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Law needs to be obeyed β€” and enforced

April 26, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Last May 1 my wife and I were returning from a wonderful bicycle ride and were about a half a mile away from home, headed north on Rose Garden Terrace. I was in the lead with my wife about 20 feet behind, innocent of the fact that in an instant our lives would be changed forever. As usual that day we had encountered numerous people walking with or without their pets with the flow of traffic.

FI. Statute 130.10 (4) . clearly states that pedestrians are to walk AGAINST the flow of traffic unless there is a sidewalk available (Rose Garden Terrace has none). Statute 130.10 (4) "Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian's direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction."

In front of us was a woman with a large dog squarely in the bike path walking in the wrong direction with the flow of traffic. As usual I was frustrated that so many people either ignore or aren't aware of the law. As usual I moved left into the roadway to go around the woman. As I watched in my mirror, to my horror my wife attempted to go around the woman when the dog lunged into her bike. I should add here that we have a dog and are dog lovers. My wife swerved hard to the left, lost control and with a sickening thud and crashed into the roadway. (Yes she was wearing a helmet). Thank God that a car which was approaching from behind saw her and stopped abruptly, just feet from the bike. I raced back and literally untangled Linda's body from her bike and saw that she was already going into shock. I moved her to the side of the road and a woman who was nearby started to render aid. I called 911. I turned to the woman with the dog and, in a very angry voice, asked her why she was walking the wrong way and to my amazement she became confrontational and said that she was leaving! She thought better of it and reluctantly gave me her number then casually resumed her walk. As I went back to Linda the lady helping her stated that the lady with the dog was a neighbor and that she had repeatedly warned her that she was going to cause and accident by walking the wrong way!

The police and EMTs arrived. As I was telling the officer what happened I asked him if he was going to cite the lady and to my amazement he said that he was not aware of a law that applied. Then he started to lecture me that "dogs will be dogs" and that my wife should have been driving more defensively!

I was shocked at his callousness and even the EMT standing by me shook her head in disbelief.

Linda was severely injured. She has had operations on both knees and likely needs one more. She also had to have fusion and "hardware" put in on her back and endures pain on a daily basis. The head injury is the worst. She is still suffering from balance, memory, depression and other issues. It is so sad to see the intelligent, positive, vibrant woman that I have been married to for 36 years struggling and suffering senselessly.

Lee County has one of the highest rates of pedestrian and bicycle accidents and fatalities in the state. Our community must raise awareness on this issue by educating the public, posting signs and make sure that law enforcement is aware of and enforces the law.

J. Camas

Cape Cora

 
 
 

 

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