Justin Bristol: After being hit in 2014, I’m using my personal experience to make Georgia safer
In 2014, I left my job and packed up my van to spend the summer in Savannah and ride my bike full time. I was training for my last collegiate racing season and riding three to five hours almost every day.
Being on the road for nearly twenty hours every week meant two things: one was that I probably needed to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist when I got back home, and the second was that I was getting passed by a lot of cars.
I was riding to a bike shop one day that July. I don’t remember the route that I took to get to Victory Drive that morning, but I do remember trying to spend the least amount of time possible on that busy four-lane road.
Then I remember being in the dirt.
I’m lucky that I walked away from the crash without any injuries. I’m even luckier, though, that I get to work to prevent these events from happening to other people.
Through our education programs at Georgia Bikes, I work regularly with law enforcement departments to make Georgia’s roads safer for everyone. The continuing education courses that we offer to these local agencies take a detailed look at Georgia’s cycling laws (including the recently updated three-foot passing law), crash data, and best practices for crash reporting. Plus, I’m able to use a redacted version of my own crash report to share my experiences and discuss options for an improved response to the crash that day.
Your support this Giving Tuesday means that we can continue and grow these programs. With your donations, we can help children and adults who ride bikes learn strategies to stay safe on the road and how to choose safe routes. Your gifts help us offer more Bicycle-Friendly Driver classes to a diverse audience ranging from new, young drivers to professional drivers. Most importantly, we can offer more law enforcement classes to help police officers protect you on the road.
Donate now at: www.georgiabikes.org/donate-to-georgia-bikes/