Over the summer, a group of about 200 bicyclists, advocates and residents from Colorado gathered in Fort Collins in an effort to brainstorm new ideas for keeping bikers safe on the roads. The gathering came on the heels of two recent bicycling fatalities in Larimer County, and advocates and active bikers want to ensure that no one else is injured or killed.
The group’s goal is to raise awareness about bikers and biking safety and increase accountability for drivers who share the roads with them. More and more people are choosing to bike to the store, work and school, trading in buses and cars for a more convenient, economic and exercise-friendly option. While this cuts down on road and air pollution, it heightens the need for strict laws that designate how drivers interact with bikers on the road.
Options for Promoting Safety
At the gathering, the discussion covered a variety of options for improving safety. One major idea is that of instituting a mandatory license revocation policy for Colorado drivers who cause injuries or fatalities to bikers. According to a newspaper article on the gathering, “there is [currently] no guarantee a convicted motorist will be barred from driving, even after causing near-fatal — or fatal — injuries.”
If the state were to establish a policy for permanent mandatory revocation, drivers may be encouraged to drive safer and to be more aware of bicyclists since the drivers could be subject to increased penalties. Those who do cause accidents that injure cyclists would be prohibited from driving for a mandatory period of time.
Another plan to improve safety is raising public consciousness about the state’s laws and policies in place to keep cyclists from harm. Most accidents occur when a driver fails to see a bicyclist or fails to yield to a biker in his or her path. In a car, a driver has the ability to swerve quickly or change course, if need be, to avoid an obstacle in the way. However, a biker may not always be so lucky and if a collision happens, a bike offers much less protection than even the smallest car.
Designating bike lanes, reducing speed limits in areas with high bike activity and hosting education and awareness campaigns can help remind drivers that they’re not the only ones on the roads, and they need to be alert and cautious to keep bicyclists safe.
Colorado has already launched a series of enforcement efforts in which police actively ticketed drivers who violated bike safety laws. The spring campaign resulted in hundreds of tickets written by local officers and another campaign is planned for fall with the same intentions.
At Levine Law, our Denver car accident attorneys work with clients who have been injured as a result of a driver’s negligence or inability to share the road. Bicyclists have a right to reach their destinations safely and without support from lawmakers and the community, this safety is in jeopardy. For more information regarding Colorado’s cycling and driving laws, and to discuss your options if you have been injured in a car-bike collision, contact one of our attorneys at Levine Law today.