On October 1st, a new bike law went into effect for North Carolina. WLOS ABC News Channel 13 reported on the recent change in the North Carolina law, and as of October 1, 2016, it will no longer be illegal for a driver to cross the centerline to pass a person on a bicycle, as long as there is an assured clear distance ahead and no oncoming traffic. This means, drivers are now able to freely go around cyclists, as long as it is safe to do so. Additionally, the new law also states that motorists must give cyclists at least four feet of distance when passing, instead of two feet.
Last week, a cyclist was struck and killed in Henderson County. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened on Friday afternoon at the intersection of Howard Gap Road and Whispering Hills Drive. The cyclist, 71-year-old Brent Yingling, was struck and killed by a Jeep Wrangler after riding into the intersection. At this time, very few details about the crash have been released.
Last week, a group of cyclists in Asheville took off on a 400-mile trek to Atlanta to raise awareness about roadway safety. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, riders with PeopleForBikes, fundraises to improve cyclist safety in all communities and raise awareness about bicycle safety advocacy. The 2016 itinerary included Asheville, Charlotte, Greenville, Athens and Atlanta.
Officials with the City of Asheville are hoping to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, Asheville has the highest pedestrian accident rate in the State of North Carolina. The city will be releasing a public safety campaign called "Watch for Me" next week. A spokesperson from the Ashville Police Department reports that this initiative is all about trying to decrease fatal and injury-causing accidents.