NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Biking is a sport that continues to grow in popularity. From roadways to pedestrian bike trails, cyclists can be found all over central Arkansas.
For Willa Williams and Bernadette Gunnrhodes, bike safety is more than a passion; it's their job. As league traffic instructors, who teach cyclists the rules of the road Williams and Gunnrhodes are advocates for sharing the road. Willa Williams said Arkansas has strict traffic laws that could cost you.
"Not a lot of people know that with cyclists on the road, that you have to give them at least three feet of passing. When you don't give them three feet of passing and you injure a cyclist, it's at least a $1,000 fine."
Wednesday at their office in North Little Rock, both women scrolled through a number of social media posts in reaction to Tuesday's accident involving a group of young cyclists in Northeast Arkansas. Bernadette Gunnrhodes said the group traveling through Arkansas was on a cross country ride.
"The state highways are the only place where they can ride. They're not allowed to ride on interstates of course, and those cross country routes are often those small little state highways," she added.
Those small highways force both motorists and cyclists to be alert, and that's the message Williams and Gunnrhodes want to get across to the city of North Little Rock. Gunnrhodes believes that educating the public and teaching cyclists the skills they need on the road is a must.
"They do fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles, and they need to be assertive, predictable, cautious and alert," she explained.
Williams said she hopes this will prevent an accident of this type from happening again.
"It's tough when you see kids that are out there having a good time. They're trying to build some team building skills, they're trying to create some great memories, and this is the memory that their bringing back," she added.
While there are no helmet laws regarding cyclists safety, advocates stress that a helmet should always be worn no matter where you are riding.