Following a second fatal bicycle accident involving a member in a matter of months, Houston’s Northwest Cycling Club is working to help prevent fatalities in the future. The most recent accident happened last week, when Donna Lowe of Pundt Park in Spring was struck and killed by a hit and run driver.
According to local officials, the bicycle accident occurred when Lowe was obeying traffic rules. She was riding in a bike lane in the park when she was struck. Police later arrested both the suspect and an accomplice. Speaking of the accident, avid cyclist Linda Unger says, “That makes you question yourself when that happens. Should I even bother to ever ride again? If this can happen in the most remote park in this area, then where am I safe?” Lowe’s accident occurred just months after another of the club’s members died after being struck by a vehicle in Waller.
Bicycle Accidents Blamed on Driver Distraction
Both of the bicycle accidents that have impacted the cycling club have occurred when riders are doing what they are supposed to, staying to the right of a lane, traveling with the flow of traffic, and following all traffic rules. According to Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, a texting while driving ban that went into effect last year is largely being ignored, and drivers are ignoring other driving rules as well. He says that he gets complaints from frustrated drivers about cyclists. “Often, we’ll get calls regarding that. Bicyclists riding too slow on the road and holding traffic up and stuff like that. We’ve had bicyclists complain that folks blowing the horn at them, yelling, cussing obscenities stuff like that. They both need to obey the traffic laws and be aware of their surroundings, but of course, if you’re looking at a bicycle versus a 4,000-pound vehicle, you’re certainly not as protected on a bicycle if there was to be a crash.”
The club members are considering protesting to raise awareness of bicycle safety, as well as working to get funding for designated bike lanes.