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Bicyclist fatalities rose 64 percent over last three years compared to previous period

Officers will focus on state’s bicycle laws during Bicyclist Safety Enforcement Week

Recently released crash data shows an alarming rise in the number of bicyclist-related fatalities on Michigan roadways over the last three years. From 2020 to 2022, 103 bicyclists were killed in Michigan, an increase of 64 percent over the previous three-year period. 

Each year from 2017 to 2019, 21 people were killed in bicyclist-involved crashes across the state, for a total of 63 fatalities. From 2020 to 2022, there were 38, 29 and 36 bicyclist-involved deaths, respectively, for a total of 103 fatalities. 

Law enforcement agencies in several communities have been awarded overtime grants from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) to address bicyclist injuries and fatalities on the state’s roadways. During Bicyclist Safety Enforcement Week, which runs from August 7 to 13, officers will be focused on enforcing Michigan’s bicycle safety laws. 

The participating law enforcement agencies are the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Chikaming Township Police Department, Detroit Police Department, Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Lansing Police Department, Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and St. Joseph Department of Public Safety.

In 2022, there were 1,340 bicyclist-involved traffic crashes in Michigan. During that year, the peak hour for fatalities and serious injuries was from 6 to 7 p.m., with Friday being the peak day.

“We continue to see a rise in bicycle-involved crashes in many communities across the state,” said Katie Bower, director of the OHSP. “Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Motorists and bicyclists can avoid crashes if they know and follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other. The death of even one bicyclist is one too many.” 

Officers will be looking for drivers committing traffic violations that include illegal turns, not stopping at a signal or stop sign, not giving at least three feet when passing a bicyclist, and blocking a roadway that interferes with the normal flow of traffic. Bicyclist violations that officers will be looking for include not riding with traffic, not using lights when biking at night, and riding more than two side by side.

Traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration support the OHSP-coordinated enforcement campaign.

For more information about bicyclist safety, visit the OHSP website.