02 May 2010

Driver sentenced for trying to run down a cyclist

This week a woman from suburban Naperville was sentenced for chasing down a cyclist on the road. While it didn't appear that the cyclist got hurt, the woman dragged the guy's bike home underneath the front of her car after he bailed and she ran it over.

The incident that happened last July is an extreme example of the types of driver / cyclist confrontations that happen, but the timing of the story is appropriate as with Spring comes the reappearance of growing numbers of cyclists on the roads. Whether commuting, training, or riding just for fun, this is a strange time in the Chicago area. While cycling awareness has risen in recent years bikes sharing roads with cars is still unfamiliar to many drivers on the road, and for alot of them it's not very welcome.

Many of us understand that the rules apply for us just as much as it does for cars. Some make it hard for the rest of us though, and it doesn't help when folks dart in and out of traffic, or blow through lights. Please obey the laws. If not for your own safety, for the consideration of your other cyclists. Every driver you piss off makes it harder for the next person they see on the road on a bike.

New or experienced, for anyone finding themselves riding the roads as the weather gets better, take some time to familiarize yourself with ways to stay safe while you're out there. In addition, find out what your rights are as a cyclist. This link takes you to a Chicago based org, the Active Transportation Alliance, but as specific laws may differ from region to region you should look up local resources as well.

Ride safe!

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