Bicycle Advocates Call for Safer RoadsBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 09 Jun 2011 02:49pm |
Every year several Mississippians are killed when they are hit by a car while riding their bicycle. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on efforts by a statewide biking advocacy group to make the roads safer for cyclists.
Bicycle advocacy groups say making the road safe for bicyclist is a key factor in encouraging more people to get out of their cars and hit the peddles.
Melody Moody with the bicycle group Bike Walk Mississippi says most modern Mississippi roads weren't designed with bicyclists in mind.
"The car came along and we started only planning for cars. And only now are we saying, 'you know what? There are a lot of different users of the road'. Maybe we should take a lot at redesigning roads and reconstructing roads and looking at all those users. So I think right now in history there is simply a disconnect," Moody said.
Safety is a primary topic for Jackson bicycle salesman Andrew Navoy when he is talking with customers considering buying a bike.
"The odds are definitely stacked in motorist favor, as far as surviving an encounter with a bicycle. It is definitely of paramount importance. It probably isn't addressed as much as it should be but we do as much as we can, Navoy said.
Navoy says they sell helmets, head and tail lights, bright colors and other safety equipment to their customers as well as explain best safety practices.
David Boales says he rides his bike for recreation several times a week, but sticks to bike only-paths when ever they are available.
"People don't see you. It is almost like you are invisible. They don't recognize a bicycle as a vehicle. They will look right at you and you will start to go by and they will pull right out. On a bike path you can enjoy the ride pretty good but on the road you are too concerned with safety. I mean you have got to always be concerned about it or you are going to be in trouble," Boales said.
Boales says he tries to help car drivers by wearing bright but thinks drivers need to become more aware of and pay more attention to bicyclists while driving.
In 2009, the most recent statistic available, 10 Mississippians were killed by cars while riding their bikes.
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