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Drivers must exercise caution

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My heart goes out to all the family and friends of Jim Rogers, the local cyclist who was recently killed while riding near Colfax (Journal, Feb. 2). Such a tragedy: a wife whose husband will never come home, a son starting college whose dad will never be there for him. His many friends, his employer, the entire community — are all made less by his loss. I recall those letters to the Journal complaining about bicyclists on the roads and the unsafe things they sometimes do. Yet Jim was doing nothing wrong. He was not riding two abreast or running a stoplight or weaving. He was riding as far to the right as possible. And still, he was struck and killed by a motorist who simply was not watching out. I read that the motorist is being charged with manslaughter (Journal, Feb. 25). This seems appropriate, though it will provide little comfort to those who loved and depended upon Jim. Perhaps it will help make clear to others — including those who like to yell or buzz me and others while on our bikes — the serious potential consequences of their thoughtless actions. How many of them want to look into the eyes of the widow or children of the person they killed? What will you say to them — or to the judge? Doubtless the motorist who killed Jim would give anything to have that moment back, to do again differently. Sadly, she cannot. But you can — every time you get behind the wheel. Please keep that in mind when you drive. Larry Smith, Auburn