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Road officials urge safety for bikes, cars

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- After a 2008 that saw the most Minnesota bicyclists killed since 2000, state transportation officials are urging motorists to take care as the weather warms up and bicyclists return to the roads.

Last year, 13 bicyclists were killed on Minnesota roads. That's the most since 14 bicyclists were killed in 2000, and a significant increase over the four killed in 2007. Transportation officials say the increase in bicycle commuters was a factor in the increase in deaths.

Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel says both motorists and bicyclists bear responsibility for safety on the roads. The biggest factor in bicyclist-motorist crashes is failure to yield right of way.

Officials say bicyclists are responsible for paying attention to traffic control devices like stoplights and stop signs, while motorists must not drive inattentively and fail to see bicyclists.