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Bicyclist Struck by Car at Canton, Piedmont Intersection

Are Georgia’s cycling laws adequate protection for cyclists? Share your thoughts on cycling safety in the area.

A bicyclist was hit by a car near the intersection of Canton Road and Piedmont Road Wednesday morning, Fox Atlanta and 11 Alive report. 

There's no word on how badly the bicyclist was hurt, but multiple lanes of Canton Road were blocked and traffic was delayed.

Do you think the Georgia laws are strong enough to protect both cyclists and motorists who share the road? Do you think that cyclists using the road should be required to register their bikes and purchase tags and insurance?

A recent story in Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch highlighted the problem with cycling safety, noting that cyclist Dave Mathews, who was injured in a bad bike wreck 18 months ago, has made cycling safety an issue. His passion on the subject was fueled after a pickup struck and killed cyclist Paul Taylor and authorities announced last week nobody will be prosecuted.

"We're human beings, too," said Mathews, who started a Facebook page about bike safety in Atlanta. "We're not disposable creatures."

Atlanta bicyclists have long complained about motorists being inconsiderate, with many hogging the road and passing them too closely. Earlier this year, Roswell resident and bicycling advocate Eric Broadwell was struck by an off-duty Fulton County police officer. He escaped the incident relatively unharmed. Unfortunately, others are not so lucky. A Marietta man was struck from behind and killed while cycling on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs last year. 

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution story quoted the Atlanta Bicycle Association as saying 28 people died in bike related accidents in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties between 2003 and 2008.

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Eric September 26, 2012 at 04:16 PM
laws dont protect cyclist at all. The 3ft law only adds charges and fine revenue AFTER sombody gets hits. The only beenifit to that law is to the governement coffers. Dont thinks so. Bet there are NO tickets on record that didnt involve the bicyclist being hit. Driver education is whats needed. Till our Drivers renewal process includes knowledge tests that people understand that bicycles are legal road users there is goign to contiue to be the attitude by many drivers that the road belongs to motor vehciles only.
Lorene Evans September 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I think safety goes both ways. I am afraid that a bicycle will come from behind me at a stop when I start to move and I don't see them. They are to follow car rules, but they go between cars and travel in the center of the lane, etc. When you give a short warning beep to let them know you are coming, they give you a dirty look. It is for their safety. Some roads that are too narrow, should be off limits if it is too dangerous for bikes. I think that when you are a biker, you are taking your life into your own hands. Cars are not trying to hit you. The biker needs to be aware of the cars around you. Cars don't always see you.
Janie Brewer September 26, 2012 at 08:19 PM
I believe that cyclists should be proactive when they are on the roads! My heart goes out to the victim but accidents do happen. I have experienced cyclists on narrow roads and become stuck and unable to go around them. The traffic then builds up behind me but to afraid to make a move. Not fair!!
Eric September 26, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Let me point out that stretch of canton Hwy was just redone. It was suppose to be a "complete streets" road with a bike lane and I believe that the county might have even got extra federal money for it being a "complete streets" road. There is no bike lane. Cobb DOT's site on this project clearly shows its suppose to be there and resemble what Sandy Plains rd looks like. http://boc.cobbcountyga.gov/district-3/index-canton.htm Loren and Janie prove the point that education and driver training is needed to fix this problem (and heavy fines for distracted drivers). Passing a bicyclist on a 2 lane road is no different then passing any other slow moving vehicle be it a tractor or horse drawn cart, Both having rights to the road way as much as a car or bicyclist. When it is clear to do so you leave the lane pass and then return to the lane. Its not hard. Bicyclist by the law can "take the lane" if it is too narrow for a vehicle and bicyclist to share, This applies to all 11ft and under lanes. Bicyclist width plus 10-18 inches from edge of road plus 3ft safe passing distance mandated by law the bicyclist would by law be in control of about 6ft of the lane. A small car is 6ft in width so there is no way they can share the lane. By law for the cyclist to ride right down the center of that road if they felt it was unsafe for a car to attempt to share the lane. Often done in areas of limited sight distance. http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/docs/gabicyclelawenforcementguide.pdf
Lorene Evans September 27, 2012 at 01:03 AM
There are too many times when trying to pass a bike six feet from the edge of the road puts both car and bike in danger. There are other impatience cars who will pass both slow cars following slow bikes in one pass. The biker should be a safe biker just like a car driver should be a safe driver. It goes both ways. Too many bikers act like everybody should move out of their way regardless. I have seen bikers with their biker pants, helmet, all the other things they wear, cut in and out of cars, trucks, buses, riding crossways on the road, etc. and biking very dangerously!! Everybody on the road needs to follow the laws of the road.
Theresa September 27, 2012 at 01:04 PM
As has been mentioned previously, bicyclist need to follow the rules also. I drive in the Kennesaw Mountain Park area and this is a huge problem. When there is a cyclist, I take my time and pass with the required 3 feet (even if the traffic is backing up behind me). However, I then get stopped at a red light only to have that same cyclist pass me (and the entire line of waiting cars) to get to the front of the line. Once the light changes, we have to try to get around him once again. This can happen multiple times on a single stretch of road. It can also be a problem if you are making a right turn and don’t realize the cyclist is trying to come around everyone in line. Unfortunately, this all causes extreme frustration for drivers and can result in unsafe conditions for all. I agree that roads are for all types of transportation, however slow moving tractors and horse carts aren’t circumventing the line. Once you pass them, they wait their turn.
Jen Warwick September 29, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I watched a kid on a bike get hit at the CCC near this same intersection. Bikes on the road terrify me: I get nervous driving so slowly behind them, I'm scared to pass them--I add to Cobb smog by driving way out of my way rather than pass a cyclist. Ebeneezer road is one of the worst; and then you have all of these roads with no shoulder, no sidewalks--no safety zone. My kids would bike everywhere --especially to school--if only Cobb would put in more bicycle lanes and sidewalks. Pedestrians and cyclists are not at all safe in Cobb county.
Carol mc October 20, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I follow all traffic rules and wait my turn behind cars at traffic lights and stop signs. It's frustrating as a casual cyclist to have cars pass me as close as they can come trying to teach me a lesson. I share the road both as a driver and a cyclist. It's ashame that there is so little respect for other Han safety.

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