[editor's note: These comments are in response to the bicycle accident that occurred on Friday, Jan. 11 on West Main Road. To read the story, click here.]
It’s terrible to hear of another serious bicycle accident in our community. We are all waiting and hoping for good news on the cyclist’s condition. Our thoughts are with the cyclist and his family.
While no one can comment on this exact incident – there are too many unanswered questions, and speculation helps no one – we can certainly immediately share thoughts that are universal to safe road sharing:
- Cars must be keenly aware of all users of the road. Any distraction that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is dangerous. Our number one responsibility as drivers is to pay attention.
- Cyclists have a right to the road and motorists must be vigilant, patient and respectful when cyclists are present. Impatience, distraction, frustration all put vulnerable users of the road at risk of serious harm.
- Bicycles are vehicles. Cyclists have a responsibility to know and follow the rules of the road, to be predictable and to be visible.
- Many of our roads are still not conducive to safe cycling. We have a responsibility as a community to support cycling as a safe and viable mode of transportation. We must continue and increase our efforts to educate cyclists and motorists and to engineer safer conditions for road sharing.
Bike Newport will soon be announcing a series of short workshops and discussion groups about road sharing for cyclists and motorists. As a community, we need to embrace our shared responsibility to ensure that our roads are safe for all users.
For now, our prayers are with the cyclist and for his complete recovery.