Posted: Apr 6, 2011 5:45 PM by Rachel Frost
Updated: Apr 6, 2011 5:45 PM
BATON ROUGE - To encourage drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to help make roads around Baton Rouge safer, the Capital Region Planning Commission launched a media campaign featuring bicyclist Mike Bitton, an LSU graduate student who nearly died when he was struck by a driver on May 15, 2010 while riding his bicycle on River Road.
Since the accident, Bitton's undergone multiple surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. Despite some doctor's doubts, he was back on a bike less than a year later.
"It was one of those thing, you fall off a horse you've got to get back on, so River Road was the first place I had to ride," Bitton said. "I honestly didn't know if I would start freaking out just a bit when a car or truck came by. I didn't even think about it, it was just back to normal. I guess that's one of the benefits of losing two months of memory."
Louisiana law requires drivers to allow a 3-foot safety zone when passing bicyclists. Bitton hopes his story helps drivers understand what could happen if they don't give bicyclists that space.
The public education campaign is also aimed at encouraging drivers and bicyclists to respect each other on the roads.
East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston and Iberville Parishes are participating in the Capital Region Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign to educate the public on the rules of the road and how to travel more safely.