Local cyclists meet to discuss roadway safety following recent fatality

Published: Jan. 7, 2019 at 10:34 PM CST
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A group of cyclists met Monday at a coffee shop in College Station to talk about safety on area roads after one of their own was killed last week in South Brazos County.

Kenneth Spence was riding his bike Friday when he was struck by a vehicle. The collision happened along the feeder of northbound Highway 6 at Peach Creek cutoff. The driver told police he didn't see Spence because of the sun.

Spence’s death prompted Monday’s meeting organized by local bike shop owner Robert Rose.

Rose says the safety of cyclists in and around Bryan College Station is at risk. Several attending the meeting issued a call to action for motorists to pay more attention to the roads.

“We have drivers out there that literally hate us,” said Patrick Stoddard, an area cyclist. They hate that we are on the road, partially because we have these people that are running stop signs and just doing whatever they want to do, but also because they just don’t know what the laws are in Texas regarding cyclists.”

The riders say their biggest concern is distracted driving. A representative from the safety app "Safe 2 Save" attended the meeting to advocate against distracted driving.

The app rewards drivers who don’t use their phone while operating a vehicle.

“You’re 23 times more likely to be in a car crash if you are on your phone when you are driving. That’s the equivalent to having four beers and getting behind the wheel,” said Kaytlen James of Safe 2 Save. For drunk driving to not be culturally acceptable and us trying to change the culture about drunk driving we also should be changing the culture about distracted driving.”

To be clear, troopers did not say Friday’s incident was the result of distracted driving. That accident is still under investigation.