1.5 metres. So easy, so cruel, so tragic. That insignificant distance, which could have saved many lives, should kept in mind every day. This is the way we will prevent more deaths on the road. A road where there´s room for us all- provided we follow the rules.
It is shocking to see how there continue to be people killed on the road and all because of an ignored STOP sign, or breaking the speed limit, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or not keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between vehicles – a tiny distance that can save a life.
It is vital that authorities, cyclists and drivers are aware of the situation. Because not only car drivers are guilty of recklessness. Lone cyclists or groups of them pedalling in the middle of the road, blocking cars or perhaps cycling while listening to music with headphones on, also put their own lives in danger.
Only in the last week there have two cases of two great sportsmen who have lost their lives while cycling on the roads, both cases in Italy. The first of these two athletes was former MotoGP world champion and current Superbike rider Niki Hayden. The American cyclist was seriously injured in an accident in the Italian city of Rimini, where he was enjoying a day of cycling with friends. As for the causes of the accident, there is talk of both the cyclist skipping a STOP sign and the speed of the driver of the other vehicle in the accident. Neither version has been officially confirmed.
In the same hospital where Hayden died on Monday, (Bufalini of Cesena) the German triathlete, Julia Viellehner also died only two days later after being hit by a truck while training. Viellehner was runner-up in the world long distance duathlon in the years 2013 and 2015.
These two major losses for international sport have shown that not only amateur athletes or inexperienced cyclists are victims while cycling, but also elite athletes can suffer the consequences due to lack of awareness in this regard.
In our country, in recent weeks we have suffered the death of three amateur cyclists in an accident in Valencia in which the driver who caused it, who also left three others injured, was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The consumption of alcohol was also present in two other accidents which happened in Tarragona and Navarra, in which several amateur cyclists were injured to varying degrees.
The General Directorate of Traffic have taken note of this huge problem and are beginning to take measures, such as the total withdrawal of the driving license for people who test positive for alcohol or drugs twice in less than two years .
It’s time to end this slaughter of cyclists on the road. It is time to take action, to stop losing lives on two wheels.