Thursday, May 24, 2012

League Launches Initiative To Document Bicyclist Deaths In U.S.

The League of American Bicyclists has started a new initiative called "Every Bicyclist Counts" to document bicyclist deaths in the U.S. Here in Hillsborough County, we have Jose Menendez doing that. Andy Clarke, the League's terrific presidenbt who has been made aware of the Tampa Bay cyclist deaths, has contacted folks about the new initiative and is looking for donations to run it. Here's Andy's message:

We know a lot about bike crashes and how to avoid them, but we need to know -- and do -- more. And, for that, we need your support.

We know bicycling is a safe, healthy and fun thing to do. We know that as more people ride, cycling gets safer for all of us. But we know we have a responsibility to you, a valued member of the League of American Bicyclists, to deal head-on with the risks associated with riding a bike. We have to. We can't go on losing 600 or more cyclists' lives every year.

We need your financial help today, because this is a big task and because people's lives depend on it.

We recently launched a new initiative - Every Bicyclist Counts - where we are documenting every cyclist fatality we hear about through newspaper and on-line reports, via e-mail and bike club discussion groups, blogs and newsletters.

We're doing this to enable the family and friends of the victim's to grieve, to celebrate the life of their loved one, and to share in the important process of preventing these needless tragedies from happening again. We're also doing this to collect as much information as we can from official sources, to provide a space for input from those involved or affected by the crashes, and to track what happens after the crash. Thus far, we've entered more than 150 fatal crashes and we're already learning a lot.

This isn't a glamorous or fun part of the job - but no-one else is going to do it for us. The only way we'll be able to continue to do this work, and to work to analyze how to end fatal crashes, is with your support. Already, a generous donor to Every Bicyclist Counts has enabled us to create a custom, interactive map of fatal crashes across the country; click here to view this new resource.

We love what we do. There can be no greater privilege and few higher callings than promoting something as overwhelmingly positive as cycling. That's what makes these tragedies even harder to bear. If we are going to make a difference in Hillsborough County, we have to make a difference nationally.

We couldn't do any of this without your voice, your support, and your financial contributions. Every Bicyclist Counts .


Andy Clarke
League President
P.S. We appreciate your support so much. If you donate more than $200, we'll send you a signed copy of a book about the reason we all love to ride: Joyride by Mia Birk.

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