet to our side means you need to be in the opposite lane. If the wheels of a car are in the lane with the cyclist, more than likely they are violating the state law."

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