Let me tell you about the first time I was hit by a car while biking. I was sitting at a stoplight waiting to go straight, with a pickup truck driver across from me waiting to turn left. We sat there facing each other for about a minute. As soon as the light turned green the truck driver turned left, striking me. No hesitation. The driver’s excuse? She “didn’t see me.”She “didn’t see” the hi-viz reflective vest I was wearing. She “didn’t see” my two headlights. She “didn’t see” me even though both of us, the only two vehicles there, had been waiting at the red light for more than a minute.

So when I read letters like the one written by Roger Hermanson of Story City [To cyclists: Take steps to be seen on Iowa's roads," July 30], admonishing people who bike to “be more visible,”I think back to the woman who didn’t see me. No amount of flashing lights and hi-viz is going to get an inattentive driver’s attention. If your eyes aren’t on the road it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing or how many lights I have.

It’s time for Iowa legislators to make our roads safer. Make texting a primary offense and strengthen Iowa’s reckless driving laws.

—ScottBents, Des Moines







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