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Bikers Say New Georgia Biker Law Raises Awareness

WJBF Augusta, GA: Bikers Say New Georgia Biker Law Raises Awareness

By: ARCHITH SESHADRI
Published: August 01, 2011

Augusta, GA --
One man is dead after an early morning bicycle accident.

It happened a little after 6:30 a.m. on the 3800 block of Belair Road, near Wrightsboro road.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the accident. There's no word on what charges the driver will face.

The Richmond County coroner says 57-year-old Daniel Dickenson died from blunt force injuries today morning after a car hit his bike.

Other bikers say a new Georgia law that aims to protect cyclists is still not protecting those on two wheels.

Avid bicyclist Daniel Dickenson had spent more than 30 years riding.

"He's been riding as much as anybody. He liked it a lot. He mountain biked, he distance rides, he commutes to work,” said Brett Ardrey.

Dickenson shopped at Brett Ardrey's bike shop. Ardrey says Dickenson always put safety first.

"Very safety conscious, he wore safety vests when they weren't cool. He had lights on his bike when no one else had lights on the bike,” said Ardrey.

A new Georgia law went into effect earlier this year that requires motorists to leave at least 3 feet when passing a cyclist

"You know what that law is a joke. It doesn't do anything. Look at drunk driving laws, texting behind the wheel. You can pass all the laws you want but there's still people throwing beer bottles out the window,” said cyclist Bill Leslie.

"When they get behind the wheel of a car, it can be used as a weapon,” said Ardrey.

Cyclists say the law isn't helping and say accidents happen because of distracted drivers. Bill Leslie says he nearly got hit by a cab. “I thought for sure i was going to the hospital. You got no margin of error," he said.

"Just tragic, we keep thinking what's next. What do we need to do keep things safer? What can we say to people,” said Ardrey.

But cyclists do say the law is raising awareness but say there's still a long road ahead.

"We have had people pull over and say I hope you guys are being careful. we don't want any more accidents,” said Ardrey.

And for those who wonder why bicyclists ride on the road...under Georgia law, bicyclists have all the legal rights that motorists do on the road.