Originally created 08/17/00

Drivers must respect cyclists' rights



In response to Clint Smith's concerns and psychiatric insights regarding cyclists in South Carolina (The Chronicle, Aug. 12):

First I would like to extend my appreciation to the 99 percent of drivers in the Augusta area who recognize that cyclists are legally entitled to use every road in Georgia except the interstate highways.

Although our slower pace may pose problems for motorists, occasionally it is important for drivers to respect the bicyclists right to be there. Please, yield the right of way to the bicyclist in the same way you would to another motorist.

If possible, make eye contact with the bicyclist, especially at intersections. If you use your horn as a signal, a gentle "toot" can alert bicyclists without startling them.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety says cyclists have responsibilities too. "Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable ..." (Georgia Code Section 40-6-294).

We cannot ride more than two abreast. We cannot weave in and out of traffic creating a hazard for automobile drivers. We must have safety reflectors installed and use lights at night.

The signs being placed by the South Carolina Department of Transportation go a long way toward making the roads safer for automobile drivers and bicycle riders alike. So Mr. Smith, share the road.

Mark A. MacDonald, Evans