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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Survivors of Kalamazoo bike crash testify for new safety legislation

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Survivors of last year’s deadly bike crash near Kalamazoo testified today before a state Senate committee in support of safety legislation.

Paul Gobble was one of four people injured when a pickup truck plowed into a group of bike riders. Five people were killed. The driver was charged with second-degree murder.

Gobble told lawmakers a “culture change” is needed between drivers and bicyclists sharing the roads.

“There’s a lot of animosity toward cyclists,” he said. “The drivers, there’s a great deal of them that are just angry out there.”

The bills would make driving safely around bicyclists a required part of driver’s training. They would also require drivers to put at least five feet between their vehicle and bicycles when passing.

“We are seeing an increase in bicycling accidents and, unfortunately, fatalities, so we really need to make awareness that it is a responsibility of both the driver and the bicyclist to be aware of each other and to be on the road safely,” said State Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage.

 

The bicycle safety bills were approved by the state Senate Judiciary Committee and sent to the full Senate. 

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