Article Comment 

Motorists urged to use caution around cyclists


Dispatch Staff Report



While more and more cyclists are taking to the streets of Starkville, motorists are being urged to follow a new state law which sets a minimum space requirement when passing bicycles on the road. 


Motorists must leave at least three feet of space between their vehicle and a cyclist when passing, according to the law, which went into effect July 1. Additionally, vehicles may not make a right turn in front of a cyclist traveling in the same direction unless the turn can be made safely.  


"We''re pleased that this law recognizes that bicycles belong on the road and share the same responsibilities as cars," said Starkville In Motion President Devon Brenner. "Safety is everyone''s responsibility and this law helps make Mississippi roads that much safer." 


Guidelines for bicyclists are also included. Bicyclists must ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of a road, except when passing, turning or avoiding road hazards. Additionally, no more than two bicyclists may ride side-by-side on a road, unless the road is designated exclusively for bike use. 


"Mississippi now stands out as a leader in the cycling world," Josh Sullivan, president of Jackson Metro Cyclists and a supporter of the legislation, said in a statement. "We are one of the few states in the nation to adopt a 3 Feet Law, which clearly defines the relationship between motorists and cyclists." 


The new law was named after John Paul Frerer, a young man from North Mississippi who was struck and killed by a vehicle while cycling. Those who worked to get the legislation passed hope Mississippi roads will be safer for cyclists and motorists alike.  


Earlier this year, the Starkville Board of Aldermen took steps to improve the safety of cyclists when they passed a safety helmet ordinance that requires all riders and passengers on bicycles and other alternative modes of transportation wear a helmet on public roads, sidewalks and other property. Starkville police are scheduled to begin enforcing the ordinance in November.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment usarover commented at 8/25/2010 10:09:00 AM:

creating these laws wont change the way people drive. take away, text-ing, talking, and playing with cellphones while driving will be far more effective than requiring 3 ft of safety b/t them and a cyclist.


Article Comment ckirby commented at 8/25/2010 12:26:00 PM:

I ride a bike and I've almost been hit by drunks and distracted drivers but this 3 ft thing troubles me. But I try to use the shoulder when I can to keep from holding up traffic and being a road nuisance. With the 2-3 ft we bikers ride from the edge plus the new 3 ft? A family of three out biking passes a family of four out biking and they could take up 10-12 ft of some of our already narrow streets. Maybe biking needs to be controlled to streets of a certain width or where signs are posted on approved biking routes. Why didn't the city put this in its new geewiz street plans along with sidewalks and curbs? Then the extra asphalt could have a painted bike lane.


Article Comment melody commented at 8/26/2010 4:58:00 PM:

Shared from different post.

This is a shout out to all of Columbus, Ms..... My name is Connie Hall Ross. I am the only sister of John Hall. John is the man that was hit on his motorcycle and killed on Hwy 45 on July 1, 2010 by the illegal immigrant, Julian Alvarez Lopez. This illegal immigrant, Lopez, was employed at Mi Torro's Mexican Restaurant. He drank while on the job that day, then got in his car and rode down Hwy 45 until he decided to make a left turn into my brother and his motorcycle. At that point, he had an alcohol level of .227%(breathalizer test), no drivers license, and no insurance. He can't even speak English, though, he was on his cell phone the entire time my brother was laying in the street dying. Its bad enough that Julian Lopez killed my brother, however, let's take a closer look at the situation. This man was employed by Mi Torro's and was paid in cash. They fired him due to the accident. No establishment would hire an illegal immigrant, right? WRONG! Mi Torro's did, then allowed him to drink to the point of being more than just intoxicated while on the job. With an alcohol level that high, other employees and his employers had to know he was a danger not only to himself, but to the public. Still he was allowed to work that day. If you ate at Mi Torro's that day, there is no telling what was in your food. Julian Lopez can't read or speak a word of English, and he was under the influence of alcohol, so you could have been poisoned. I won't even discuss food safety, restaurant cleanliness, or persone hygene of the employees. Another sad thought about this is that the employees he worked with that day allowed him to get behind the wheel of a car. Mi Torro's fired him due to having a car accident. Does that sound just plain wrong? Well, it does to me. Mi Torro's Mexican Restaurant aided in the killing of my brother, John Hall. I live in Dexter, Missouri and am a little too far away to hold a picket sign, but I do have a voice. And that voice is crying out to all of Columbus, Ms and the surrounding areas to BOYCOTT MI TORRO'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT on Hwy 45 N. in Columbus, Ms. The number of supporters of this boycott continues to grow as folks figure out what is behind the scenes at Mi Torro's Mexican Restaurant. I have been contacted by and have the support of the Columbus Tea Party, Mr. Frank Ferguson, Lowndes County Supervisor, District 2, and also some of the residents of Trinity Retirement Home. Johnny Hall was my baby brother. He left behind 3 children, parents, a sister, and many friends that love him dearly. Since he can't speak for himself, we are his voice and we are asking you to aid us in giving him justice as well as protecting yourselves from the likes of Mi Torro's.
Connie Hall Ross
email: [email protected]


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