Accident in Venice Raises Concerns About Drivers and Bicyclists Sharing the Road
Recently, a major road accident occurred in Venice, Florida when a car traveling along Center Road hit and critically injured 4 bicyclists. The accident is currently under investigation by authorities.
For Henry Danielson, who is the President of the Coastal Cruisers Bicycle Club, the issue of bicycle road safety is especially concerning. The 4 injured bicyclists are members of his organization, which number around 500 people. He says that not only do bikers and drivers need to resolve this issue together, but they also must face up to the problem. He believes the community as well must deal with the issue.
Danielson went on to say that road safety is a primary focus of his organization, and that the injured bicyclists were well trained and also were very experienced riders. So, he cannot understand what happened. He further thinks that while Florida is a state that is quite bicycle friendly, this does not mean that everyone always follows the rules of the road.
Danielson says that bicyclists need to be cautious when riding alongside cars. They should also be visible. This means that bicyclists have to be not only seen but use proper signaling when riding. They further have to be aware of the road at all times.
According to Lt. Greg Bueno — who is an officer with the Florida Highway Patrol — there are many rules bicycle riders need to follow. First, he says that bicyclists should — whenever possible — stay in designated bicycle lanes. If such lanes do not exist at a particular location, he says that bicyclists should remain as close to the right-hand curb as they can. Though he did indicate that a number of exceptions to this rule do apply. These exceptions relate to when a bicycle rider must move from an outer lane to an inner one. A number of circumstances could trigger this. For example, a bicyclist at times may need to pass a slow-moving vehicle. At other times, a bicycle rider may need to avoid an obstacle in either the bicycle lane or the outer lane. Finally, Bueno says bicyclists must move from the outer lane to an inner one whenever they need to make a left-hand turn.
Bueno went on to say that the Highway Patrol believes that the accident involving the 4 bicyclists occurred when the riders were attempting to make a lane change. But he says what they do not know right now — and what they are trying to determine — is at what time were the bicycle riders attempting a lane change. They also need to determine how far the bicyclists were from the intersection when making the lane change and how far they were from the oncoming car that hit them.