Although there are efforts to make Los Angeles — and California as a whole — more friendly to bikers, the reality is that cyclists face great dangers on the road. Previously, we posted about concerns regarding the soon-to-be-implemented passing law. Even though the state statute is designed to protect bikers by giving them a 3-foot buffer when being passed by a motor vehicle, many worry that it will not be entirely effective.
A recent accident in Los Angeles calls to mind another safety issue facing bikers: drivers failing to yield on left-hand turns. Reports indicate that a 56-year-old woman was struck and killed while riding or carrying her bike in South Los Angeles.
Local authorities responded to an early morning call that a tour bus struck a woman while the bus driver was attempting to turn left. Unfortunately, the woman passed away as a result of the injuries suffered in the crash.
Witnesses saw the woman biking through an intersection just before the incident occurred. However, the bike was not at the scene of the fatal accident by the time first responders arrived. Police believe that someone stole the victim’s bicycle in the immediate wake of the collision.
In addition, eyewitnesses noticed that the traffic signal at the intersection was yellow when the woman was biking through. She apparently sped up to make it before the light turned red. Tragically, the bus hit her before she could.
Even though police said that the bus driver had the right of way in the incident, it will be important to investigate the full set of circumstances. According to a report from NBC Southern California, tour bus drivers in Los Angeles have a history of failing to pay adequate attention behind the wheel. However, it’s not clear whether or not driver distraction played a role in this particular accident.
Source: NBC Southern California, “Woman Killed by Tour Bus in South Los Angeles,” Kevin LaBeach, Andrew Lopez, Kate Larsen and Christina Cocca, Jan. 12, 2014