Injured bicyclists rally for change

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by Tess Rafols

Bio | Email | Follow: @Tess3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Updated Saturday, May 19 at 5:22 PM

PHOENIX -- Brent Holderman is lucky to be alive. Six weeks ago he was on a bike ride with a couple of friends, training for a triathlon in East Mesa.

Twenty miles into their ride, their group of three was hit by a car. The driver was distracted after reaching for her GPS. Holderman ended up with 11 fractures and is in a wheel chair.

"There's just too many people on the road not paying attention," he said. "They hit people like me."

On Saturday, Holderman joined about a thousand bicyclists at the State Capitol Lawn. It was part of the "Ride of Honor." Cyclists peddled in from different parts of the valley to send a message on awareness.

The event was put on by the non-profit group Not One More Foundation. They're calling on legislatures to create laws with stiffer penalties and fines for distracted drivers.

Each year, more than 50,000 bicyclists are hurt after being involved in car crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 600 of those accidents are deadly.

"When we're out training and when all these people are out on a bike, we're at your mercy," Holderman added.

He's hoping this ride and rally will get people to pay attention when they're behind the wheel and to share the road with cyclists. Distracted drivers not only put themselves in danger, but also everyone else who crosses their path.
 
Holderman said his story should serve as a message to everyone.

"I'm an example of what happens. So our plea is, just to please pay attention when you're on the roads," Holderman stated.

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