March 6, 2009
Tragedy on two wheels
This past week, two relatively well-known Chattanoogans were killed by automobiles while traveling by motor scooter and bicycle, respectively.
From the Chattanoogan, Tuesday, March 3:
Ellen Pitman, 51, was critically injured after she was hit on her motor-scooter in the 3800 block of Brainerd Road.
And from the same site, Friday, March 6:
A bicyclist traveling in the 1000 block of Ashland Terrace became entangled with a truck and was killed Friday morning.
He was identified as David L. Meek, 51, a biking enthusiast who was active in the Chattanooga Bicycle Club.
Along with the deepest sympathy for the victims' families and friends, one surely feels sorry for the drivers of the car and truck. But the sobering message in this horrible pair of stories is that if one is the least bit careless or distracted, and hits a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle, it is too late, most of the time, to be sorry about a lack of attentiveness.
Of course safety is an issue with all manner of transportation, but two-wheeled traffic is harder to see, and requires those of us in larger vehicles to pay extra attention to our surroundings. A vocal minority has complained about the presence of bicycles on thoroughfares, but the law is clear: share the road.
I hope that if there is any good to come of these events (and, for that matter, the recent and absolutely numbing death of a schoolboy in East Ridge), it is that we drivers will be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists in and along our path.
May peace be with those devastated by these and similar events.