Only a week after Georgia’s new 3-feet passing law went into effect, a suburban Atlanta police department cited the law in charging a motorist who allegedly struck and killed a cyclist on July 4. The Sandy Springs P.D. issued the following statement:
Sandy Springs Police investigators arrested 51-year old Mary Wussah, of Douglasville, in connection with the July 4 traffic fatality of Bryan Morgan. Morgan was riding his bicycle along Roswell Road, near Hightower Trail at about 7 a.m. when he was struck from behind by a Toyota Camry driven by Wussah.
Ms. Wussah, accompanied by her attorney, met with traffic investigators this morning. She was charged with Homicide by Vehicle in the 2nd degree, Following Too Closely, and Failure to Safely Pass a Cyclist, which is a new law that went into effect on July 1, 2011. She was later transported to Doraville Jail. At 1 p.m. today, Ms. Wussah made a first appearance in Sandy Springs City Court and was bound over to Fulton State Court on $10,000 bond.
It’s yet another tragic, senseless death of a cyclist, to be sure. But the incident shows that safe-passing laws do at least provide law enforcement agencies a tool to use that – we all hope – will eventually result in safer road conditions for cyclists.
Continuing to educate motorists about cyclists’ rights, and about safe-passing laws in the states that have them – along with strict police enforcement of those laws before such needless deaths occur – are the keys. Do what you can to help.