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Fatal traffic accident is painful reminder

by Greg Belfrage

The death of a 22-year old bicyclist is the latest traffic tragedy to rock Sioux Falls. Natasha Adams was killed when she was run over by a car attempting to merge into traffic.

Yesterday's accident comes on the heels of a tragedy that killed a33-year-old woman while pulling her two children on a bicycle in southwestern Minnesota.

Sioux Falls Police are reminding everyone... motorists, cyclists and pedestrians... to always be aware of their surroundings.

Officer Greg VandeKamp says, "You know how it is trying to get out into a busy road. You're paying attention to the traffic, the traffic, the traffic. You're waiting for that gap and a lot can change in 15 or 20 seconds."

VandeKamp says cyclists and pedestrians should never assume that drivers have seen them.

Adams was legally riding her bicycle on the sidewalk when she was struck yesterday. That raises the question...should cyclists be riding on sidewalks?

VandeKamp says one of the local cycling groups recommends that its members ride in the street in order to be seen more easily by motorists. However, he adds that it's not a good idea to send young children on bikes into traffic.

Police are also reminding those who cycle on sidewalks that they must stop at intersections and walk their bike across the street.

Everyone in this city is in such a rush. Speeding and red light running has become more frequent. Many drivers are distracted by cell phones.

Yesterday's death should be a sad reminder to all of us to slow down and be more vigilant.

Greg Belfrage @belfrageshow is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.

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Teaser photo credit: KELO staff photo