According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, traffic deaths involving bicyclists in Florida has tripled since 1975. By May 2019, there had been 783 cyclists killed in the United States that year. 16% of these fatalities occurred in Florida. 38% of these were caused by either the cyclist or the motorist failing to yield the right of way. 10% were due to the cyclist wearing clothing that made them difficult to see at night. 8% were attributed to failure to obey traffic laws. Another 8% were caused by the cyclist or motorist making an improper turn.
The St. Pete Florida Patch reports that a crash involving a prison van hitting a bicyclist resulted in injuries in Pinellas Park.
The incident occurred at about 1:58 a.m. on April 29th at the intersection of Park Boulevard North and 71st Street North.
Authorities said in a press release that Security Officer Dale Hartzell was driving a prisoner transport van eastbound on Park Boulevard in the center lane. Zachary Baily, a 21-year-old bicyclist, crossed Park Boulevard at the intersection of 71st Street against the crosswalk signal. He swerved his bike into the back of the van.
Hartzell was operating on the green light at the intersection. He slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting Baily, and two inmates were thrown into metal partitions on the van. One of the inmates suffered from minor injuries and was booked into Pinellas County Jail. The other inmate suffered from minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The bicyclist and the driver of the van were not injured. Neither speed nor impairment was a factor in the accident.