Caught on Camera: Car nearly hits bicyclist on Smith Co. road

Caught on Camera: Bicyclist close call
Published: Aug. 12, 2015 at 7:29 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2015 at 8:34 PM CDT
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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A group of bicyclists from a Tyler club was enjoying an evening ride on Tuesday when a close call happened, and was caught on video.

John Horsley was wearing a Go-Pro camera, mounted to his helmet with Velcro, he said, on the ride Tuesday night. Ten to twelve members of the club were along on the ride along CR 346 in Smith County, he said, enjoying the milder evening temperature. 

On the video captured by Horsley's camera, what happened next is startling. A Lincoln SUV passes the group at very close proximity. Horsley said he felt the breeze off the car's side mirror as it passed, barely grazing him, and then you see it come into the video's frame. The car is within inches of hitting a rider named Kevin in front of Horsley, as if it did not even see him there, he said. The startled voices of several riders can be heard on the video. The red car that followed the SUV, Horsley said, at least passed while leaving a safe distance between the vehicle and the bicycle.

Sheriff Larry Smith saw Horsley's video, and said on social media, "Drivers, please practice safe driving and courteous driving habits when meeting or passing bicyclists on the roadway. Due to incidents occurring recently, we are looking at stepping up our enforcement efforts regarding incidents affecting bicyclists."

Horsley said that he was the victim of a crash himself, when he was hit by a driver in March in Smith County. He said that he was riding along Burkett Road in Flint when a vehicle hit him head on, sending him flying off his bicycle and onto the hood of the car. He said he is lucky that he only had minor injuries as a result of that incident.

Related: Bicyclist Kristin Blaise hit by car on Old Jacksonville

Horsley said that he shares the video of what happened on Tuesday evening as a reminder to drivers to use caution. He said that drivers need to stop driving distracted and watch for others on the road with you. He noted that it is a good rule of thumb to leave a minimum distance of three feet between your vehicle and the bicycle you are passing. He said this is a law in some states, and is a good idea everywhere.

He also advises all bicyclists to buy a Go-Pro and mount it to their helmets, in case the worst happens. He  said that when a road becomes congested, bicycle clubs try to find alternate routes for safer travel.

Wondering what Texas law says about the rights of bicyclists on the roadway? Click here to view the site.

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