Response to Bicycle Accident on West Main Road in Middletown

A bicyclist was seriously injured yesterday on West Main Road. Our prayers are with the cyclist and his family.

It’s terrible to hear of another serious bicycle accident in our community. We are all waiting and hoping for good news on the cyclist’s condition. Our thoughts are with the cyclist and his family.

While no one can comment on this exact incident – there are too many unanswered questions, and speculation helps no one – we can certainly immediately share thoughts that are universal to safe road sharing:

 -   Cars must be keenly aware of all users of the road.  Any distraction that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is dangerous.  Our number one responsibility as drivers is to pay attention.

 -   Cyclists have a right to the road and motorists must be vigilant, patient and respectful when cyclists are present.  Impatience, distraction, frustration all put vulnerable users of the road at risk of serious harm.

 -   Bicycles are vehicles. Cyclists have a responsibility to know and follow the rules of the road, to be predictable and to be visible. 

 -  Many of our roads are still not conducive to safe cycling.  We have a responsibility as a community to support cycling as a safe and viable mode of transportation.  We must continue and increase our efforts to educate cyclists and motorists and to engineer safer conditions for road sharing.

Bike Newport will soon be announcing a series of short workshops and discussion groups about road sharing for cyclists and motorists.  As a community, we need to embrace our shared responsibility to ensure that our roads are safe for all users.

For now, our prayers are with the cyclist and for his complete recovery.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

PG January 14, 2013 at 05:36 PM
It's amazing to me the level of "concern" exhibited about the bad behavior of cyclists yet there is little outrage when motorists do the same things. The behaviors are often the same on both sides. Take a look around and you see both user groups have many of the same flaws people in their campaign against the bicycle love to attribute to cyclists. Running redlights, rolling stop signs, texting (I bet that's rampant among cyclists...), talking on the phone, etc. While it isn't the point of my post, I know which one scares me more when I'm in my car. It was someone on a bicycle that was hit by this drunk but really it could have been another motorist or pedestrian just as easily. Would a head on car on car collision have been better? Could we then talk about the real problem? This incident should be a reminder that a car piloted by a drunk or distracted driver can kill. As ever, maybe more then ever, there are bad road users. They can be walking, riding a bike, or driving. Yet here we are, all worked up about bicycles... It might be better to wonder why the police are so lax in enforcing the issues we see every day by ALL users on the roads. Driving, cycling, or walking on a road is a shared responsibility, a game of trust. It's why the rules of the road work, and they work quite well. You do things based on the assumption your fellow road users are operating on the same principles. It quickly goes bad when any road user chooses to abandon them.
Island Porkrunner January 14, 2013 at 10:16 PM
you sound like a great role model. good thing you're looking out for your kids. you rather risk murdering someone on a bike than to wait a few seconds and yield and follow the traffic laws?
Sean roberts January 14, 2013 at 10:56 PM
The drunk driver was absolutely wrong for driving but we do have a major problem with lawless bike riders in this town. Im kind of surprised thier arnt more fatalities. I almost killed one today when i was on spring st. and a bike rider came flying down bull right out infront of me. I laid on the horn and the jackass flipped me off....... Like i did something wrong! Geesh...
Island Porkrunner January 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM
I have been run over by cars in Newport TWICE on my bike - but I will admit that I was not following the rules of the road either. Now I am extremely vigilant and follow every rule. Both times I was going up the wrong side of the road - so yes I can't entirely blame them but they both pulled out without looking and plowed me over. I was very lucky not to have been killed by the Range Rover and it ran over me and my head slammed into the pavement. It was a valet at the Chandler who looked about 16 years old. he never looked once and I couldn't get out of the way just had to brace for the impact and scream hoping he'd stop.
Florence Jackson January 15, 2013 at 01:28 PM
I agree with the statement that cars are also at fault. But remember who is bigger. I would choose to be hit by a bike rather than a car any day.If I saw a car coming at me I don' t think I would be thinking who has the right of way my first thought besides oh s... would be self preservation.


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