JONESBORO, Ark. – At Tuesday night’s city council meeting in Jonesboro, many were thinking about Jason McDonald.
The 42-year-old family man was riding his bicycle on Craighead County Road 766 Wednesday, June 8, when a truck struck him, killing him.
Traffic safety was on the minds of many at Tuesday’s meeting because of the tragedy, including Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin.
“I lost a good friend,” Perrin said. “I knew that gentleman. A tragedy.”
A group, called the Northeast Arkansas Bicycle Coalition, showed up with memorial shirts for McDonald to the meeting with hopes to raise awareness and to remember their friend.
When Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott addressed the council, he discussed several facets of safety for those who occupy roads without a motor vehicle. He also announced a new campaign in the city.
“We’re starting a campaign on safety issues that are a big problem in Jonesboro,” Elliott said. “The first issue is pedestrians in the crosswalk. They do have the right away and people tend not to stop. We’re trying to educate the public about giving pedestrians the right of way on crosswalks. We have a lot of issues in the evening hours, especially on Main Street. I’m afraid somebody’s going to get killed.”
The JPD police chief also mentioned his office is addressing cyclist safety within the city, too.
“Too many times, when cars go around to pass cyclist on the road, they don’t give them enough room,” Elliott said. “Law requires you give 3 feet or more space when you go around that person. If you’re not, you could receive a ticket for that. As part of this public safety campaign, we’re teaming up with ASU on it. The campaign slogan on this is “Howl Yes! Give them Three Feet.”
Elliott said the department hoped to spread awareness and save lives on the road.