Bike advocates push safety after series of crashes, one fatality

Bike advocates push safety after series of crashes, one fatality

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Advocates with the non-profit organization Bike Baton Rouge note that when the weather is nice, crashes increase. To address the issue, the organization released a safety guide.

"We wanted to keep things really simple with our safety tips to give maximum impact from a small and easily digestible amount of information." said Mika Torkkola, Bike Baton Rouge President, "And we wanted to acknowledge that both bicyclists and motorists have the responsibility to avoid causing crashes on our roads."

Over the last several weeks Baton Rouge has seen a number of serious and even fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

A 29-year-old man died after police say he was hit by a car while trying to cross Florida Blvd. on his bicycle.

Steven Holt was riding his bike on Florida Blvd. on Tuesday, March 14 when he was hit by a car. Detectives with the Baton Rouge Police Department say the driver was not considered at fault.

Holt was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner confirms that Holt was pronounced dead the following day.

The following day another bicyclist was struck during the early morning. He, too, was riding on Florida Blvd.

Thankfully, the bicyclist in the second case survived his injuries. However, police have also classified this as a case where the bicyclist was considered to be at fault.

Later that same day a woman was taken to the hospital with a minor injury after she was clipped by a vehicle. She, too, was attempting to cross Florida Blvd.

Torkkola notes that Florida Blvd. has no bicycle or pedestrian facilities on its 11-mile stretch. This road, along with many others, are in need of upgrades.

A 2015 study by the Center for Disease Control ranked Louisiana third in the nation for adult bicycling deaths.

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