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02/08/2023 08:00 AM

Share the Road

There have been two hit-and-run bicycle accidents in the last few months in Guilford. In both cases, the cyclists were following the rules of the road. One of the collisions left the cyclist lying on the side of the road in serious condition. Had it not been for a good Samaritan who stopped to check on the cyclist’s condition, he could have lost his life. The other cyclist escaped with minor injuries. Accidents are avoidable. It is incumbent that motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians obey Connecticut laws and practice common courtesy. Connecticut had over 70 pedestrian and cyclist deaths in 2022; that’s 20 percent of vehicle-related deaths.

Motorists must obey the speed limits and pass when it is safe to do so. Connecticut Law requires at least three feet between you and the cyclists when passing. Be aware of the road conditions when overtaking cyclists. The law requires you to yield to a pedestrian at crosswalks and intersections.

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles. Be predictable and visible. This can save bicyclists’ lives and prevent accidents. Night riding requires a headlight and tail light visible from 500 to 600 feet. Many cyclists use head and taillights during daylight hours.

Pedestrians have responsibilities too. Use sidewalks where available and walk facing traffic on the road. Be visible; make sure the drivers see you before crossing intersections and crosswalks.

I am a member of Guilford’s Safe Street Task Force and a longtime Guilford resident. I see the challenges facing all of us. Be alert, courteous, and patient; we all have a right to the roads. The Safe Streets Taskforce has launched an education campaign on social media sites; stay tuned.

For more information for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians, search share the road CT.

Jim Bussmann