Colorado bicyclists gain new road rules

Protections are among 151 laws that go into effect today

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— When Greg Brophy heads out on a bike ride this morning - a nearly daily ritual for the state senator from Wray - he will take with him something extra.

Because of a bill Brophy championed at the legislature, cyclists starting today will have greater legal protections on the road to keep them safe.

Motorists, for instance, must give cyclists a 3-foot berth when passing, and the law makes it legal for drivers to cross a double yellow line - when safe - to pass cyclists.

Cyclists also will be able to ride closer to the center of the road when riding on the shoulder is too dangerous and ride two abreast when there is no traffic behind them.

"We just made the safest thing to do legal," Brophy, a Republican, said.

The cycling law is one of 151 new laws passed during this year's legislative session that go into effect today.

Read the rest of The Denver Post story here.

Comments

flower 5 years, 4 months ago

How does this nonsense make anyone more safe??? 3ft?, passing on a double yellow, riding down the middle of the road?, constantly changing positions to allow for double riding??? May the force be with you.

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jk 5 years, 4 months ago

I saw a group of idiots stopped on top of a hill that you couldn't see over to safely pass them. I am glad the laws are being structured to remove even more of their common sense.

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jk 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh yea and they were standing 3 wide just shooting the breeze.

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fartpark 5 years, 4 months ago

All this will do is give the cops one more reason to target the ones behind the wheel. All this bicycle stuff is a total crock of poo--when was the last time anyone saw a bicyclist being harassed about breaking the laws??? Take a drive out Twentymile road any day of the week and check out all the moron Tour-De-France wannabes that ride two, three, even four abreast, it absolutely amazes me that more people on bikes aren't killed around here. I have a question, is there something written on the paperwork when you cyclists get those flashy outfits that have "sponsors" names plastered all over them that states the following: When wearing this uniform, you must, under any and all circumstances ride your bicycle in the middle of the road and pretend that you and your fellow cyclists own the road you are peddling on, and to hell with everyone else? That being said, there are some very responsible riders out there that try and do the right thing, but the number of morons highly outweighs the responsible ones. If this county is in such a financial crunch, then why not start writing citations to the cyclists when breaking the law? Thank you for reading my rant, and remember, drive slowly, there may be a bicycle in the middle of the road.

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routtcountyriders 5 years, 4 months ago

The new laws will help to make the roads safer. Cyclists need room on the roads like everyone and if a cyclist is not hugging the fog line it may have a lot more to do with the state of the road than a deliberate desire to slow the traffic.

Drivers and riders alike have the habit of occasionally driving or riding as they please. It is the exception rather than the rule but it happens, but it has a lot more to do with human nature than being a conspiracy between cyclists against drivers. What would we gain from that as we are already the most vulnerable road user group out there? The name calling does not make you look smart.

This community needs to accept that cycling is a legitimate use of County Roads and we should be working together to make roads better for all user groups. Wider roads with rideable shoulders or lanes were requested by 300 people in comments recently submitted to County Commissioners, We are now waiting to see where this goes. Fixing the roads to make them more bicycle friendly fixes the roads for everyone!

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inmyopinion 5 years, 4 months ago

RCR- personally, it drives me nuts when i encounter a smug group of single speed commuting elitists riding two or three deep down the middle of Lincoln at 15mph. they take a look over their shoulders, see that i am there, and continue business as usual. uggghh. i like bikes, i own several. however, i realize who is king of the road, and it ain't me on a 17lb road bike.

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mtroach 5 years, 4 months ago

Presonally I drives me nuts when a local community member is hit and killed by a CDL driver and charges are not filed and noone is named responsible for the death. Drivers in this community need a wake up call from law enforcement, that includes bikers as well as drivers. It's time that law enforcement in Routt county started enforcing traffic laws to make our roads safer.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

I have a little device called the "dash cam" that records my GPS speed and position, and records what is happening in front and behind me on a continuous 1/2 hour buffer.

This device is being deployed by companies that insure commercial vehicles. It's a lot more effective than the "How's my driving?" with an 800 number that nobody answers.

You can expect to find these devices more frequently both on roving vehicles sent out for the purpose of monitoring CDL safety and by liability-conscious motorists who want a nice video record of what was going on around them when an incident occurred.

Oh, and the 18-wheelers that are not speeding have onboard GPS monitoring devices for "fleet management" to enforce speed controls, reduce hours-of-service infractions, and deter drivers from "moonlighting" or otherwise going off route. So, when you see a trucker actually obeying the law, this may be the reason.

The bottom line for the dash cam is that it captures date, time, speed, location and video in a compressed format that can be e-mailed to law-enforcement agencies to help them "monitor" the roads. They're not going to write a ticket based on the video, but they may step up patrols and more closely monitor problem areas/behavior as a result.

The new laws provide relief for motorists by allowing us to swing over the double yellow line legally to pass bikers. Bikers should have enough sense to stay as far right as they can while we are passing. EVERYBODY who has traffic slowed down behind them below the limit has an obligation to pull off and let the others pass. If we all do these things, no biker will be injured here again.

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flower 5 years, 4 months ago

Routtcountyriders, I still don't see how this law makes onyone safer. You say that drivers and riders do as they please and this is not safe. However, this law does just that, it allows you to ride and drive as you please, Legally.

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nxoby36 5 years, 4 months ago

I have driven truck in Routt County for 30 years and I try to respect everyone on the road . I have had no tickets for moving violations nor have I been involved in any accidents during that time . There have always been a lot of bike riders on our county roads and I and most other truckers around here ride and we have practiced sharing the road with our local wanna be racers and the tourists on their bikes almost to the letter of the new "Bike Safety Act ". It isn't very difficult to do . What you may not realize is the fact that there are many belligerent cyclists who always seem to yell , flip everyone off and even throw stones at the traffic , I have even witnessed a cyclist scratching a cars paint for some perceived injustice done to them with their tire pump or the cleats sometimes used on the bottom of cycling shoes. Sure in many cases they may feel justified , but I feel that now they have fuel for the fire and have basically been given priority over all other users of the highway system . There still remains the fact that they can break the law and there is no means to punish them ( tickets and fines and maybe the revocation of their riding permit ) we see cyclists running stop signs and traffic lights , failing to signal , riding on the wrong side of the road and riding on the sidewalk . At this time there is no hard law on impeding traffic but I and most truckers will pull over if there is a shoulder or a pull off when we have a line of cars being held up behind us ,rarely have I seen a cyclist pull off the road to let a line of vehicles by . Every other vehicle using our roads that cannot maintain 25 MPH is required to display a bright orange triangle on the rear . Why not bicycles ? I guess they are special . It has always been said that the cyclists are subject to the same laws as the other users but seldom have I seen or heard of any of them being stopped and made to answer for their unsafe activities( ticketed ) even when there is a patrol car present . I feel that is about time that anyone over 16 who rides a bike on public roads must take a written test on rules of the road and also a riding exam before they are issued a bicycle operators license complete with a point system where by they are subject to fines and possible loss of that license just like any other user of our roads or provisions made to access point against their Driver License . If you need any more incentive to the licensing of bike riders how about the fact that there will be state income , fees and fines to add to the state coffers . Cyclists should be held responsible for their actions on the road just like drivers and motor cyclists are . I bet they will fight this like crazy as they think they are special . It's time they be held accountable for their actions also .

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Tubes 5 years, 4 months ago

It is amazing to me the sense of arrogance, entitlement, and invincibility that SOME people cycle with around here. That, coupled with this new legislation, and it's simply a matter of time before someone gets smeared.

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Duke_bets 5 years, 4 months ago

Amen to fartpark. Just last week, I came up on 3 abreast on the uphill stretch before 20-mile mine. They did not even notice me until I was within 30 yards of them. I couldn't pass and they were pedalling away at 1 mph. I don't believe 20-mile road or 14 would be considered safe for any bicycling, let alone 2 and 3 across. There are too many blind curves, but bulletproof Bob in the spandex doesn't seem to care.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Who is causing the most harm to our ability to survive on this planet Earth? Some bicyclists riding on the road or the pollution spewing, Jake brake operators who affect the total population of the Yampa Valley? Day and night. The police should receive a substantial bonus for ticketing the loud obnoxious truck drivers who destroy our peace. You guys have a really big problem. I just hope you can get over it.

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arnonep 5 years, 4 months ago

nxoby36 Let me be the first cyclist to agree with you on the license us up and make us responisble. Unfortunatly it will not make us safer, as the new law is trying to do. inmyopinion Do you say "uggghh" when you have to change lanes to pass a tractor going 15 mph down Lincoln? All I invite you to reread RCR's post. How many of you notice the hundreds of riders that you pass every day that are riding single file and obeying the laws?

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jk 5 years, 4 months ago

arnone, it would be nice if it were hundreds vs. the few but it isn't. And sorry arnone and cloudy but those trucks and tractors are serving a purpose in this valley, not just taking up valuable road space.

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

During the course of my week, I drive all over this valley from Craig to Kremling, Clark to Toponas. During my travels I am frequently required to give right of way to trucks, cows, deer, skunks, elk, pedestrians and cyclists. I would say the the cyclists are roughly 10-15% of the travel slowdowns that I encounter.

Of those encounters probably only 1 out of 15 0r 20 involve cyclists that are riding more that two abreast, or just oblivious in general to the flow of traffic around them. By the same token, if you are waiting for a tractor or a cow, you as the driver will receive no consideration at all. Elk and deer are worse.

With these numbers and the very small wait times that most of us encounter is it really so hard to glue a smile on your face and wave a happy thought at someone? Most of these encounters cost you less than 30 seconds and during that small amount of time you have the ability to be the person you really are. I would encourage all of you to drive safe, and pass with a smile and a friendly wave.

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Tubes 5 years, 4 months ago

clearsky, um...truckers aren't driving for fun, it's their job and they're providing a needed service. how did the building materials your house was built from arrive at the site? yeah, that's what i thought, hypocrite!

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Greg Dixson 5 years, 4 months ago

As someone who travels the roads in both a car and on bike, I agree that we cyclists can and should self-police to insure our own safety and help improve the relationship with all who use the roads. Indeed there are some cyclists who are arrogant and don't fully realize or care that by riding two or three abreast in traffic or not obeying traffic laws, they are not helping our cause. Likewise, when a driver speeds or is using a cell phone or texting, they too are creating issues. Combining the two can be deadly. RCR is an excellent advocate for cycling, but also plays a key role in educating the cycling community and promoting good will between auto and bike. It's incumbent upon all of us to do so constructively. At the risk of this appearing as an excuse, often cyclists don't hear traffic behind them and are simply enjoying the ride and conversation with other bikers. Perhaps a quick sound of the horn from well behind the cyclists would alert them that you are there most of us (it should be all of us) will gladly give you a friendly wave and move over as far as is safe. It's in our best interest to do so. Lastly, our dress while on the bike is functional, much like a fishing vest and waders are to a fisherman. Join us: you might be surprised who you see out for a healthy spin:

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Corey Piscopo 5 years, 4 months ago

Trump -"With these numbers and the very small wait times that most of us encounter is it really so hard to glue a smile on your face and wave a happy thought at someone?"

I am with you man, I ride around here a lot and started waving to cars this spring when they yield or give me room and most wave back, the reality is this is a small community and most people are respectful of each other even if they disagree(minus the anonymous commenters on this forum) . Other than getting dieseled every so often, I think most adopt your philosophy of driving and live here because they are not in a rush. What is unfortunate is how some on here want to create more divisiveness between motorists and cyclists, I don't see the comments above changing how people conduct themselves on the road and it leaves me scratching my head when I read stupid comments like "tour de france wannabes" and think of the diversity of business owners and people in Routt that ride bikes. It is too bad the comments are anonymous because I think a lot of people would like to know who is behind them.

I would ask when was the last time anyone saw a motorist cited for harassing a cyclist? In the 15 years I have been riding, I have taken a lot of crap like a glass bottle to the back of the head and every homophobic comment you could think of and never have had any recourse, the new law makes it a misdemeanor to go after a cyclist, but will that ever be enforceable? There is more to this issue than getting cyclists to ride in a single line off of the road.

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jk 5 years, 4 months ago

Corey, Maybe the drivers are trying to express their frustrations here without resorting to running you off of the road. Snide little comments about being dieseled don't help because if you have ever driven one you would know they need to be wound up to get by you. I understand you are only "lashing back" at what has been said, however your bikes are creating the nuisance, and I think there are alot more people upset about it than are willing to post here.(anonymous or not) So keep up your polite gestures and I will return the favor! Enjoy the Road.

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Corey Piscopo 5 years, 4 months ago

You can certainly make the argument that bikes should get zero special treatment and be banned from roads. And from your comments it is clear that you have no concern about cyclists getting any rights or respect. Just come right out and say it, don't sugar coat it and hide behind the guise of safety because I suspect you don't care if someone on a bike gets smeared. It would just be more evidence for you that bikes should be banned.

Thankfully, I think a majority would disagree with you and recognize that a bike is a valid form of transportation whether for recreation or commuting. What we decide to do in Routt County will say more about the people who live here than it does about bikes and cars, because bikes and cars do coexist just fine in lots of places like Routt County. You do have to admit that more people are riding bicycles, why?

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jk 5 years, 4 months ago

Corey I think I counted 8 to 5 with 3 fence rider not wanting to ruffle any feather types. I guess you are wrong about your majority. I never said anything about being banned, but as far as the special treatment goes you have it and that is a crock of poo. The laws and the law are both in your favor already. Now bicycle up a little take some responsibility for you and your fellows and stop complaining.

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Greg Dixson 5 years, 4 months ago

Windle and JK: Just to clarify, many cyclists have publicly attended meetings at the county and state level through individual involvement, advocacy groups, and communication with our elected officials. We've accomplished much by doing so in the public, not by complaining or using anonymity in posts like this. Most of us do consider the impact to cars and trucks, and make every attempt to safely share the road. I have one question for you: What have you done to accomplish the same (if you have, thanks)? As I said in the earlier post, we will do our best to self police but we expect the same consideration by drivers. Just because a handful of riders or drivers are disrespectful doesn't mean all of us are. And JK, might want to do a head count at public meetings rather than these posts to get a realistic count.

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mtroach 5 years, 4 months ago

I read the comments and once again am taken back by the lack of respet we give one another on the roads. I disagree that wider roads and shoulders are the fix for our problems, proper enforcement of current laws would go much further to slow traffic, and make our roads safer.

Passing on the shoulder is illegal, and a death has occured as a result, yet noone is stopping this from happening. Our recent loss of a local, checking her mail, could have easily been a cyclist, or anyone walking by the roadside. Passing on the shoulder and riding two abreast while impeeding traffic are both illegal, Yet where is law enforcement? Most all of the complaints on this forum have a legal remedy, yet the RCSO isn't busy handing out tickets, they are too understaffed to do everything asked.

Funding for roads and shoulders would be better spent by hireing more deputies and really enforcing traffic laws in Routt county. The money spent on new officers would stay in the valley, drivers and bikers would be forced to obey the current laws and everyone in this county would be safer without having to rebuild any roads. At $2 million a mile, rebuilding roads is an expensive way to make thing safer, and who's to say that better roads wont make driver speed more and make things worse. 1 mile of shoulder @ $2million/mile, could hire three or four new deputies, and instantly make our roads safer for all.

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Greg Dixson 5 years, 4 months ago

Sorry - meant to say make the roads safe first...

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Roach,

I don't have all the facts about the recent fatality, but the way the story came across was that the truck was cut off and swerved onto the shoulder to avoid a crash.

This was a tragic case, and very close to my own heart because I had a mailbox destroyed in a similar way. There just didn't happen to be anybody out there picking up the mail when it happened. My mail goes to a P O box now because it's not safe to be on the side of that roadway.

And, I see cyclists on that same road every day.

Complacency is the cause of most accidents of this type. People don't consider the other traffic before stopping short or making a turn (cell phones cause a lot of it).

I was in a line of traffic that was slowing for the lead vehicle to make a right turn onto another road off a 2-lane highway. Coincidentally, I was getting ready to make a left turn into a driveway about 200 feet before the intersection. Some yahoo three or four cars behind me pulled out on the double-yellow line to pass the line of traffic just as I was starting my left turn into the driveway. Luckily, I saw him in my side-mounted mirror and swerved right to avoid a crash. The Yahoo ended up off the highway on the left side as he swerved to avoid me. So, what was the real story? Someone trying to pass slower traffic on a double yellow, breaking the law, narrowly avoided a pretty bad accident. If I hadn't been alert, the yahoo would have t-boned me at 30-40 mph.

So, now, what if a cyclist had been coming the other way while all this was going on. If the yahoo didn't see my turn signal because it was blocked by the other cars in-between us, what's the chance of seeing a cyclist? Even if the yahoo had seen a cyclist coming the other way, he'd have been left with the choice of hitting me or running off the road and maybe nailing the cyclist.

An avoidable accident is one you prevent by seeing a hazard and avoiding it. Every time I pass a biker on the highway, I avoid an accident. The tragedies happen when two or more unrelated "oopsies" occur at the same time and you have three or four people put into a situation to have to take evasive action. Add one innocent biker on the shoulder and you get spandex pate.

Most people are not trained or experienced in handling a multi-dimensional problem involving multiple moving vehciles. I've done a lot of this involving things that fly. That's why I didn't get t-boned on the highway. Do you want to trust everybody else to have the same skills? Don't count on it.

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mtroach 5 years, 4 months ago

All i know about the accident is what was reported in the Pilot;

"According to Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott, the dump truck was traveling west on U.S. 40 and struck Farrow, 58, when it swerved to the right to avoid hitting a Jeep that slowed to turn left into the Riverbend Cabins. The accident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. in front of Farrow Repair in the 26800 block of West U.S. 40. Farrow was transported to the hospital in critical condition. She died at about 2:30 p.m., Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said......

A Colorado State Patrol news release states that Stackhouse "did not act in time and had to aggressively brake and swerve to the right to avoid striking the Jeep. : Drug and alcohol use are not believed to be contributing factors in this crash, however, inattentive driving is likely the main cause of this crash."

Not cut off, CDL driver was not paying attention. I drove to the dump this week and the accident site is not a blind corner, or otherwise poor section of roadway.

You have to admit that if the CSP or Sherriff were out aggressively ticketing drivers, more attention would be paid by everyone on the road. That could of easily been one anyone, a cyclist, or you checking the mail. I don't want to be scared off the roads like you already have that's why I resist these internet bullies that tell me to stay off the roads. That's why I think it's time for law enforcement to step it up. Let's make the roads we have safe then work to make safer roads.

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mavis 5 years, 4 months ago

Solution--- Maybe the County should apply from a grant from Obama and they could buy a dump truck similator machine to be @ the DMV- if you want to be a cyclist you have to get a license and PAY for it and part of it entails doing the simulator so you can develop some common sense and see what it is like to be in the shoes of a dump truck driver.
THat way they can learn why trucks just can't pass all 50 of you headed up hill on 20 mile after you made them get to a crawl and why the Jake break is IMPORTANT going down.. Cyclists could also learn about BLIND spots and looking ahead

NOt likely that this scenerio will ever happen- but some of you really need to develop some common sense if you are going to continue riding on some of the roads you just don't belong on for safety.

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routtcountyriders 5 years, 4 months ago

It's a good thing that this forum does not mirror what is going on out in the real world. There would be carnage on our roads!

Whilst I understand the frustration of people that use the roads only for business and getting from A to B quickly and safely is their number one concern, you cannot say that cyclists are the only ones recreating on our roads. I suspect that if we just has commuters and ranchers on our roads there would be lot's of room for cyclists. However the real picture has to include: RV's, Campers, rental cars on their way to recreate at a guest ranch or visit a lake, dirt bike riders & 4-wheelers heading for the trails, water-skiers and fishermen hauling boats to the Lakes. Some days it is hard to spot a rancher out there! Cyclists are just a small part of this despicable recreational traffic yet we seem to bear the brunt of the criticism. The point here is that roads are for many uses and no one group is more entitled than another.

Law enforcement and self policing are areas that we will promote and support. Education of all road users including cyclists is high on our list of priorities.

The fact remains that the County Roads need improvements for the benefit of everyone. Our hope is that the new Multi-Modal / Share the Road Citizens Group will be able to work with the County Commissioners on solutions to devising new County road standards and funding options for the big projects ahead of us. One thing you can say in favor of cyclists is that we are actually working on solutions - over 300 cyclists submitted comments at the recent Share-the-Road meetings.

There is no doubt that the County roads can be a dangerous place to ride. One perspective to consider is that despite this a lot of people chose to ride their bikes out there. It's a beautiful place to ride, it is a great way to get some exercise and appreciate where you live. Wouldn't it be a good thing if we improved our roads so that more people could do this? Obviously I am not expecting a chorus of yes's from contributors to this forum, but in general I think that many would agree.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Roach,

Your post exactly proves my point. The CDL driver had to swerve to avoid an accident. Cut off, car stopped ahead, etc., makes no difference to the dead victim.

Unfortunately, the CDL driver was watching the car blocking the road and didn't see the victim. Maybe she was just stepping up to the box when he swerved and she didn't see the truck in time to react. Her death is certainly not her fault, but it behooves pedestrians along that highway to watch the freakin' traffic and not trust ANYBODY to avoid hitting them.

This kind of thing can happen to a cyclist, and cyclists need to be aware of the traffic around them and ride defensively under the assumption that they'll be hit if they don't.

I was out on CR-129 today, by the way, and used the new law 3 times to give cyclists a wide clearance on double-yellow lines. It was great. I like it.

I also saw 4 or 5 bikers in a section of narrow hills and curves on the way "up" from town, riding two abreast (maybe somebody was passing) and if a car had been coming north behind them, there would have been no way to avoid hitting the passer without hitting me head-on as I was going south. This proves that the cyclists are not being smart, and are taking deliberate chances in the belief that nothing will happen to them. Today, nothing did.

I obey the limits on CR-129. The guys hauling trailers full of boats and 4-wheelers don't seem to be so worried about the law, or the safety of bikers.

So, anyway, cyclists are going to do what they choose, and drivers are going to make mistakes. Somebody is going to die, and it probably won't be the driver.

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Kevin Nerney 5 years, 4 months ago

This conversation reminds me of the training manual that taught me how to drive firetrucks,(back in the big city). One statement sticks out after all these years. In regards to the law and the law of physics," You may be dead right, but you'll still be dead".

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mtroach 5 years, 4 months ago

oh aichey,You say: "Unfortunately, the CDL driver was watching the car blocking the road and didn't see the victim."

Please admit that you made this up and you have no knowledge where the attention of the driver was. For all we know his "inattentive driving" was caused by texting, or maybe he dropped his soda on the floor,or there was a bee in the cab or was tuning the radio. I think you should go out and drive that section of US40 and look for yourself where the crash happened, it's a clear line of sight from the 55mph sign to well past Farrows mailbox and the entrance to Riverbend, If the driver was watching the stopped car there is plenty of room to stop safely and not have to take to the shoulder to pass.

You just can't come out and agree that increased law enforcment would make the road safer without a $20-50 million price tag? I imagine that you could still check your mail if a RCSO deputy was parked at your mailbox everyday. Drivers would soon learn that your mailbox turnout was a traffic enforcment zone, and speeds would drop, and drivers would be forced to obey comon road courtesy and yield to peds by the roadside.

mavis- i held a CDL for six years and think the extra training and testing would do all drivers on the road some good. Some of the posts on this thread point to ignorance and confusion regarding current traffic laws, especally as our lawmakers put forth new legislation. Testing and receritfication should be manditory for everyone, not just professional drivers. flower started this thread by asking; "How does this nonsense make anyone more safe??? 3ft?, passing on a double yellow, riding down the middle of the road?, constantly changing positions to allow for double riding???"

Clearly some education for both drivers and cyclists is needed. I have said it before; Getting a licence at 16 should not give you right to the road forever, retesting every 5 years should be mandatory for all drivers.

Thank you, aichey, and all the good drivers of routt county that obey the laws of the road, and drive with respect to our laws and other users.

Greg Dixon- Congrats on Linnea's State Championship win this weekend in Snowmass!!

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Roach,

Okay, yeah, put a cop there 24/7 and it will be safer.

I DID drive that section of US 40 twice this week and took special note of it.

By the way, have you ever slowed down by shifting into a lower gear instead of using the brakes? I do it all the time. Guess what. NO BRAKE LIGHTS. The story says the CDL swerved to miss the car. He reacted too late. That doesn't change any of the circumstances or keep it from happening to someone else on the side of a busy road.

I'm not debating the fault or lack thereof by the CDL. I'm only pointing out that the shoulder of the road is a dangerous place for pedestrians and for cyclists because of the conditions that happen in high-speed traffic.

So ride your bike and be safe. You having nothing to fear from me. That's one out of, what? 10,000 who drive the roads every day?

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Angie Robinson 5 years, 4 months ago

Why didn't anyone see this coming, 10, 15, 20 years ago? Every road that has been repaved in Colorado should've been made wider to accomodate people and bicyclists. All we can do now is start from here on out. Bicycling is popular and that is not going to change. All of us drivers pass 90% of the cyclists without thinking anything about it, because they are following the rules and being careful of cars - it's the 10% of cyclists that you all have problems with. That statistic would probably be the same about vehicle drivers as well. I would like more cyclists to obey stop signs and traffic lights though, that may help more drivers respect more cyclists.

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nxoby36 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky you must be kidding or do not know the difference between ENGLISH LAW and NAPOLEONIC LAW
English Law states " You are Innocent until proven guilty by the state " this is what we have in the USA Napoleonic Law states " You are guilty until you prove your innocence You should feel lucky you live in the USA as it is very difficult to prove your innocence from prison . Just ask any one who has been arrested in Mexico where Napoleonic law is in effect . In most countries with Napoleonic law anyone can walk up to a policeman point at you and say you broke some law Bang you next find your self in jail and now have to prove your own innocence from there before you are released Thank the founding fathers that we are blessed with English law

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Kevin Nerney 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky- hence the reason they call it an ACCIDENT otherwise it would be called on purpose

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky,

Let me give you a true story to ponder.

I used to live in New England, on an island, and enjoyed going out for a 5-mile jog after work. As the days grew shorter and nightfall came earlier, I would end up finishing my jog in total darkness.

One moonless evening I was approaching the hill at the four-mile point, where I had to jog up a slope for about 1/4 mile. Good citizen that I am, I was on the left shoulder of the asphalt road, facing the oncoming traffic. Traffic was no big deal, however, because I wore a reflective vest and usually saw only one or two cars in the whole five miles . . . it was a small island.

So, there I was, trudging up my hill when I heard a mysterious buzzing-whizzing sound. It seemed to be getting closer. Unsure of what was happening, and thinking I was about to be abducted by aliens or fall into some kind of gravity vortex, I turned on my AA-size MagLight and heard "GEEZ!" as a cyclist whizzed by on my right, narrowly missing me.

Okay, so since you're an expert on injuries caused by bicycles, please tell me how the head-on collision of a jogger going about three miles per hour up a slope and a cyclist going probably 30 mph down the slope would have turned out. I figure I'd probably have suffered a concussion and a ruptured spleen or something, and the cyclist would have skidded down the blacktop after possibly landing on his head. (I assume the cyclist was a man from the tone of his voice. I never saw anything).

I was doing everything right and responsibly. I was on a road with almost no traffic, carrying a light and wearing a reflective vest, facing the oncoming traffic, and here came a cyclist in the dark with no lights showing at all. If I'd been listening to a walkman instead of being aware of my surroundings, I could have easily died of blunt trauma from colliding with a cyclist and falling on the asphalt road. I suppose I could have been wearing a helmet, but who jogs with a helmet?

So, the responsibility to be safe lies with each one of us. Cyclists who want to be safe had better get in touch with the idea of being aware of the traffic and yielding to it according to the Laws of Physics, no matter what the Colorado Revised Statutes say.

The only thing the law may do for you -- and I emphasize the "may" part -- is punish the driver who hits you. You're the one who has to deal with the death, paralysis, broken bones, physical therapy, medical expenses and all that. While we have a lot of wealthy people around here, we also have a bunch of people who live from one payday to the next, and for them, bankruptcy gets them out of paying a dime for any of your expenses.

Some people are able to read about things that happen to others and learn from it. Others have to go through it personally. A lot of our local cyclists need to capture their ids and realize that what they "want" is not what they can "have."

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

What makes most sense? If any driver is involved in an accident where injury or death occurs, they should lose their license at the scene like they do in more civilized parts of the world. Then let the court system decide whether or not they get their license back. The good thing about driving a bicycle is that the injury caused by a careless rider will be insignificant compared to a car or truck.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

noxby- The first rule of driving is "you shall drive at a safe and reasonable speed so that you can stop in time to avoid an accident." So if you have an accident whether hitting someone in a crosswalk, side of road collecting their mail, a small child that I just couldn't see, then go back to the first rule. Losing your license would be the most sane thing to do.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky,

There are tons of people driving in Colorado on suspended or revoked licenses.

We've had people around here leave the scene of an accident and allow a passenger to die.

Taking away the license of an irresponsible person won't protect the next victim, and around here, they don't put people in jail for much of anything.

So, you're dreaming if you think anybody is going to lose a license or be off the road unless they go to Canon City real jail.

This is what I mean about forgetting what you want and dealing with what you can have.

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mavis 5 years, 4 months ago

clearsky- I am not sure why you think you are exempt from an accident I have seen even the safest slowest and most cautious drivers in accidents- they are always a combination of a lot of things happening leading to the accident- example- driving to eagle last winter- the vehicle in front of us was terrified and going 15 mph it was slick very slick-- blind corner car came flying around the corner bounced off the guard rail and slammed into the family infront of us- totaled the car of the cautious driver- we were trying to get people to safety and other vehicles were totally out of control- GUESS what NONE OF Them had on snow tires- they were astonished that I could run to the truck- and move it while cars were sliding at us on the hill- they couldn't even think of starting and stopping Basically what i am saying is ALL people on the road need to use common sense from where you ride to how well you maintain your vehicle and how much attention you pay while being on the road

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Kevin, accidents can always be avoided. They still happen but they can always be avoided. Cause injury or death?, the least thing one can do is lose their license. Then they could gain valuable experience as a biker or pedestrian. The life saved could be yours or your loved ones.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

windle, your statement may sum up your level of intelligence. Accidents can always be avoided, people just have to figure out how before it happens.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky,

Okay, guess what.

Today at exactly 11:33 AM I watched a late model Dodge or Chrysler (the ones with the skinny windows) pull out on a double yellow line, going up the hill between mile marker 19 and 20 on CR-129 (just before the Willow Creek Pass Village subdivision entrances at the top of the hill), to pass a school bus type vehicle (painted white with black trim) and maybe another car between him and the bus. There were four or five vehicles behind the bus.

Only a few minutes earlier, I saw a large flatbed commercial truck hauling building materials and equipment coming DOWN that same hill doing well over the speed limit. There have also been a lot of RVs and big pickups hauling trailers coming down that way today.

If the timing had been just a bit different, our friend in the gray or silver colored Dodge/Chrysler would have met the speeding traffic head-on coming the other way.

Cyclists are frequently seen granny-gearing up that same piece of roadway, headed up the slope.

So, you mix a bus, a car, a head-on collison and a couple of cyclists on the shoulder all together at that point, and it's going to be quite a scene. The scenario is very realistic, it's possible, and one of these days it's going to happen. If the RCSO was going to set up a radar trap, that would be the spot.

So, Clearsky, please tell me how a cyclist mixed up in a mess like that is going to avoid the accident without just NOT BEING THERE ON A BICYCLE.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Aich, Was there an accident or did everyone do what was necessary to avoid an accident? Accidents can always be avoided. Accidents will still happen but they can always be avoided.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky,

By the Grace of God, there was nobody flying over the crest of the hill coming down CR-129 headed south at the moment this incident occurred.

If this had happened, the vehicle coming "down" would have had to jam on the brakes and try to slow down headed down a steep slope. Jacknife is the word that comes to mind if a trailer was involved. The other althernative would be to drive off the right side of the road, down a slope, and roll.

The car passing would have had nowhere to go at that point. He'd have been caught beside the bus and unable to cut back into his lane.

Luck is the thing that prevented an accident in this case. One yahoo breaking the law and passing on a double yellow was the problem.

Now how the #### can an innocent party in another vehicle, or on a bike, avoid THAT?

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Aich, A monkey, a priest, and an elephant were driving down the road, and a bicycle tried passing on a double yellow line.... it's about as silly as your description above.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Accidents can always be avoided. The problem is how people act toward avoiding an accident. So if the hypothetical people acted properly there will not be an accident. If you need to experience the thrill of folly, ride a motorcycle, and my advice-expect the unexpected ALL the time. Also, I hope you drive as if your son is the one on a bicycle riding along the road.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky,

My point was that cyclists are seen on that very stretch of road every day, pulling up the hill. There's a wide shoulder, but it drops off on both sides past the shoulder.

There's nowhere for anybody to bail out except onto the shoulder, and if the cyclists are there, adios muchachos.

So, if you're saying that the way to avoid an accident involving a cyclist is to "not be there," you are 100% right. Try telling that to the cyclists. They'll tell you that everybody else should be looking out for them.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Windle, A meteor is not being driven by a person who should be driving in a proper frame of mind. Aich. If the only way to go somewhere is by roadway easements then we all must share the road. Just because someone has a large truck or car does not give them more rights to the road. It means they should be extra careful. Do you really want more people on the road with big cars instead of a few bikes? Remember that if we are using fossil fuels we are destroying our future and our children's future on Earth. There is no arguing that fact.

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky,

Oh, please. We destoyed the Native American future too, and look where that took us. The Industrial Revolution, airplanes, the Moon, health care advances beyond imagination. Would the Native Americans be better off if they were still living in the Stone Age? I think not. Read the Ph.D. dissertations on the Ute people in the library. They lived in fear and squalor, on the verge of starvation.

My whole point is that the people rushing to get to town from Steamboat Lake and Hahn's Peak, including a sizeable population of geezers with macular degeneration rushing to beat sundown, don't consider the cyclists. Cyclists are just obstacles to be avoided if possible, and they are not considered by drivers until they block the road. That's the truth. Nobody is going to change it.

Big vehicles don't have more rights. They have more mass. That's the only thing that counts when a collision occurs.

When you figure out a way to get from Pearl Lake to Safeway and back on a bicycle before the ice cream melts, plus hauling a week's worth of groceries for four people, then we can talk. Otherwise, cyclists have rights and and I'll watch out for them, but they're nuts to be out on this road (CR-129) on a bicycle.

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mtroach 5 years, 4 months ago

Dial *csp on your cell to report dangerous drivers directly to the Colorado State Patrol. The non-emergency contact # for RCSO is 879.1090. Report dangerous drivers! This forum isn't as effective at informing law enforcment as direct contact.

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nxoby36 5 years, 4 months ago

accidents will happen how ever careful you try to be, it is inevitable that some unfortunate or unforeseen event will occur: problems like these should not occur, but accidents will happen ! clearsky , maybe you should go back to kindergarden "Accidents can always be avoided" PROVE IT ! This nothing more than a foolish statement .

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

Aich, Let me guess the PhD was/is a whiteman who never lived as an American Indian. They lived with nature, we live against nature and we are seeing our own destruction, and no one wants to admit it. It is happening at an exponential rate. nxoby Accidents can always be avoided. The people involved need to act responsibly to do what is necessary to avoid them. A kindergartner would not be expected to have the necessary insight to avoid accidents as an intelligent adult with years of experience. Accidents will happen though. The more careless the people involved the higher the frequency of the number of accidents.

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nxoby36 5 years, 4 months ago

Think of this the next time you decide to pull in front of a truck because the driver gave himself enough room between his truck and the vehicle in front of him to stop safely and you can fit 5 or 10 cars between that truck and the vehicle in front of it : Source: National Safety Council's Defensive Driving Course for Professional Truck Drivers. Speed - Reaction/Braking distance - total stopping distance 30 MPH ------- 33'/67' -------- 100' 40 MPH ------- 44'/125' ------- 169' 55 MPH ------- 60'/275' ------- 335' 60 MPH ------- 66'/360' ------- 426' 65 MPH ------- 71'/454' ------- 525' above estimates are for 80,000 lb. loaded tractor trailers with cold brakes traveling on a dry level road . Guys the legal weight limit on Colorado highways is 85,000 lb. and we do not have many level roads around here and the brakes heat up as they are used there by losing some of their effectiveness . All CDL drivers know this and try and give them selves more room as the day wears on but that just means more cars try fill that space . They say total stopping distance for a mid sized car at 55MPH it's 225' thats 110' less than a truck and at 65MPH a mid sized car will take only 316' thats 209' less than a truck . When they say mid size car that is a ford or chevy not a BMW , Honda or Lexus . When you are out there playing in that proffessional drivers office please drive a little more responsible . Remember he is working there to bring you everything you use from groceries to the concrete drive way if front of your home . All you are doing is trying to get to your place of work or play . Tell me how would you folks that have a nice office with a desk and a computer feel if those Pro-Drivers came into your office pushed you out of your chair and started playing games on your PC all the while telling you that you do not know how to do you job ?

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dave reynolds 5 years, 4 months ago

36..your dead on(pardon the expression) most drivers dont realise trucks can not stop on a dime..another poster said that not only cdl drivers but general driver should be required to take the written test every five years lets take it a step further be required to take the driving test too..get rid of all the bad habits...ive held a cdl for 10 years and have seen passenger vechiles take so many risks justso they dont have to follow a truck..think about this the next time you tailgate a truck and it suddenly stop you will eat the tailgate of that truck if you live God must love you....i observ ed today the accident at shop and hop.oh God here comes a truck i think i can make it..well guess what you didnt..only thing that saved your live woman was the air bag..wht a concept THINK..is that 30 seconds worth youir life or someone elses..bluesky..your at the front of the line at a stop light someone talking on thier cell phone rearends you..please tell me how you prevent that accident..besides living in a bubble..by the way judging by the skid marks and tracks id bet truck driver was in the wrong just one persons opinion

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trump_suit 5 years, 4 months ago

Acually Clearsky has a point here even if it is not well articulated. IF each and every one of us drove in such a way that brakes were never needed, accidents would be reduced. I believe that what is being called for is more attentiveness to driving and less attention to the other factors in our lives that detract from our ability to drive safely.

Kids, burgers, cell phones, drinks, bees, radios, passengers, pets, cute girls, cute boys, animals, etc (make your own list) all detract from the attention we should be paying to moving your vehicle safely down the road. A friend of mine once said:

"What ever we are doing in the car, driving is secondary, we are talking, listening, arguing, eating and laughing but the driving is always secondary"

I would challenge each and every one of you to make driving your number one priority when you are behind the wheel. If each of us manages to accomplish this simple task, the number of accidents will surely fall.

Smile and be safe out there.

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Clearsky 5 years, 4 months ago

There is a difference between an intentional terrorist act, an act of the cosmos and the actions of people. I have had accidents and they could have been avoided. Whether my fault or someone elses, they could have been avoided. They still happen. It is up to everyone to act responsibly so that accidents could be avoided.

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nxoby36 5 years, 4 months ago

Clearsky if you keep smoking that stuff you will just float away . On the other hand keep it up no one here is gonna miss you .

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aichempty 5 years, 4 months ago

RCSO and CSP have been "visible" and using one of those "your speed is" boxes on Elk River Road (CR-129) near Clark for several days.

Thanks to RCSO and CSP for making it safer for everyone up here.

The new law works great. It's easy to pass cyclists on the double yellow and cyclists are riding single file.

YAAY! Win Win!

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