Devil's Bicycle Advocate  
Devil's Bicycle Advocate
Copyright 2003/4 Jack R. Taylor
Think, question and maybe change - maybe not. But above all else, think.
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Atlanta tragedy sparks City Council solution
Tougher helmet legislation also likely
ATLANTA, GA— A tragic accident has resulted in swift action by a concerned Atlanta City Council. Last month, while driving east on Interstate 285 on the city's north side, 43 year old Wanda Oliver was distracted when her cell phone became entangled with her earring. During the struggle, Oliver lost control of her 2004 Road Rage Edition as she neared the Long Island Drive overpass. The 11,300 pound Suburban-RRE plummeted 20 feet onto Long Island Drive and Shanika Jackson, a 28 year old (114 pounds) northbound cyclist, invalidating the Suburban's onboard entertainment center warranty and killing the cyclist instantly. Oliver, who was treated at the scene for a bruised ear lobe, was not charged. Investigators cited the fact that it was unclear that cyclist Jackson had been riding as far right as possible. (Lawyers for the distraught Oliver also say that according to Oliver it appeared that at the last moment the bicycle rider had swerved into the path of the oncoming Suburban.) The Atlanta City Council reacted swiftly to what it termed "Just one more clear example of the dangers of mixing bicycles and real traffic, and it is the motorist who is forced to live with the consequences," with a unanimous vote to ban bicycles on all roads passing under limited access highways.
RELATED NOTE: Puzzled bicycle safety experts at Bicycle Safety Professionals of America say Jackson's helmet must not have been adjusted properly.