Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Green Valley AZ
Bikes: Trice Q; Volae Century; TT 3.4
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BICYCLISTS CALL FOR AN END TO OVERTAKING CRASHES
The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is calling for an end to crashes where motorists overtake bicyclists. The recent crash on May 11th near Polk City is exactly the type of crash that should not occur in Iowa. Motorists need to keep an eye out for bicyclists traveling Iowa's roadways.
According to reports, Leesa Shoemaker was operating lawfully. Iowa's statutory laws allow bicycles to operate on roadways with the same rights and duties of motorists. Reports also state Shoemaker had lights affixed to her bike and clothing, also meeting state laws.
Iowa's laws also require motorists to operate with a proper lookout and pass safely. It is foreseeable for motorists to encounter a variety of situations that cause them to slow their speed – cars frequently stop to turn left; pedestrians crossings; debris blocks the road.
In a 2001 Iowa Supreme Court ruling, “driver’s duty of proper lookout 'implies being watchful of the movements of the driver’s own vehicle in relation to the things seen and which could have been discerned or seen in the exercise of ordinary care'”.
Bicycle traffic for transportation and recreation has been increasing and is projected to continue increasing. The growth of bicycle traffic is shown to reduce traffic congestion, parking density, and wear and tear on roads – a benefit for all roadway users.
Keeping a proper lookout and passing at a safe distance could prevent overtaking crashes and save lives.