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Cyclists ride from Orlando to Tallahassee in honor loved ones killed in crashes

3:27 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Some very motivated cyclists have pedaled hundreds of miles this week across Florida to try to get your attention about traffic safety.

When they finally finished their 400-mile trek from Central Florida to the state Capitol on Thursday, they remembered loved ones killed in traffic crashes and urged Floridians to take some easy steps to make everyone safer on the road.

Connie Russell remembered her son Matthew, a senior at Florida State, who was killed by a drunk driver.

"Those crazy drivers don't have to kill our kids. We can all do something about it. It's not acceptable and it doesn't have to be. We can all say no. We're not going to make it OK. It's not the oops crime. It's not OK. I do all this to make my son proud and make it so that another parent doesn't have to stand up here and talk about their child who's up in heaven now."

The cyclists recalled the challenges of riding from Orlando to Tallahassee and said the journey wasn't easy to complete in just a few days.

But Jim Russell reminded Floridians how easy it is to improve traffic safety by starting with your own driving habits.

"An easy thing is reaching across and putting your seat belt on. An easy thing is stopping for a stop sign. An easy thing is obeying the speed limit. An easy thing is making the smart choice not to drink and drive. An easy thing is making the smart choice not to text and drive. By comparison, that's easy. There's no reason why we all can't do that."

The cyclists offered their safety message as part of the 3rd annual Survive the Drive bicycle tour. It was sponsored by the Dori Slosberg Foundation and Geico.

Dave Heller

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