Cyclists versus Drivers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cyclists versus Drivers

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –There've been more than 100 bicycle/car crashes in South Georgia since 2005. To keep those numbers down officials say if you're on a bike use headlights, slow down and use appropriate hand signals.

Cyclists by Georgia Law are entitled to same rights and privileges as vehicles. And are also bound to the same types of restrictions.

Purnell Bryant has been riding his bike for 15 years. And he's experienced road rage from drivers in their cars. "They use profanity, they throw things at me like cans and bottles, or people talk nasty toward you and cutting you off sum drivers just don't pay attention," said Bryant. 

"They have rights and you don't have the right to force them off the road," said Georgia State Patrol Michelle Strickland.  However, that doesn't give cyclist the right to run stop signs and disregard driving laws.

"Unfortunately what we see is that cyclist don't always obey the same laws as if there in a vehicle," said Strickland.

"There are some cyclist that don't do that, but for the most part we have to respect the road," said Bryant. 

And not respecting the road causes danger for everybody on the road. "A lot of times with crashes, a cyclist is on the wrong side of the road. They ignored a stop sign or traffic signal," said Strickland.

"I haven't been in a major accident, but I have fallen off the bike before, and had some friends that's had major accidents," said Bryant.  

But all that can be avoided. "Give us our distance in the lane again when you pass. Pass at a normal speed, and no reason to honk," said Bryant.

 And sharing the road is a give and take relationship. "Respect and share the road definitely," said Bryant. If that's done, it will lead to safer roads for us all.

For cyclists, riding against traffic may seem like a good idea because you can see traffic. However, cars will approach at a much higher speed, and that's very dangerous for everybody.

Experts say to avoid collisions at night, get a rear light, wear a reflective vest and choose wide streets. That way you and your bike can be seen.

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