On June 8, a collision between a bicyclist and a Toyota SUV led to a 52-year old cyclist’s death along South Wadsworth Rd in Littleton. According to the responding CO State Trooper, two cyclists were traveling along the edge of the roadway when the one cyclist abruptly veered in front of the approaching vehicle and was fatally injured. The roadway was closed down for several hours afterward; no one has yet been charged in the accident.
Colorado Roadway Fatalities Rising
Scott Hernandez, the Chief of the State Patrol, says that distracted driving is becoming an epidemic that is negatively impacting roadway safety. In 2016, roughly 605 people were fatally injured in Colorado, which includes 125 on motorcycles, 84 pedestrians, and 16 bicyclists. The overall number of fatalities is an 11% spike from 2015 and reflects the largest volume of fatal accidents since 2005. In addition to being distracted, Hernandez says that approximately 180 of the victims were not wearing their safety belts. He believes that a seat belt law that allows law enforcement to ticket motorists solely for seat belt violations, rather than only doing so when they pull drivers over for other primary violations would help. Their estimates indicate that 84% of drivers regularly wear seat belts when operating a vehicle.
Colorado Bicycle Regulation
State statute defines bicycles as being manually propelled vehicles that use pedals having wheels that measure over 14 inches in diameter. Electrically assisted bicycles are also identified as bicycles with an electric motor which assists with powering the vehicle at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. The state allows for local municipalities to create and regulate bicycle usage on their roads. When local law prohibits bicycle traffic in stretches of roadway, they are to make accommodations for an alternate path or designated means of travel for bicycles.
Municipal Code for Bicycles in Denver
The county and city grants bicyclists all of the rights and responsibilities that apply to passenger vehicle drivers. All traffic regulations apply to bicyclists traveling on the roadways in the same manner as other vehicles. Bicyclists are to obey traffic law as it relates to signals, signs and other devices that control roadway traffic unless a member of law enforcement on the scene requests otherwise. Bicycles must adhere to signs and signals that relate to making turns to the left and right or U-turns, as well as laws that relate to encountering pedestrians.
With the recent rise in traffic accidents stemming from distracted driving, it is critical that all vehicles on the roadway drive more defensively. If another vehicle operator exhibits careless or negligent behavior that leads to injury or death, you may have grounds to seek monetary compensation for the losses and hardship endured. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal aggressively advocates for accident victims in civil matters. Contact the office today at (303) 825-2223 for a free consultation.