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Bicyclist: ‘All of us encounter distracted drivers’

Posted: May 26, 2016 7:57 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2016 7:57 p.m.
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Longtime Santa Clarita Valley cyclist Nina Moskol spoke Thursday about growing friction between bicyclists and inattentive drivers.

“I’m a cyclist and a motorist and have just as much right to the roadway when I’m a cyclist as I do when I’m in my car,” said Moskol, chairwoman of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition.

Emotions are still raw for local cyclists, including Moskol, who are reeling from the recent death of one of their own.

Rod Bennett, a 53-year-old math and music teacher at Arroyo Seco Junior High School in Saugus, was struck and killed by a motorist Wednesday while on an afternoon recreational bike ride on Placerita Canyon Road.

The driver of the gray Lexus CT-200 suspected of killing Bennett remained outstanding Thursday afternoon, according to CHP officials. It is unclear how the collision occurred on a roadway commonly used by cyclists.

“All of us encounter distracted drivers. All of us encounter some people who really seem to have an agenda to frighten or possibly hurt people when they’re out on the road,” Moskol said of the relationship between riders and drivers on Placerita Canyon Road.

“Placerita (Canyon Road) is considered by most of the recreational road cyclists in Santa Clarita as kind of the jewel in the crown,” Moskol said. “I expect to be able to use the roadway … in accordance with the law, safely.”

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