Fatal accident triggers calls for motorists to respect cyclists’ rights on the road

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Cyclist Azorae Pennant of Roman Hill lost his life last week
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Motorists are being urged to show greater consideration to cyclists while on the nation’s roads.

The call from the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF) comes days after 16-year-old Azorae Pennant of Roman Hill was killed while cycling along Tyrells Main Road on January 26.

“I am not too sure what it is going to take but we continue to advocate for the proper use of the roadways whether it is the cyclists or it’s the motorists or the pedestrians, whomever it may be… so that everybody can be safe when using it,” ABCF head St Clair Williams said.

Several cyclists have also been calling for greater consideration from drivers for some time but these calls appear to have been grossly ignored.

In fact, just over the weekend one prominent female cyclist took to Facebook to speak on an incident. 

According to the claim, while riding on Airport Road, a school bus owned by the ABTA almost ran her off the road. 

According to the cyclist, the bus had more than enough space to sufficiently pass as there was no traffic coming from the opposite direction. Instead, while passing, the cyclist claimed that the bus came dangerously close to colliding with her and, if it were not for her riding skills, could have resulted in a serious injury.

Williams added that if proper safety guidelines are not practiced then more fatal incidents may occur.

“I am fearful that one of our cyclists may get injured and the inevitable, maybe one of them may succumb to their injuries, like the young man last week.

“We would like to send condolences out to his family of the youngster who lost his life. So, we are hoping that we do not have to get to that point and everybody will see it fit to make sure that they extend the courtesy as we utilise the roadways here in Antigua and Barbuda,” Williams stated.

The Federation head explained that the body will continue to work with police and the Transport Board in the hopes that efforts to sensitise the public on the troubling issue will lead to greater improvements.

Senior Sergeant Kenny McBurnie weighed in on the issue on Monday morning as well, after a recent social media complaint from a cyclist was brought to his attention.

“We want to be able to curb that kind of habit before it turns into something else because a bicycle does not offer much protection for its rider.

“So, we again are pleading to motorists to just be cautious. Remember they have a right on the road just as you do, and so the selfish actions just because you are driving a car and they are riding a bike that you can just, you know, treat them any way or any old form or manner, we do not accept that from the traffic standpoint,” McBurnie said.

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