"Pass Them Like You Love Them" during Nat'l Bike Safety Month - FOX 13 News

"Pass Them Like You Love Them" during Nat'l Bike Safety Month

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MARIETTA, Ga. -

It's National Bike Safety Month and the most recent numbers show, deadly crashes involving cyclists are up.

In 2012, more than 700 cyclists were killed on roads, 17 of them in Georgia. Last month an Atlanta firefighter was training for a triathlon in New Orleans when he was hit and killed. His brother-in-law was also hit and is still recovering. Now friends and fellow triathletes are working to make the roads safer for cyclists.

23-year-old Meghan Degan is a local competitive triathlete. "It's my time to myself. Whether I'm running, biking, or I'm swimming," explains Meghan.

In April, two of Meghan's fellow triathletes were struck by a car while training in New Orleans. Frank Guinn, an Atlanta firefighter was killed, his brother-in-law Andrew Powell was left in critical condition. Guinn was the father of 7 year old triplet girls.

"That was awful. That was awful to hear about," says Meghan.

The news prompted Meghan to write a blog article, titled, "Pass Them like You Love Them."

"If you take your time and you pass them like you they were your sister or your brother, your mother, your father or your daughter or your son, that's when things are going to get safe and when people are going to stop dying on the roads," Meghan adds.

For Bike Safety Month, Meghan is outlining tips for drivers and cyclists. "You have to pay attention. It's never just the cyclists fault and it's never just the car's fault. It's kind of both of us coming together," she explains.

For drivers, Meghan reminds you don't try to pass on a curve or hill, pay attention, pass quickly, but don't speed, don't pull out in front of a cyclist, or turn immediately after passing one and of course, don't forget the law in Georgia that you must give cyclists at least three feet of space. "If you're passing them and 3 feet is not safe, then you just don't pass them," says Meghan.

With the weather warming up, Meghan hopes these reminders will help keep her friends safe "A father not being able to come to his girls again because he went out on a ride, it's just not okay and all it takes is a little bit of education."

Meghan's list of safety tips for cyclists include: riding within your ability. For example, don't go on busy roads until you're ready. Stay on trails or low traffic areas. She also encourages fellow cyclists to look and pay attention, move toward the center of the lane if you're about to turn or if it's too tight for drivers to pass and always use hand signals, since other drivers can't read your mind.

Last year the Kasim Reed, the Mayor of Atlanta, said he wants the city to be a top 10 cycling city by 2016. Meghan says resources are improving. There are more and more bike lanes being installed, but she says there's still a long way to go.

Friday is Bike to Work Day. Expect more bikes on the road all day and remember to share the road.

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