Deadly accident and controversial traffic stop- warnings to ride - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Deadly accident and controversial traffic stop- warnings to ride by the rules

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The scene on Saturday morning when a bicyclist and an SUV collided at a St. Joe intersection. The scene on Saturday morning when a bicyclist and an SUV collided at a St. Joe intersection.
A photo of the controversial traffic stop between Evansville police and an off-duty Evansville firefighter. A photo of the controversial traffic stop between Evansville police and an off-duty Evansville firefighter.

Two recent incidents involving cyclists running stop signs are now proving to be a warning for us all to remember the rules of the road, whether you're driving a vehicle or riding a bicycle.   

An Evansville man was killed when officials say he didn't stop at a stop sign this weekend. Now, authorities say this should serve as a warning to all of us to ride by the rules.

Cycling is a labor of love for Mike Wilbur. He decided to spend his Labor Day by taking in the cooler temperatures on two wheels with a ride through Downtown Evansville.

"I'll have to admit I do sometimes go through stop signs. I mean, I'll glance both ways, and if nothing is coming, I'll just go ahead and go on through. The same thing with the red lights," Wilbur said.

While some cyclists admit that's common, officials warn it can be dangerous.

Authorities say 56-year-old John Bohls, a former Vectren executive, was killed Saturday when he didn't stop at a stop sign and was hit by an SUV. The coroner's office says he died instantly.  
Then there's that much-talked about case of off-duty Evansville firefighter George Madison who rode his bike through a stop sign last month and was pulled over by police. It's a stop that even City Council President Connie Robinson questioned if it was really necessary.

"They handcuffed a preacher for giving the police a sign when all he was doing was just waving and running a stop sign. How many of us have run a stop sign on a bicycle," Robinson said at an August city council meeting.

Authorities, though, say it is a crime. Officials say the same rules of the road that apply to vehicles also apply to bicycles.

"You got to stop and assume that the people at the other side, whether it be coming in a perpendicular direction or oncoming, that they don't see you as well," Joshua Lopez said.

Lopez, who was also out for a ride on his Labor Day, says when he's out on two wheels he always plays it safe and doesn't take any chances.

"Assume that nobody sees you because the one time you assume that they don't see you, there you go," Lopez said.

Evansville police recently said it's common that they do stop cyclists who don't stop at stop signs. They say since April 1 of this year, they have stopped 63 people on their bikes for traffic violations.

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