New law has Trace rangers out in full force

TUPELO – A lack of accidents on the Natchez Trace Parkway over the holiday weekend allowed park rangers to focus on enforcing that state’s new 3-foot bicycle law.
Chief Ranger Mike Foster said only four automobile accidents were reported over the holiday weekend on the entire 444-mile Parkway, which stretches through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Two of those reported injuries.
He said that because of the new 3-foot bicycle law that took effect Thursday, more rangers were patrolling the Parkway.
“We didn’t have much going on at all this holiday weekend and that’s just how we like it,” said Foster. “I think our increased presence played a factor in that. We are going to continue to be out and watch motorists and cyclists to assure that everyone is safe.”
The new law requires motorists give at least a 3-foot cushion while passing bicyclists. Two bicyclists died on the Trace last year after being struck by vehicles.
The Parkway has more than 6 million recreational users and another 7 million motorists who use the Trace each year. And with that type of volume, Foster said it is important that all traffic laws are obeyed and enforced.
“We feel this new law is going to benefit everyone who uses the Trace,” he said.
Only three arrests were made on the Trace over the weekend, including one for DUI.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal