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  • Mike Wagner
  • Sat June 04 2016
  • Posted Jun 4, 2016
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV)

Data from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition shows bicycle crashes across Iowa have increased by 20 percent since 2015. It says that five people died in crashes and 237 people sustained injuries in crashes involving bicycles and motor vehicles.

Mark Wyatt, a member of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition says there are about 400 crashes each year.

"From the motorist standpoint it's failure to yield problems either at an intersection stop sign, traffic sign. From the bicyclists it's more improper crossing," Wyatt said.

In Cedar Rapids, there have been six bicycle crashes so far this year. Spokesman for the Cedar Rapids Police Department Greg Buelow says five of those were the bicyclists fault. He says there were about 15 in 2015.

KCRGTV9 also requested data from Iowa DOT that says there were about 20 crashes per year in Cedar Rapids. That data shows 17 in 2015, 16 in 2014, 19 in 2013 and 19 in 2012.

Wyatt said obeying traffic laws is important to prevent crashes.

"You should always change lanes if you're going to pass a bicyclist and give them plenty of room. Just in case something happens," Wyatt said.

One bicyclist says he's been hit a few times, but thinks the roads in Cedar Rapids are safe.

"I've had a few close encounters and I've been hit one time but everything was A-Ok," Thaddeus Walters said.

A local bike shop employee says he likes the new bike lanes in Cedar Rapids.

"They're implementing green paint in a lot of the bike lanes as well which is very visible you know a eye-catching attention-grabbing color which again helps alert drivers," Kyle Moscrip said.

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