TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A new website is working to help increase bike safety across the country. There have been 3 bicyclist fatalities in Pima County so far this year. The man behind a new website is hoping that number doesn't get any higher.
"Cars pull in front of you and miss you by a few inches," said Robert Fritz. He's a Tucson local and an avid cyclist around Pima County. Last week, he launched SafeBicyclingData.org, where riders can self report near misses and other dangerous experiences on the roads.
"Theres a real disconnect when you're on a bicycle and you're very vulnerable to being hit by car," said Fritz. "But motorists don't have that sense of vulnerability."
Earlier this month, Fritz lost his friend and riding companion, Ken Vieira. Vieria was cycling in Oro Valley when deputies say an impaired driver crashed into and killed him and one other rider.
Although the site can't prevent crashes from impaired drivers, Fritz says it can help gather important data. Cyclists can fill out a bike incident report. The report takes note of the location, time and circumstances of near misses all across the country.
He says the data would have been helpful prior to another cyclist fatality that took place on Sunrise and Skyline in January.
"There have probably been hundreds of near misses that cyclists have experienced there," said Fritz. "Had we known that, perhaps the county would have fixed the intersection."
The city of Tucson currently uses data collected by the Tucson Police Department, but they don't have data on near misses. The city says they are considering using the self-reported data from the new website once more information is collected.