Bicyclists love this time of year … the good weather and sunshine makes riding a real joy. And with so many beautiful rides in Georgia and many events that are aimed at bike enthusiasts, our state is a great place for a great ride. One recent bicycling event was a somber reminder that our roads can also be unfriendly at times. Earlier this week, Roswell City Hall was the site of a memorial for those who have lost loved ones and friends due to bicycle or pedestrian accidents. There were opportunities to memorialize those tragedies and the people who have lost their lives on foot or on a bicycle. In addition, a forum was created during this event in which those attending were given two minutes each to express their feelings and ideas about how Georgians can lower the fatality rate for those who are sharing the road with motor vehicles of all kinds.
The Georgia Department of Transportation keeps tabs on many aspects of road safety and statistics and is reporting a very steep rise in bicycle fatalities since last year. The alarming statistic is that as compare to 2014, these fatalities have risen a shocking 63 percent. Overall, those most vulnerable sharing the road such as bicycle riders and pedestrians, comprise over 15 percent of Georgia’s traffic and road fatalities. On their Twitter feed, GDOT notes that in the first three months of 2015, 17% of fatalities on our roads were either bicyclists or pedestrians.
We are reminded by GDOT that drivers must provide three feet when following or passing a bicyclist. This is an essential part of the #ArriveAliveGA program and is required under Georgia law. And the Georgia DOT is taking steps around the state to increase safety for bicycles. For example, just this week, lanes have been closed on State Route 25 in Glynn County to improve the bike lane visibility. This work includes not only paint striping, but bike lane symbols and related safety measures. DOT continues to implement such safety measures, but also seeks help from the driving public to avoid preventable crashes by slowing down, sharing the road and not driving distracted.
At Scholle Law we support the efforts for safer roads to avoid bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. We hope that the statistics reverse and we see a lowering of serious injury and fatalities on our roads. In the event of a serious accident or injury we are also here to provide support to those who have been harmed. Our law practice is dedicated to those who have been catastrophically or seriously injured or those who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or worse. Please contact our law firm to talk with a lawyer about your situation. There is no cost to you in making this call.