We need safety on the roads
Derrick Stephens, Jr. was riding his bike on the way to play basketball on East Delavan when he was struck by a vehicle. Stephens was not wearing a helmet at the time – a major safety precaution that is often overlooked and unfortunately leads to serious problems.
Stephens remains in critical condition, but perhaps his injuries would not be as severe had he been wearing a bicycle helmet. Also, where we choose to ride our bikes makes a huge difference in our collective safety. We need more safe, clearly defined bike paths in the town to ensure that accidents such as this do not occur.
Shawn J. Wiech was traveling on Union Road near Groell Avenue when he hit a pickup truck. Though Wiech fared better than Stephens in the aftermath of their respective accidents, road safety in this instance is still something major to consider.
Should motorcycles be allowed to travel alongside cars on busy streets and highways? My personal answer would be no, but motorcyclists have rights and can therefore exercise those rights. But I cant tell you how many times I see a motorcyclist traveling without a helmet – or even worse, two cyclists traveling with no helmets – which makes me wonder just how much we enforce our basic traffic laws in this country.
Speed had a lot to do with the motorcycle crash, which is another issue that should be addressed. Should motorcycles really be traveling the speed limit when they are the most vulnerable people on the road? Is there anyway that the limit can get changed to cyclists to ensure their protection? Maybe it’s time to treat morocycles what they are – they are not cars, they are dangerous, they should not be operating alongside of cars and whizzing around – it’s just too unsafe.
Perhaps some day a new, bicycle/motorcycle lane can be implemented on all town streets to ensure residents’ safety. Stephens is truly lucky to be alive, as is Wiech. Stephens has his entire life ahead of him; Wiech is 30. Both of them are too young to suffer such trauma, but when c oncrete safety rules are either ignored or not communicated, it’s time for change.
Perhaps the town can look into adding a more clearly defined bike bath throughout the town., a la the Buffalo waterfront. Living in this century is complicated and may be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
Remember to wear your helmet and stay in your lane. Worry and be on the lookout for traffic all times.
Exercise caution at all times – for you never know when one day will be your last.