Watch out for bicyclists on the roadway

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Many motorists may not know there are laws outlining that space should be granted to bicyclists and emergency responders.

Each year bicyclists are injured or die from an accident with a motor vehicle, even though state law says drivers are required to keep a distance of three feet while passing them.

Earlier this month a teenager was killed in George County when his bicycle was hit by a car.

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Here in Pearl River County people riding bicycles have been killed. In 2013 two men were charged with the hit and run death of Luis Perez and two years prior cross-country cyclist Hal Kent was killed while riding along Highway 26.

By giving these bicycle riders ample room, motorists can avoid causing a potentially fatal accident.

The same goes for emergency personnel working on the side of the road, especially on the interstate where speed limits are higher. The move over law, passed in 2007 in Mississippi as an effort to protect the men and women serving in law enforcement, fire services and ambulance services while working a traffic stop or accident, states drivers are required to move to the opposite lane when possible. If the other lane is occupied by a vehicle, then the law states motorists are required to slow down. So far 43 states have passed similar laws, according to

The website states that since 1999 more than 200 law enforcement officers suffered fatal injuries when a vehicle struck them while working on the side of the road.

Last year ten officers nationwide lost their lives due to being hit while working on the roadside.

So, if you see a bicyclist, a law enforcement officer or other emergency personnel using or working along the roadway, give them some space. The same applies to road construction workers as well.