LegislatureNewsPublic Safety

Sen. Ray Scott calls West Slope summit for cycling safety

Author: Joey Bunch - June 22, 2018 - Updated: June 28, 2018

Share the road
Gaviota Tunnel on Highway 101 North in Santa Barbara County, Calif. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The legislator who considered a bill to tax bicycles to pay for roads last year shares common ground with the cycling community on one thing for sure: safety.

State Sen. Ray Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction, said Thursday he’s putting together a Share the Road Safety Summit in Fruita on July 17, in partnership with the Colorado State Patrol, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and others. The summit will begin 7 p.m. at Victory Life Church.

Colorado State Sen. Ray Scott, left, R-Grand Junction, confers with Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, in the Senate chambers as lawmakers work on the final day of the session last month. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

He said his district has had a lot of collisions involving bikes and vehicles, so it’s time to convene those with an interest in the issue to talk about safer ways to share the road.

“Lately we’ve seen a troubling uptick in the number of motorist-cyclist collisions, leading to terrible injuries and death, which sometimes resulted from bad behavior on both sides,” Scott said in a statement. “It’s my hope that we can help minimize these kinds of accidents and conflicts going forward, by better educating drivers and cyclists about how they can safely share the roads.”

He added, “Everyone has a responsibility to understand and follow the rules of the road if motorists and cyclists are going to safely and happily coexist, and my hope is that this event will help lessen the likelihood of future tragedies by reducing confusion about what the rules are. I encourage not just organized interest groups, but the general public to participate in this meeting, since we all share an interest in improving community safety.”

Among the recent fatalities reported on the Western Slope:

  • On June 2, a 54-year-old man was killed when he in Glenwood Springs, when he was hit by a suspected drunk driver.
  • On May 14, Brian Varrieur, 47, of Grand Junction man was killed when his bicycle was hit by a car near North Avenue and 1st Street in Grand Junction.
  • On May 11, a young boy on a bicycle was hit and killed by a truck in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Breckenridge.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.