Arizona Bicycle Accidents Lead to Awareness Campaign

Arizona Bicycle Accidents Lead to Awareness CampaignBicyclists in Arizona say they've had enough of weak laws that aim to protect them on the state's roads, and in the wake of recent accidents involving bikers and cars, they have banded together to promote awareness of their situation, the Arizona Republic reports.

According to the news source, for years the state's cycling community has been pushing for stronger penalties to be placed on drivers who hit bikers, and are highlighting a March 11 accident as evidence for their argument.

Last month, Shawn McCarty was riding in the bike lane on Thompson Peak Parkway in Scottsdale when he was hit by an SUV, sending him 30 feet in the air. An hour later, he died from his injuries. The driver of the SUV, Amy Sue Alexander, was given a citation for unsafe passing of a bicycle and driving in the bicycle lane – two tickets that amounted to $420 in Scottsdale City Court.

A Scottsdale police spokesman stated that the two tickets were all that the law would allow.

Now, the Not One More Cyclist Foundation, founded by Sterling Baer and Dara Schulenberg in 2008, is pushing for even greater legislation to help families of injured cyclist who are hit on Arizona's roadways.

"If we institute a distracted-driver law, there will be more awareness in the mind of people driving behind the wheel," Baer said. "In an instant, a nanosecond, for looking down at your GPS, three people's lives are forever altered."

Baer was referring to an accident on April 7 in which three bicyclist were hit by an SUV in Mesa. All three suffered serious injuries but survived, the media outlet stated.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, 1,914 accidents in Arizona involved bicyclist in 2010, which resulted in 19 fatalities.