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Nov 20, 2013 1:07 AM by Sean Mooney

Crash survivor teams up with state legislators for bike safety

TUCSON - After barely surviving being run down on his bike, a local firefighter is determined to make the roads of Tucson safer for cyclists.

Brendan Lyons thinks we need legislation and two state lawmakers are joining him to make it happen.

According to the League of American Bicyclists Arizona is one of the top 10 friendliest states for cyclists. But the roads they travel on can be very dangerous. Tucson averages around 400 reported crashes a year.

Brendan Lyons was already an outspoken advocate for cycling before he was nearly killed when struck by a distracted driver back in October. He is the local founder of "Look, Save A Life" and he has specific ideas on how to do just that, "Education, awareness, more and better infrastructure, more legislation in regards of saving lives, and finally better enforcement."

Lyons has now put his plan into action. Enrolling the help of State Rep., Ethan Orr, and State Senator, Steve Farley, Lyons, gathered with others from the cycling community on Tuesday to discuss how to make streets safer for cyclists. The topics included pushing a bill that would require drivers to give cyclists even more space when passing as well as stiffer fines and points on a license when a driver is at fault in an accident.

Ethan Orr says that new laws will certainly help but it is also important to enforce the ones that are already on the books, "We have a myriad of existing statutes that simply we need to educate the police officers and the judicial prosecutors as to what they should do, and proper enforcement takes care of a whole lot of things."

Even though Lyons continues to suffer because of the negligence of a driver, he says bicycle safety is a two way street, "I think at the end of the day we need to hold ourselves more accountable when utilizing the road, both drivers and cyclists alike."

Lyons plans to be at the El Tour De Tucson Expo and at the race, promoting his organization "Look, Save A Life".

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