Legislative District 28

Arizona Cycling Safety – It’s Scary Out There

Arizona cycling safety is a top priority for me. I have been a member of the cycling community since 2004. As a fellow cyclist, I am tired of hearing news about cyclists being hurt or killed on our roads in Arizona. It hits close to home when fellow Arizona cyclist are hit, injured or killed by motorist.

On June 19th, 2021, at the State Road Race, seven people have been seriously injured after being run over by a truck in Show Low, officials confirmed Saturday morning.

Police say a black Ford truck had hit multiple bicyclists in front of the Horne Auto Collision Center during the city’s 13th annual Bike the Bluff Arizona State Championship Road Race. The cyclists had been participating in the men’s 55+ age group.

Tragic accident at Bike the Bluff, Arizona State Road Race, in Show Low, Arizona

My husband decided not to do the event this year because of travel plans, he would have been in the 50+ age group which started 5 minutes before the 55+ group. Five minutes and a change of plans is what kept him safe. that sad part is, it could have been any of my fellow cyclist out there in harms way.

The Tuesday following the event, another friend was hit and killed along Happy Valley Road, in Phoenix. A road that I have ridden on many times. Tragically, this has become such a common occurrence that the accident wasn’t even a blip in the news.

How Does Arizona Cyclist Safety Rank?

According to the League of American Bicyclist 2019 Report, Arizona ranks 23rd in the US in regards to bike safety. We are not at the bottom, but we sure aren’t at the top.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 2 people are killed on a bicycle every day across the United States.

In Arizona, 32 cyclists were killed and 1,371 were injured in 2017—making Arizona the 5th most dangerous state for bicyclists.

We Can Do Better
Encourage and Promote Cycling Safety

Tips from the Department of Transportation. Educating people about safe cycling, enforcing laws that make it easier and safer for people to bicycle and walk, and encouraging people to cycle, may help increase bicycling activity, especially when combined with infrastructure improvements. This strategy is related to and supports such programs as Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, and Expand and Improve Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure.

Promte Cycling Education

  • teaching bicycling skills to adults and children,
  • training law enforcement officials on cycling laws, and
  • developing campaigns to promote safety awareness.

Enforcement strategies include

  • refining existing laws,
  • stepping up enforcement of traffic safety laws,
  • targeting issues such as equipment theft and assaults on pedestrians and bicyclists,
  • using non-motorized patrols, and
  • collaborating with law enforcement officials and community members.

  • broad or targeted media campaigns,
  • public service announcements,
  • bicycling or bike-sharing education,
  • special events, such as community rides or walks,
  • commuter benefit programs,
  • employer or insurer wellness programs, and
  • collaboration with bicycling and walking organizations.

Transportation agencies can leverage partnerships with employers, public health agencies, law enforcement, schools, non-profit and advocacy organizations, chambers of commerce, and local businesses to implement these activities effectively.