Tifton man speaks out on bicycle laws - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tifton man speaks out on bicycle laws

There's a new law in Georgia designed to protect people on bicycles. Drivers are now required to give bicyclists three feet of space when they pass them.

But an avid bike rider in Tifton says that new law isn't needed. James Woodall says there are already similar guidelines that protect the rights of cyclists on the road.

James Woodall depends on his bicycle to get around town. Living in Tifton, he says its all he needs plus he enjoys the fresh air.

But his bike riding experience has progressively become less enjoyable over the years, "People throw stuff at you or they will try and run you off the road," he said.

Sometimes, it can be downright scary. "Between a car and a bicycle, a bike doesn't have much of a chance," he said.

Woodall says he was prompted to speak out when news broke about a new Georgia law which now requires motorists to stay three feet from folks on bicycles. He says its great anytime bicycle safety is stressed but he believes the law is unnecessary because similar laws already exist. "By Georgia law a bicycle is a vehicle, and under that classification we have the same rights and same responsibilities as an automobile," he said.

And he's right. According Georgia Bike Sense, a publication of the Georgia Department of Transportation for cyclists and motorists, Motorists and Cyclists in Georgia share the road and both have equal rights and responsibilities. All road users should show respect to each other. "If a car can do it, then a bicycle can do it," he said.

But both parties need to follow the same rules, and he hopes both parties become more educated on the rules of the road, "I would just like people to give us common courtesy, that would be fine," he said.

After all, common courtesy wouldn't only help motorists and cyclists. It would do everyone some good.

Next James says he may try to get a group of riders together to demonstrate the correct way to ride on the roads to show that everyone can get along on the roadways.

If you'd like to pick up a copy of those laws the Georgia DOT has a great booklet available.

You can also CLICK HERE for more information

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