Press release - Statement regarding Plank Road bicycle fatality

3/17/16
Baton Rouge, LA

Bike Baton Rouge was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a bicyclist following a collision with an 18-wheeler on Plank Road in North Baton Rouge. Bike Baton Rouge would like to extend our condolences to the friends and family of the victim. 
 
Per police reports, the as yet unnamed bicyclists was riding northbound in the southbound traffic lane when he was struck by a turning 18-wheeler at the intersection of Byron Avenue. Unfortunately, collisions involving bicycles travelling against traffic occur with alarming frequency, and Bike Baton Rouge would like to remind all bicyclists that riding against traffic is both an illegal and highly dangerous activity.
 
“Anyone travelling against traffic is practically invisible to motorists who are preparing to make a right turn,” according to Mika Torkkola, a Bike Baton Rouge Board Member and Certified Bicycle Safety Instructor. “And unfortunately in this case it resulted in the loss of a life.”
 
Bike Baton Rouge notes that there are very few bike lanes in Baton Rouge, and fewer still in the Northern parts of the city, where many residents use bicycles as their primary means of transportation. 
 
“If the people of North Baton Rouge had bike lanes or other facilities to get around town safely and easily there’d be less reason to engage in such risky behaviour,” Torkkola added, “it’s a largely ignored part of our city and we hope that will change quickly before more people are injured or killed.”

For more information, visit bikebr.org, look up Bike Baton Rouge on facebook, or email Bike Baton Rouge at bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Mika Torkkola
225 571 2906
bikebatonrouge@gmail.com

Bike Baton Rouge is a local non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and has been dedicated to making bicycling trips in Baton Rouge safer and more enjoyable since 2006.