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Another Broken Record

Sometimes I feel like a broken record (for those of you who remember what records are).  It seems like every week, or every couple of weeks, I am writing a blog about someone on a motorcycle who was injured in a crash and wasn't wearing a helmet (see my blog post titled "Are you kidding me?" dated August 6, 2009), or about ANOTHER pedestrian who was struck and either seriously injured or killed (see my blog post titled "Pedestrian struck not once, but twice" dated September 15, 2009).


This weekend, the accidents continued for motorcyclists and pedestrians, as several crashes occurred involving both.


Early Sunday morning, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Robert J. Zaper of Seminole was riding his 2001 Suzuki motorcycle northbound on Gulf Blvd. near Boca Ciega Drive in Madeira Beach, when his cycle hit a piece of wood on the curb of the roadway, causing him to be ejected from his cycle.


Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reported that Mr. Zaper was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.  He was transported to Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.


Additionally, on that Sunday evening at approximately 7:40 p.m., 43 year old Marc Shawn Glasgow of Tampa was involved in a crash when he lost control of his 2004 Kawasaki motorcycle.


According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mr. Glasgow was headed south on I-75 in the inside lane when his cycle went into the center grassy median and struck a guardrail.  He too was thrown from his cycle.  Unfortunately, even though I have been informed that Mr. Glasgow was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred, unlike Mr. Zaper, Mr. Glasgow died at the scene of the crash.


Finally, late Saturday night, 38 year old Carlos Hernandez of Clearwater was attempting to cross Roosevelt Blvd. at 59th Street No. when he was struck by a vehicle.


According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of the vehicle which struck Mr. Hernandez stopped at the scene of the accident (as he/she is required to do under Florida Statute 316.027).  FHP reported that Mr. Hernandez was killed as a result of the accident.


Enough with these broken records, ok?

56 year old Marcus W. Gray, of Clearwater, Florida, was critically injured yesterday afternoon when he collided with a parked mail truck.


According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Gray was traveling south on Gulf Blvd. when, for reasons which are unknown, he ran into the back of a U.S. Postal Service mail truck which was parked with it's lights on and flashing outside of a home located at 1720 Gulf Blvd. 


The driver of the truck, 58 year old John Howard Myers, also of Clearwater, was not in the truck at the time of the crash, and as such, was uninjured. 


Gray was not as fortunate.  Despite the fact that he was wearing a helmet, he sustained life-threatening injuries to his neck, and was transported by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment.


Had Mr. Gray not been wearing a helmet at the time this accident occurred, his injuries might have been significantly worse.


Interestingly, while Florida law requires a bicycle rider under the age of 16 to wear a helmet when riding a bike, the same is not true for an adult riding a bike (FS 316.2065(3)(d))


Additionally, while Mr. Gray was supposed to be riding his bicycle as close to the curb of the roadway as possible, under Florida law, he was allowed to ride his bicycle further on the road way when faced with a parked vehicle such as a mail truck.


The part of the statute which applies in this situation was Florida Statute 316.2065(5)(a), which states that


"Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following circumstances:


(3)     When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, ....that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge."


Lastly, bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as driver's of motor vehicles, including the requirement to pay attention to your surroundings and traffic.


Florida Statute 316.2065(1) - "Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter..."


Remember, just because you're on a bicycle doesn't mean you don't have to pay attention to what's happening around you.



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