Bicyclists vs cars: Who's at fault? - CBS46 News

Bicyclists vs cars: Who's at fault?

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There have been a rash of bicycle riders hit and killed on the streets of Georgia since the beginning of the year. Now, one man is asking bicyclists and drivers to be more responsible.

David Mathews is the founder of Bike Friendly Atl. Mathews said the recent death of Danny Nation, 49, of Marietta is another example of why more awareness needs to be brought to bicyclists hit and killed on the streets.

Marietta police said Nation was riding his bike in the northbound lane of Powder Springs Road when he was struck by two cars.

According to police, Nation attempted to cross the northbound lanes near Chestnut Hill Road when he was struck by a 1994 Cadillac and then by a 1998 Mitsubishi 3000.

Mathews said he doesn't blame the drivers who hit and killed the bicyclist nor does he blame Nation. But, he would like bikers to wear more reflective clothing, which Nation was not wearing, and is asking drivers to be more cautious of bicyclists.

"There is a big level of animosity from cyclists versus automobile riders, and vice-versa," Mathews said. "And, for me, that is 10 percent of the population we need to get rid of. I've seen bicyclists who act crazy while riding down the street, and I think to myself, 'they could be killed at any second'. But that is not all bike riders."

Mathews showed us video posted on his Facebook page of a bicyclist who stopped just in time to avoid being hit head-on by a taxicab driver who pulled out in front of him.

"If he hadn't reacted when he did, he would have hit that cab," Mathews said.

Two years ago Mathews was hit by a car and shattered his face when he hit the windshield.  Miraculously, Mathews survived. The driver of the car was never cited. Mathews said it was that driver's fault.

"The people driving the automobiles aren't being held accountable for their actions," Mathews said. "These people have families and loved ones. People in cars have to be a little more responsible. You can bump somebody, they can die, and you don't have anything but a little insurance claim."

Mathews explained one of the reasons why motorists aren't cited. He said, it's simple. The bike rider isn't there to tell his side of the story, he's dead.

"How does a guy get run over, and killed and nothing?" Mathews said. "That, to me, makes no sense."

CBS Atlanta News recently covered the story of a Peachtree City woman, Amy Hill, who was seriously injured when a 15-year-old driver hit her in a golf cart.

In Nov. 2012, CBS Atlanta News also covered the story of Andrew Pray, a pastor who was hit and killed while riding his bike along U.S. Highway 41 in Bartow County. Pray was one of the pastors at West Ridge Church in Dallas, GA.

Mathews has the spokes of his bike etched with the names of bike riders who have been killed locally, and nationally over the past two years. Pray is one of the names on Mathews' bike. He also builds "Ghost Bikes" to be placed as memorials in locations where bicyclists have been hit and killed.

"To me, anything I can do to spread the word that we as people can get along a lot better, I will do," Mathews said.

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