Susan Bernacki: Share the road

May 6, 2013 

Share the road

I suggest an alternative headline for your May 4 article on the death of Chris Mangum: “Elderly driver hits and kills cyclist.” The headline “Raleigh cyclist hit, killed by car” and the tone of the article seem to blame Mangum himself, described as a high-energy, loving, caring individual, who “got into serious trouble,” legally riding a bicycle on a neighborhood street.

I would rather think the driver, charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to yield right of way, would be the one who got into serious trouble. Was the driver’s age (81) a factor, or did he, like so many other North Carolina drivers, simply fail to perceive a bicycle as a moving vehicle?

Elderly drivers should be assessed annually for driving fitness. I also propose that all applicants for N.C. driver’s licenses be required to log 100 miles on a bicycle on N.C. roads. Maybe then driver awareness would reach a level where riding a bicycle would not automatically be considered a high-risk behavior. Share the road, y’all.

Susan Bernacki, Durham

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