Local Cycling Community Reminds the Public to Stay Safe

Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 13:59:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Members of Tallahassee's cycling community are reminding the public to stay safe while on the roads. This, after two recent fatal crashes involving bicycles.

Karen Loewen is watching; watching and counting bikes.

"I've only seen three bikes, which is unusual, because there's usually a lot more here, but they were all on the sidewalk," said Loewen.

Tuesday was the first day of the city's bi-annual bike count, keeping track of where cyclists are and how they're traveling.

"Also, just look at where people want to ride, what they're trying to do, where they're trying to go," said Julie Christesen, a senior planner.

The surveys come after two deaths involving bicycles in Tallahassee. Scot Benton was hit from behind by a distracted driver three months ago.

"I was nearly killed," said Benton. "My leg was broken, my neck was broken, my hip is cracked."

He works at "Bicycle House", a nonprofit dedicated to providing bikes to those who can't afford them. And with that service comes this advice.

"Pretend at all times that you're invisible -- that no one sees you -- and to make really sure before you proceed that you're safe," said Benton.

Tallahassee Police recently designated five areas as "high crash locations." Officers will conduct high visibility enforcement to reduce the number of crashes.

"I've seen cars going by really fast, service vehicles flying through here," said Loewen.

Benton said, "We're at a watershed at this point where more and more cyclists are showing up on the roads and the drivers just are not used to them."

The bike counts will continue through next week.