Law enforcement encourages bicycle safety on the roads

Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A bicyclist was killed in a crash while riding on University Drive on Monday and with summer months here, officers are encouraging safe riding habits if you’re on a bike.

In the past five years alone, several bicyclists were killed on Alabama roadways:

  • 2016 – 4
  • 2017 – 6
  • 2018 – 9
  • 2020 – 8
  • 2021 – 1 (so far)

Trooper Brandon Bailey with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says when on the road, safety should be the number one priority.

“Safety is a relationship that’s shared between the two: motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” said Trooper Bailey.

The lack of safety caused a wreck between a bicyclist and a driver on University Drive on Monday.

The Madison County Coroner says 37-year-old Joshua Gurley was killed in the crash. Huntsville Police investigators say Gurley pulled out in front of the driver, who was unable to stop in time.

“If you’re going to bicycle in the City of Huntsville or on the roadways, you need to know the area that you’re riding, the congestion of traffic,” said Officer Anthony Rosado. “You know, University Drive is a bad area. It’s really not made for bicycling.”

Officer Rosado is with Huntsville Police’s Bike Unit. He’s also on the Bicycle Advocacy Safety Committee with the City of Huntsville.

“It’s best if you can ride with groups, that way you can see more people but if you can’t, always try to obey the laws,” said the officer.

“I think a lot of times, we get carried away or forgetful about doing the simple things,” said Trooper Bailey.

Just a few simple things that could potentially save your life, like colored clothing or bicycle lights.

Trooper Bailey and Officer Rosado encouraged the same type of safety precautions such as wearing bright clothing that can reflect light. They also said having lights on the bicycle, during the day or night, that flash to bring attention to your bike is helpful too.

Though the Alabama law states it is only required for those 16 and younger to wear a bicycle helmet, both law enforcement agencies encourage all bicyclists to wear a helmet as a safety precaution.

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