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Cincinnati group promotes bike safety with free lights

Although Cincinnati bicyclists and motorists have equal rights on the road, it might not always feel like it for those who regularly bike. Oftentimes, blame is put on the bike rider for being in the middle of the road or for "coming out of nowhere." It's not uncommon to hear motorists say "I just didn't see them." Although drivers may try to deflect blame, when their negligent behavior leads to serious injuries for a bicyclist, they may be held accountable.

While motorists need to be very vigilant of bicyclists on the road, bicyclists can also do their part in keeping themselves safe. That's what a group of local organizations decided to do in order to keep their fellow bicyclists safe. The bicycle organizations came together to create the "Queen City Blinkies" program. Organizers say they were inspired to act after two cyclists were killed in 2012. A member of a bicycle organization says one of those crashes may have been avoided if the cyclist was more visible.

Through "Queen City Blinkies," local bicyclists can get front and rear visibility lights, also known as Blinkies, in order to stay safe on roadways. The organization is giving the lights out for free, as well as organizing events where volunteers can install them onto bikes.

So far the organization has given out 1,000 Blinkies to those in the Tristate. They are hoping the lights, which can be set to blink or stay constant, will save lives. While these types of efforts are making great strides toward keeping bicyclists safe, sometimes even the most safety-conscious rider can get injured due to the negligence of a motorist. In these cases, the rider may choose to seek compensation in order to cover costs, as well as to set an example for all other drivers on Cincinnati roads.

Source: Cincinatti.com, "Program sheds light on bicycle safety," Forrest Sellers, Jan. 25, 2013

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