Comments about ‘Triathlete killed while cycling in southern Utah’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 10:50 a.m. MDT

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Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

my condolences to the family and friends of this fine young man that has been killed, also, to the poor individual that struck him. Hope that all works out well

owlmaster2
Kaysville, UT

I concur with Shimlau... I too offer my condolences to the family and friends of this man.

Having said that, I wish these cyclists would take into account that they are riding on roads with CARS. People on motorcycles are killed all the time and they are bigger and have their headlights on...
Cyclists ride like 100 together in a mob weaving and bobbing like they are alone on the road.... with CARS trying to get by.

I'm amazed more cyclists aren't killed more often.

DEW
Sandy, UT

Was there any warnings for traffic in this event taken place?

Prodicus
Provo, UT

Folks, you are required by law to treat cyclists just as you would any other vehicle. If you want to pass, you must have at least 3ft of clearance. This usually- especially with narrow (6ft) passing vehicles- means that you must switch lanes to pass anyone who's using part of your lane. If a passing lane is not available you must slow down to the speed of the other vehicle and wait until a lane is open.

Sitting in a 4000lb hunk of metal doesn't give you any more rights than your fellow citizens.

Cyclists and other slow-moving vehicles (e.g. tractors) are supposed to ride to the right when it is safe and prudent for them to do so, allowing others the convenience of easier passing. But the shoulder of the road is frequently not safe; except on the freeway, any vehicle has a right to use a full traffic lane when necessary.

Quit blaming the victim.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

This is sad. I feel so sorry for him and his family. Stuff Happens. Triatholoners are a special breed of Jock trying to balance competitve Swimming, Biking and Running. Just training for these events are not without risk. About two or three years ago a Triathelete Swimmmer was with a group of fellow jocks doing an Ocean Swimm, off a North San Diego county beach, got hit by a Great White Shark but survived long enough to bled out on shore. Like I said Stuff Happens. Be safe my fellow jocks...

bw00ds
Tucson, AZ

@Prodicus

"The sun was setting at the time, making it difficult for those heading west [drivers] to see."

Prodicus
Provo, UT

bw00ds: what exactly is your point? My comment was directed primarily at owlmaster2's victim-blaming and secondarily at what DEW seemed to be implying ("if there wasn't a traffic warning then people aren't obligated to respect the lives of cyclists, the driver is only responsible if there was a warning"). I have no idea how your comment relates.

If you can't see well enough to be safe, you oughtn't be driving. Pull the car over until conditions change if you have to. "The weather made me do it" is not a way out of legal or moral culpability, regardless of whether you struck a cyclist, a pedestrian, or another car.

bw00ds
Tucson, AZ

@Prodicus I apologize--I wasn't reading your comment in the context of the other comments. My point is that your post sounded like you were placing 100% of the blame on the driver. In that context, I didn't think that you knew what exactly happened out there. You were not there. I thought that you were assuming guilt by the driver. We still do not know the details: maybe we never will. It is entirely possible that a fatigued bicyclist wandered out into the car lane. That combined with driving conditions could have led to his death. If hit in the road, no charges against the driver. If the driver is charged with something, then it tells us that there was evidence that the cyclist was hit in the bike lane.

A point that you also did not make was that cyclists need to be very defensive when riding. Front, sideways, and back.

So I apologize for not understanding what you were directing your remarks to.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Any one who has ever been driving on a desert road going west at sundown knows that you face a total blackout when the sun glare is blinding you. Bike lanes or not, a lot of head-on crashes occur at that time of day and driving laws require head lights on in both direction of traffic to see on-coming cars.

The drivers are not at fault if caution is used in oncoming traffic, however same direction traffic and cyclist in a narrow lane aggravate the dangers for both. Cyclist will also be blinded and may wander out of lane and not visible to drivers behind them and these accidents will happen.

Just because people are on bicycles does not protect them or give them special rights or exceptions to natural events. On desert roads on hot days to sunset visibility is distorted and become a mirage by heat waves causing atmospheric illusions. Acts of god are not criminal or accountable and to call blame is emotional bigotry at a time when compassion for both should be exercised.

Prodicus
Provo, UT

bw00ds, there's neither a bike lane nor a "car lane" on that road. There's a travel lane and (usually) a shoulder. Cyclists (like any vehicle) are legally entitled to use a travel lane if they deem it necessary, even when there's a bike lane (e.g. road damage on shoulder, obstruction in bike lane). The only exceptions are freeways. Whether the cyclist was in the road is irrelevant to the driver's legal and moral culpability; he has just as much a right to the road as the driver. The cyclist was only at fault if he suddenly swerved in front of the car.

My2Cents, that the sun sets in the evening may be an "act of God," but hopefully by now you've learned to predict it will happen. People certainly are criminally accountable for accidents that would have been prevented if they had taken obvious weather conditions into account in their driving; driving 75mph down the freeway in a heavy ice storm and causing a death richly deserves prison time. Weather conditions are only an excuse if they could not have been reasonably anticipated and adjusted for.

Northstar702
Las Vegas, NV

I think this shows the problem; that even intelligent people who read the (e)newspaper don't know that a bicycle could be in a travel lane and that this would be perfectly legal. Cyclists don't often do that because (like open carry) they know it is not well known by most people that they/we can do that. A major education campaign would help, but ultimately only separate bike paths are going to eliminate this kind of tragedy which we see happen too frequently to so many great human beings. Of course that's costly but I'm all for a toll-based or donation-based funding system where only the users pay. Long-distance athletes such as myself have little choice but to use roads to log long rides on 4 to 6 hours efforts needed for some training, and for those of us knowingly taking that risk we just pray that all the passing drivers are going to pay attention and be cautious.

DonP
Sainte Genevieve, MO

All of use need to insure that our windshields are clean outside and in. Any film on the surface of the glass will be brought out by the sun when it low on the horizon. I notice a film on the inside of my windshield appears within days after being cleaned, created I am told by the vapors produced by the plastic surfaces in the interior of the vehicle, especially the dash. You may not notice the film until you are driving into the sun. Normal precautions such as using the visor, using your thumb to block the sun really don't work well when the windshield has that film on it. The only solution is regularly cleaning the inside of your windshield as well as the outside regularly. That said, the motorist is responsible for not running into things on the road, be they a stalled vehicle, a stray animal, fallen tree, or a bicyclist. I was always taught never to overdrive my visibility. In other words you must be able to stop with in the time it takes to recognize an obstacle and apply the brakes.

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