GREENVILLE, S.C (WSPA-TV) – A Spartanburg County cyclist is dead after getting rear ended by an SUV. Troopers say Joshua Duncan, 31, was hit on Highway 101 near Woodruff Wednesday night.
Now, Upstate cyclists are speaking out about the importance of sharing the roads.
State law says drivers have to be at least 3 feet from cyclists on country roads and main roads with bike lanes. It also requires cyclists to wear bright clothing and have bike lights.
Some say more needs to be done, especially as the Upstate turns into a premier cycling destination.
With a mix of mountain roads, country side, trails, and accessibility to bike lanes on main streets, it makes sense that millions come here to ride, but it also poses a growing problem with some drivers not sharing the road says Triathlete, Bob Mitchell.
“It’s a matter of understanding that, when you’re in a car, you’re holding a 2,000 pound vehicle in your hand and we’re on a 15 pound bicycle and we’re going to lose every time,” Mitchell said.
Current statistics rank South Carolina as one of the top 5 worst states for cycling fatalities, with Greenville and Spartanburg counties among the worst for bike crashes.
Just this week, a driver was charged with dui after hitting and injuring a cyclist in Williamston. Now, the death of Joshua Duncan has cyclist, Nicole Ramsbey, explaining rules of the road.
“The safe place to be is the road and [cyclists] should be allowed to be on the road,” she said.
A misconception is cyclists should use sidewalks.
“There are times where we are traveling up to 40 miles per hour. We hit a crack in a side walk and we’re going to wreck. It’s going to be ugly,” said Ramsbey.
Bryan Milling with the GCM/GHS Triathlon team says most cyclists have experienced close calls on the road.
“The majority of motorists are very respectful,” he explained.
He simply asks drivers to put down the cell phone, stay alert and not let this latest death be in vain.
“It’s tough to take and it certainly raises my awareness,” he said.
Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident that killed Duncan. They have not charged the driver at this time.