Five bicycle crashes were reported in Anne Arundel County between Thursday and Sunday, including a couple that sent riders to the hospital.
In light of the high number of accidents, Anne Arundel County Police Department held a press conference Monday to address biker safety -- for drivers and bikers -- when sharing the road.
Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis said cyclists are allowed to be on any road that has a speed limit of 50 mph or lower, and that all drivers must leave a 3-foot distance when they pass.
"If you can safely pass that bicyclist with the 3-foot buffer you can certainly do so, but if you can't safely do so, you cannot pass that bicyclist," Davis said at the press conference, according to WBAL TV.Drivers are to give cyclists the right-of-way at crosswalks at intersections with signals.
Jon Korin, president of Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County ("BikeAAA") was also at the press conference.
"We’ve worked quite closely with police to try to educate the public, both cyclists and drivers, on the laws and common sense tips for safely sharing the roads," Korin told Patch.
BikeAAA was able to reach its members and between 40-50 cyclists attended the press conference.
The most recent accidents were:
- On Thursday around 10:30 p.m., a vehicle traveling south on Crain Highway in Glen Burnie turned left into the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts and struck a man on bike. The cyclist, a 43-year-old Glen Burnie man, was traveling northbound on the sidewalk while wearing dark colors. His bike only had small reflectors on the side. The cyclist was taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center with minor injuries.
- A 13-year-old boy was struck in North Beach on Friday around 6:40 p.m. The cyclist turned from Cedar Avenue into traffic on Walnut Avenue. An oncoming vehicle on Walnut struck the boy. He suffered cuts and bruises on his right shin and right leg but was flown to Children’s Medical Center in Washington, D.C., as a precaution after he lost consciousness for a few seconds.
- On Saturday around 2:20 p.m., a cyclist crashed into a vehicle in front of him on Franklin Gibson Road when the vehicle slowed to make a left turn. The cyclist, a 41-year-old male, was traveling around 40 mph when he saw the car slow down. He attempted to swerve and applied both brakes. but he slid into the car. The cyclist had minor injuries.
- Two cyclists were hit in an accident in Annapolis on Saturday around 2:20 p.m. The driver traveling south on Route 450 failed to stay in his lane and struck both cyclists, a 27-year-old male and 23-year-old female who is still hospitalized. The driver is suspected of drinking and driving. Read the full story on Patch. Todd Green, the male cyclist was released from the hospital and able to attend the press conference. He told attendees of his experience and shock he felt when he saw the condition his girlfriend, Katie Pohler, was in after the accident.
- The fifth accident also happened Saturday close to 3 p.m. in Brooklyn. A 12-year-old boy was riding on the sidewalk on Church Street. At the intersection of Church Street and Wasena Avenue the boy turned left in front of the vehicle without checking to see if it was safe to turn. He suffered minor injuries and was taken to Johns Hopkins.
Anne Arundel police are still searching for a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run in February. Two cyclists were struck, and the driver is suspected to be a white male, 50 to 60 years of age, with a grey mustache. Police say the suspect vehicle is possibly a 1995 - 2001 Honda CR-V with damage on the right side and missing the right side mirror.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP or text “MCS + your message” to CRIMES (274637). A tip can also be left online.
Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Bike Patrol Unit invites bikers to join them for a ride at 10 a.m. July 12 to learn the fundamentals of bike safety, rules of the road,equipment essentials when biking and more. Cyclists are asked to meet in the parking lot of Bruster’s Ice Cream at 801 Aquahart Road in Glen Burnie with a helmet, a working bicycle, close-toed shoes, gloves, glasses and athletic apparel.