Tallahassee Cyclists Struck by Motorists

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

Another bicycle accident turns deadly in Tallahassee.

Forty-four-year-old Maxwell Veira is struck by an SUV while riding on Park Avenue. Police say he was wearing a helmet and riding in the bike lane. They say it's another tragic accident, the third in just three weeks.

It's risky riding on these roads. Whether you’re behind the wheel or on top a bike, you'd better look both ways.

OFC David McCranie with the Tallahassee Police Department says, “It comes down to being cautious, wearing safety gear, and obeying the rules of the road."

Whether rules were broken last weekend is unknown, but safety gear was worn by 44-year-old Maxwell Veira. He was even riding in the bike lane on Park Avenue when a suburban pulled into his path. Still, the injuries were so severe they took his life.

One day earlier a 16-year-old boy was riding his bike against traffic on Apalachee Parkway. Police say when the light turned green a motorist crashed into the teen, causing facial injuries and a broken leg.

Tallahassee police are investigating both accidents, but say it's hard to place blame.

So where does the fault lie, on the cyclist or the driver? Some say neither.

Bob Rackleff, Leon County Commissioner, says, “It's not just motorists’ or cyclists’ behavior, it's a matter of roadway design.”

The Leon County commissioner says the roads are too narrow and the availability of bike lanes is slim to none.

“Our engineers refuse to put them in when we resurface roads.”

Many cyclists agree, saying more room to ride is the best safety measure.

Roger Hawkes, a Tallahassee cyclist, says, “Whenever a cyclist comes to a bike lane, they feel 100 percent safer than on any other road.”

Commissioner Rackleff says he'll continue to push for more bike lanes in Tallahassee and Leon County. Meanwhile, police want to remind cyclists to obey the rules of the road, especially those cyclists under 16. You must wear a helmet. It's the law.


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