On Friday 9/23/2016 in Phoenix, two bicyclists were killed, and a third was seriously injured injured in three separate incidents. Police have so far not released many details.
We lost two bicycle riders in Phoenix, yesterday, and a third is in the hospital with serious injuries. Three separate crashes. We will follow all three to try to insure that appropriate citations, if any, are issued and to (as always) see what we can learn from each crash that we can use to prevent similar tragedies in the future. That’s part of what we do. — Bob Beane, President, Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists
Such a string of events attracts a demand for breaking news coverage, below is a brief interview, and below that the news piece that appeared in The Arizona Republic on Saturday…
- what are things bikes can do to be safer on the roads?
(1) Be visible and predictable (bright clothing, lights, etc. in low light; signal movements, etc.),
(2) Ride with traffic. It is NOT safe to ride facing traffic and it is against the law in AZ.
(3) Always be aware and don’t assume that drivers will see you and/or do “the right thing”…in other words, ride your bike with confidence but defensively.
- what are things motorists can do to avoid endangering bicyclists?
(1) Make safe driving your #1, #2 and #3 priority…no texting, no phone calls, no Internet searches…put the phone down while driving,
(2) Be on the lookout for Vulnerable Roadway Users including bicyclists, pedestrians, road workers and law enforcement/emergency personnel,
(3) Remember that it only takes a few seconds to save or end a life, depending on your attitude and level of care.
- why do you think many incidents involving bicyclists and cars go unreported to police?
Actually, over 800 have been reported so far this year in AZ. Thankfully, only a small percentage of those have been serious or fatal. My guess is that some incidents involving little or no injury are agreed between the parties as not necessary to report.
- what specific reform do you think Arizona needs to help reduce bicyclist and motorist fatalities?
Several: (1) More and better education of both motorists and bicyclists as to safe “co-existence” on the road, including re-testing of drivers every five or ten years as laws change and required testing within 90 days for drivers moving in-state,
(2) Comprehensive texting, Internet and hand-held phone use ban with penalties comparable to DUI…in other words, we need to return to the concept that safe driving is priority one and various distractions that result in injury and death need to have significant consequences.
SAUNDRA WILSON firstname.lastname@example.org
THE REPUBLIC | AZCENTRAL.COM
Three separate collisions occurred between bicyclists and motor vehicles in Phoenix on Friday, leaving two bike riders dead and one more in the hospital with serious injuries.
One of the cyclists was killed Fridaymorning around 6 a. near 24th Street and Loop 202. Five hours later, a second cyclist died after colliding with a truck around 11 a.m.
Phoenix police reported a third bicycle- car collision near 16th Street and East Southern Avenue at about 11:30 a.m. The cyclist, an adult man, suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital, police said.
The collisions prompted temporary lane closures to allow police to investigate on Van Buren Street from 37th to 39th avenues, and on Southern Avenue between 16th and 18th streets.
According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29 Arizona bicyclists died in motor vehicle collisions in 2015. Fifteen of the incidents were in Maricopa County, the data show.
Countless more bicyclists have been seriously injured, a number that remains elusive because only an estimated 10 percent of bicycle crashes causing serious injuries are reported to police, data from pedbikeinfo.org revealed. [This isn’t quite the case, longer explanation and details here]
The average age of bicyclists killed in traffic collisions is 43, a NHTSA report said. An overwhelming percent of bicyclists killed are men and nearly half of the fatalities occur between 4 p.m. and midnight, according to the report.
Bob Beane, the president of the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists, believes Arizona needs “more and better education of both motorists and bicyclists as to safe ‘co-existence’ on the road.”
“We need to return to the concept that safe driving is priority one and various distractions that result in injury and death need to have significant consequences,” Beane said in an email.
In order to be safer on the roads, Beane said bicyclists should wear bright clothing and ride bikes with lights to be more visible to motorists.
“Ride your bike with confidence but defensively,” Beane said, emphasizing that bike riders should not assume drivers see them.
Beane said motorists can contribute to bicyclist safety by remembering that “it only takes a few seconds to save or end a life, depending on your attitude and level of care.”
Republic reporter Megan Janetsky contributed to this article.