01 May 2008

Close call

Yehuda Moon

I can't say that I have seen this happen, but like every cyclist, I would love to. We have all had close calls of our own - I once had a couple of motorcycles hurl past me out on the main road heading into my town, I looked up at them when they passed, and the one closest to me had his leg straight out like he was going to kick me over as he passed. I am sure that he thought he was a funny guy, and has probably told all of his buddies how he scared a guy on a bike one day. All that being said, I consider myself very lucky that none of my close calls have included contact. We all know someone who has had a close call with a vehicle while riding. Utah has a law that cars must give cyclists 3 feet clearance when they pass, but like any law. it only works if it is enforced. Someone in Salt Lake City is actually taking a motorist to court over violating the 3 foot law. Jason Bultman, who works with the Salt Lake Bike Collective was riding when a pickup pulled close next to him, and the passenger reached out his window and patted Jason on the back before pulling away. Jason, through his work with the collective is very aware of the law in regards to cyclists, had the presence of mind to get the vehicles licence plate #, and he called the authorities. I haven't heard the outcome yet, but kudos to Jason for taking the first step. Each year in late September the Josie Johnson Memorial Ride is held. This is a ride to honor Josie Johnson, a cyclist who was struck and killed as she was riding up Little Cottonwood Canyon in 2004, and any cyclists who are killed in an automobile accident during the year. Two years ago, the ride honored 8 cyclists that were killed during 2006, last year there were 3. Here's hoping that this year there are zero. They always say "not if, but when" about getting hit by an automobile. With more education on both the part of motorists and cyclists, and with more cyclists on the road, hopefully that can be reversed to "not when, but if".


Kelly Hill said...

If it's really "not if, but when" then I absolutely DEMAND that you stop riding!


Did it work??!?

Kelly Hill said...

Also, I appreciate what you're saying about the law needing to be enforced. But there's also another side of the biking life... there are idiots who simply don't wear helmets, don't ride on the correct side, don't pay attention to traffic, ride on crosswalks, etc. I'm grateful you are amongst the idiots who actually follow the rules and try to incorporate the rules into our family riding. I just need to say that it goes both ways, as with everything else!

Let's just keep doing our part and we'll make a difference for at least a few!

Love you. k

Bike Junkie said...

That is a good idea for another post.