June 21, 2024

Bicycle Safety Is #$!&*$@ Important – Listen To Chef Ramsay

A recent crash between a driver and a bicyclist in southeastern Connecticut nearly took the life of a famous chef, and his close call is a reminder that sharing the road with bicyclists is state law for a reason – it can cause serious injury and even death.

Last week, Chef Gordon Ramsay – the famously foul-mouthed and beloved chef behind “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Kitchen Nightmares” and “MasterChef” – posted a serious video on Instagram, where his hands shook as he discussed what could have been a fatal accident. Ramsay lifts his chef’s jacket during the video to reveal a huge bruise that nearly takes up his whole abdomen and says that two things helped him through the experience. In addition to the doctors, nurses and staff at New London’s Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, Ramsay says his helmet saved his life.

While Chef Ramsay has not publicly divulged details about his crash, the full-body bruise makes it likely that he was the victim of a car-vs-bike crash. Unfortunately, he’s not alone, though thankfully, he was lucky and made it out without any broken bones. The Department of Transportation told CT News Junkie this year that five bicyclists were killed on roadways in 2023, up one from 2022, and another 49 pedestrians and 62 motorcyclists were killed in crashes as well.

It’s not just important and courteous to give bicyclists space – it’s state law. Since 2008, any motorist who doesn’t give bicyclists at least three feet of space when overtaking or passing a cyclist may be fined for failing to respect the right of way. Bicycles are considered vehicles on state roadways and should be given extra time to make it through intersections. This goes beyond simply courtesy in some respects – in cities and towns, especially crowded ones, it’s also illegal to open the door of a vehicle in a way where a pedestrian or cyclist will get hit.

“Traffic injuries and fatalities are becoming more and more common at an alarming rate,” said State Senator Christine Cohen, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “With the warm months ahead, we can expect to see an increase in motor vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian traffic on our roadways. While my partners in the legislature and at the DOT continue to implement safety efforts – automated enforcement, wrong-way driving counter measures, increased police presence – it is incumbent on all of us as a shared community to act responsibly on the road. Slow down, put away the phone and don’t get behind the wheel in an altered state.”

Connecticut continues to seek safer steps forward for safe bicycling and roads – the Connecticut Active Transportation Plan has been in place since 2018 to best approach future planning and design with bikes and pedestrians in mind.

Posted by Joe O’Leary