Senior Code Enforcement Officer with the city of Cartersville and Bike Walk Northwest Georgia Representative Tim Jones, reminds those on the road, whether behind the wheel or pedaling their own bike, to obey the rules of the road at all times.
"We basically just ask both parties to ride safely and for drivers to drive safely. Sometimes it takes a little patience for drivers. If there's a hill or a curve, it's best to wait a minute before crossing that center line," Jones said. "We all want to get home in one piece. Cycling is great exercise; we have a lot of people ride in Bartow County year-round. We even get quite a few folks come up from metropolitan Atlanta area and ride."
Jones asks cyclists to ride single file at all times on public roads and motorists to obey the Georgia state law requiring three foot of clearance while passing riders. He added, however, that as an avid cyclist himself, he rarely sees any problems between those sharing the road.
"I don't have too many problems in Bartow County, we're used to riders being around," Jones said.
The issue came to a head earlier this summer when a group of cyclists riding for charity were cited en masse for failing to stop at a stop sign by White City Police. One member of the Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, called the action "over enforcement" and "excessive."
White Police Chief David King explained that the situation arose from a safety check after receiving complaints from motorists, adding that warnings had been issued to other cyclists the week before at a similar safety check.
"We got multiple complaints of cyclists not stopping for the stop sign," King said. "We wound up citing approximately 25 over failure to yield at the stop sign. The week prior to that, we had done a safety check and just issued warnings for that, so we were trying to get the word out. We tried to give everyone fair warning to make sure they stopped at the stop sign.
"It's just so dangerous. If an automobile hits them, it's going to be tragic. Of course our goal is not just to have cyclists stop but have motorists stop as well. That's our goal, is to have all traffic stop at stop signs and obey traffic laws. That will make a safer environment for everybody."
Rural roads in and around the city of White are a popular destination for cyclists and King added the city is glad to have them but asks they obey all the laws required of them. Since the incident, King has seen fewer complaints on the issue.