NewsCovering Colorado


Countering cycling deaths on Colorado roads

Posted at 7:56 PM, Feb 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 14:41:42-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — There was a record number of fatal traffic crashes in Colorado over the last year with 745 deaths. A large percentage were people outside of cars, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Bike Colorado Springs is stepping up efforts to counter the numbers.

“We teach folks you have to ride defensively,” said Bike Colorado Springs, volunteer Education Chair, Joan Stang.

For Stang, a bike is fun and functional. “I choose to get on a bike to run errands when I can. I go grocery shopping with the bike, we've got an E-bike now in our family in our household and we actually use it to pack things around.

She also knows too well the risks cyclists encounter. She got hit by a truck a few years back.

“She [the driver] was on the phone and driving distracted, miss signaled, and started drifting toward the center turn lane. I decided to come around her while she right hooked me right in the driveway of the police station.”

The crash sent Stang to the hospital.

“Front wheel of the truck ended up on my front wheel, I was slammed to the ground. It was very traumatizing. “

The incident pushed Stang to work toward making roads safer for cyclists. The motivation continues because too many people are still dying on Colorado roads.

In 2022 a dozen cyclists were killed in crashes. Stang and other cycling advocates lobby for better laws to protect cyclists and the enforcement of those laws.

They also recruit anyone willing to be part of education efforts.

The Pikes Peak Library District for example now has bike safety materials available to the public. Bike Colorado Springs also offers bicycle safety courses for cyclists and drivers.

“It's a fairly small time commitment,” said Karl Stang who is a biker safety Instructor.

As many might suspect, instructors see a lot more cyclists than drivers. Most drivers involved in the courses are professional drivers assigned to classes by employers.

For example transit drivers in Colorado Springs take classes to learn how to better share the roads with bicycles.

In an effort to increase participation by average drivers, there is now an option for virtual classes.

“just this year The League of American Bicyclists digitized the bike-friendly driver class, so you can take it online, at your own convenience, you know, from the comfort of your own home,“ said Karl Stang.

Visit the Bike Colorado Springs website for information about bicycle safety education.


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