CYCLING RULES: Laws Debated After Accidents

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office has found the vehicle suspected of hitting and killing 67-year-old Edward Giedraitis.

The Dallas County News is reporting that the vehicle was found after a tip from the public.

Authorities say Giedraitis was riding his bike near Dallas Center when he was hit.  Officials found his body the next day.

The paper report the suspect vehicle has been confiscated and the investigation is on-going.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition has called for a new law to protect cyclists on rural highways.  19 states have enacted legislation that requires drivers to put three feet of space between their car and a bicycle they pass.  “The three foot passing rule would make a great statement to say, (Iowans) value cycling.  We value the safety of cyclists.  So, it’s a great first step,” said Forrest Ridgway, owner of the cycling shop Bike World.

Last year, the Iowa Legislature passed a law in the same vein.  It requires motorists to move over a lane when they come upon an accident scene.  It was a response to the crash that killed two tow truck drivers on Interstate-80.

State Sen. Jack Whitver, (R) Ankeny, says that such laws have noble goals, but he questions whether they do anything to prevent crashes.  Sen. Whitver said, “A lot of the time, we (legislators) pass laws like (the three foot rule) and they aren’t really enforced until after the fact, after somebody’s already been hit and injured or even killed, and then we’ll go and write a ticket.  So, it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.”

Both Whitver and Ridgway agreed that they want drivers and cyclists to have more awareness about sharing the road and obeying traffic laws.  Both said that they embrace the spread of cycling as a recreational sport in Iowa.


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