LINCOLN PARISH, La. (7/18/19)– If you’re a Ruston resident, chances are you’ve seen Ian Macaskill and Tom Futrell on the road. The men are two of many avid cyclists in Lincoln Parish.
For Macaskill and Futrell, cycling is a part of life, but lately, their love for the sport has put them in danger.
“I’ve had my elbow hit by mirrors, rear view mirrors; literally bumped as people pass by me,” said Futrell.
Futrell says these motorists are passing by at the speed of light, making it a huge safety concern for cyclists.
“If a driver hits a cyclist, and say they’re going 25 to 20 miles an hour, the chances of fatality is about 5%, but double that, and it goes up to 65%,” said Futrell.
Macaskill believes drivers rushing to their destination is making the issue worse.
“One of the problems is, motorists seem to be impatient, they seem to be in a hurry, and there are certain laws that they don’t follow,” said Macaskill.
Laws that the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office will start heavily enforcing.
“Bicyclists have the same right to the highway as a motorist. They do have duties, they’re supposed to ride to the right side of the road and signal before they turn,” said Stephen Williams, Public Information Officer with the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Williams says drivers need to slow down and give cyclists at least three feet of room. If you want to pass a cyclist, you need to wait until the right of way is clear with no oncoming traffic.
Cyclists also have a responsibility to help drivers.
“Cyclists ought to be predictable, right? If you’re going to be riding a bicycle, don’t for whatever reason just pull into the middle of the road, you know? You have to do the same things. pay attention to where you are,” said Futrell.
Drivers that fail to adhere to these laws could face up to $200 in fines.