After several fatal bicycle accidents in Fort Collins, cyclists, law enforcement and lawmakers met to discuss ways to prevent future crashes. The town hall meeting discussed education and advocacy for cycling safety, in addition to legal penalties for hitting cyclists. After being advertised on Facebook, news of the meeting spread quickly.
The town hall meeting was held at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. Several state senators, city council members and cycling advocates were present.
How bad have bicycle accidents become in Fort Collins? On June 26th, a 59-year-old cyclist was fatally struck by a dump truck during the tenth fatal bicycle accident in Larrimer County since 2000. Only three weeks prior, there was another fatal bicycle accident when a man driving a large truck fatally struck a cyclist. According to local law enforcement, it is possible the driver had fallen asleep.
Not all recent bicycle accidents in Fort Collins have been fatal. Earlier in March, a hit-and-run accident injured a cyclist. It was later reported that the driver was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to yield.
How Can Fort Collins Prevent Bicycle Accidents?
Colorado has a “three-foot passing law” that mandates how close motorists can drive to cyclists. The Fort Collins Police Department has considered utilizing a handlebar-mounted device to measure distance between bicycles and vehicles.
However, even with stronger enforcement of existing laws, poor cycling infrastructure can contribute to bicycle accidents. Fort Collins will soon implement the Bicycle Master Plan. The project will add a protected bike lane and could make cycling safer for Fort Collins residents.
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