More people died on bicycles in Iowa this year than in any year since 2005. The Iowa Bicycle Coalition says 11 cyclists died while riding this year.
The coalition’s executive director, Mark Wyatt, says he fears this year is not an anomaly. “We’ve seen vehicle miles traveled increase over the last year, and if fuel prices stay where they are, we anticipate that will continue to go up. I think we need to take action now and create some steps to make bicycling in traffic safer,” Wyatt says.
The Iowa Bicycle Coalition has been calling on state legislators to pass a law that would require motorists to change lanes to pass a bicycle. “This is easily taught in drivers’ ed classes. It is easy for law enforcement to differentiate between a motorist being in one lane or the other, and it’s something that’s easy for Iowa drivers to follow,” Wyatt says.
A bill requiring motorists to change lanes when passing a bicycle passed the Iowa Senate last year, but did not make it out of committee in the House. Wyatt says five of the cyclists who died while riding this year where struck from behind while operating legally on roads.
Thanks to Michael Leland, Iowa Public Radio