Sebastian Hirsch recently speaksÂ in-depth about the Fatal Accident to a Cyclist
After yet another fatal accident involving a cyclist, Sebastian Hirsch says that there is much more work to be done by the city to protect Los Angeles cyclists. The most recent incident involved a hit-and-run accident in which police estimate the driver was traveling in excess of 80 mph and dragged the cyclist a distance of over 400 feet from the point of first impact.
Sebastian Hirsch – Bike Lane not in Place
What makes this incident particularly galling, notes Hirsch, is the stretch of road where the accident occurred was supposed to have a bike lane installed. The plans to add the bike lane were ultimately tabled by city officials who were concerned over losing a vehicle lane due to the implementation of such a project. This decision was scrapped in spite of the fact that hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists have been on the rise over the last decade. According to data collected by the Los Angeles Times, hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists have increased by a rate of 42 percent from 2002 to 2012.
Hirsch Encouraging Cyclist
Hirsch notes that there are many reasons to encourage cycling in Los Angeles, as the climate makes it ideal for cyclists to eschew other forms of transportation on a year-round basis. With the well-documented issues on traffic and congestion, the use of alternative modes of transportation such as bicycles should not be discouraged in any way. By failing to properly address the dangers of cycling in Los Angeles, city officials are reducing the likelihood that bikers will continue to opt for what should be a safe and convenient means of transportation.
Postive Steps with Public Plea
City officials have taken some positive steps, however, as Councilman Joe Buscaino has made a public plea for turning in the drivers responsible for these hit-and-run accidents, and he has also pushed the city to adopt a reward system for those who provide information about these accidents. While Buscaino has recognized that these accidents have become an “epidemic,” Hirsch asserts that the efforts of city officials should be equally focused on preventing these accidents from happening in the first place.
Safety Guidelines Help
There are a host of cities that have adopted reasonable safety guidelines and have created a system that encourages cyclists to use their bicycles to travel through the city. These systems can easily be applied to Los Angeles, and Hirsch believes that these systems should be adopted as soon as possible. It is simply untenable to continue to allow the dangerous conditions to exist as they do if the city of Los Angeles wants cyclists to feel safe riding their bicycles in the city.
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