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Cyclists Call for More Safety on Mississippi’s Roads

By Daniel Cherry | Published 08 Jun 2012 04:02pm | comments

Mississippi is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians and cyclists in the nation. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how cyclists are speaking out for their safety.

Jan Morgan of Starkville was on a bike ride with a friend little more than a year ago. Out of nowhere, a car struck her from behind.

"Witnesses say I flew up in the air, landed on the windshield, bounced a couple times, she continued forward, and then stopped. Then I rolled off onto the ground."

Morgan doesn't remember the accident, but she's glad to be alive.

"I was in a coma, on a ventilator for about 5 weeks. I was hospitalized for a total of two months."

At a recent memorial bike ride to remember those killed on Mississippi's roads while cycling, some riders expressed concerns about their safety. Mike Macinnis of Madison say sometimes he feels there's a disconnect between cyclists and motorists.

"They need to obey that 3 foot law, and obey the speed limit and know that two seconds it takes to wait to go around us isn't going to make any difference in their destination and we have just as much of a right to be on the road as they do."

However cycling advocates are quick to point out, they don't want an "Us vs. Them" mentality between cyclists and motorists. Melody Moody, Executive Director of Bike Walk Mississippi hopes all Mississippians will become more willing to share the road.

"We all have a right to the road, and that's not just bicyclists and motorists. That's pedestrians, that's someone in a crosswalk, that's the disabled. We need to remember that we want to protect all vulnerable users of the road."

Each year more than 600 cyclists are killed nationwide due to collisions with vehicles.

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