The death of a central Iowa cyclist in a drunk driving accident last month has sparked a conversation among bikers and motorists about keeping cyclists safe on our state’s roadways.
Mark Wyatt, Executive Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, says that while Iowa has three to five cycling deaths per year, if you compare that on a per capita basis, we’re not having fewer accidents than anywhere else.
“It’s time to make some changes with what we’re doing here,” Wyatt explains. “Penalties are fairly light. If injuries are fairly light, it’s a $500 fine and a 3 month driving suspension. If injuries are severe it’s a $1000 fine and a 6 month suspension.”
Wyatt compares those penalties to Oregon where motorists who hit cyclists are fined up to $12,000. In Iowa, most accidents happen near intersections, and most cycling deaths in Iowa are a result of a biker being rear-ended on a rural road.
During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Wyatt and Andrea Boulton, Trails Coordinator for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Ethan Fawley, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition also joins the show.