Upstate cyclists advocating for safer conditions after recent ac - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate cyclists advocating for safer conditions after recent accidents left two dead

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Viewer photo of the damaged bike (Viewer photo) Viewer photo of the damaged bike (Viewer photo)

Two Spartanburg County cyclists were killed in less than two weeks and many Upstate cyclists believe it’s time for a change. 

"We’re a person just like they are in their car. We're driving also. It’s not a faceless individual out there," said Karl Johnson, president of Freewheelers cycling club in Spartanburg.

Johnson said he knows the need for safer conditions all too well. He was hit twice while riding his bike, landing him with a broken foot and fractured collarbone. 

According to South Carolina Highway Patrol, there were 140 collisions involving bicycles in Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg Counties between July 2015 and July 2017.

Of those accidents, 122 cyclists were injured and 8 were killed.  

Local cyclists said they are advocating for change, and urging drivers to be cautious.

“We have the same right to use the road as anyone,” said Danny Morgan, “I think that every cyclist would say just be patient. You’re not going to lose more than 30 seconds or a minute. That’s how long you’re going to get slowed down."

Cyclists are also urging other cyclists to ride safely.

"Make sure everybody has a blinking light, wearing high visibility clothing, and riding with two or three riders, said Johnson, “It may make a difference if they stay close together.”

Palmetto Cycling Coalition said they are pushing for a bill that would hold drivers who hit cyclists more accountable.’

The state advocacy group said they are also working with SCDOT on complete streets, which would add bike lanes and more trails for bikers.

Cyclists said it’s a group effort to get fatalities down to zero.

"It’s not worth losing someone's life for that," said Morgan.

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