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Cyclists Pay Tribute To Slain Bike Riders, Hope To Raise Awareness

ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – Beaver County cyclists braved wet and cold conditions for a memorial bike ride on Route 51, near Aliquippa.

They rode in honor of 54-year-old Arthur Bell and two others who were killed by drivers on Route 51 in the last about two years.

Brian Bell talked about the day his brother was killed.

"He was commuting on Aug. 6 and was killed along 51 about 5:40 in the morning," he said.

Rt. 51 is identified by the state as a bike route. But Ed Quigley with the Ohio River Trail Council says the highway has no shoulder and the 55 mile per hour speed limit makes it too dangerous for cyclists.

"The state of Pennsylvania needs to stop telling people this is how you go from Erie to Pittsburgh, there has to be another route," he said.

Qugley says he's not bashing PennDOT, he wants the governor and the legislature to make changes, not only in the route, but in some of the laws.

"As it is right now," he says, "the perfect crime in Pennsylvania is killing a bicyclist with a car. You are guaranteed to get away with it, as long as you are not drunk."

Arthur Bell's brothers want the state to take immediate action and drivers to become more aware.

"Distracted driving, texting, calling on the phone leads to a lot of this," said Bell's brother, Mike. "If you are not paying attention, you can come up on a cyclist pretty quick."

The ghost bike will be a permanent fixture on Route 51 in hopes that drivers will never forget what happened and to make them think.

"Think about being aware of cyclists and to give them room in Pennsylvania," said cyclist Jim Skal. "It's state law, you give a 4 foot buffer and slow down if necessary."

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