Bicycle safety means more than just wearing a helmet.
And with May dedicated as Bicycle Safety Month, Lathrop Police Services is doing its part to notify the public about the steps that go into bicycle safety and what motorists and pedestrians can do to maintain it.
“Traffic safety is a shared responsibility,” said Acting Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann. “People get around in a variety of ways, including bikes and walking, so it is important that we are aware of one another and do our part to ensure that everybody gets to their destination safely.”
While safety efforts like the one that Lathrop Police are making are becoming more commonplace, unfortunately so are bicycle deaths.
According to statistics from the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 138 bicyclists killed on California in 2016 – a 25 percent jump from the 2011 statistics. Factors such as speeding, failing to yield the right of way, improper turning, using the wrong side of the road, and not following traffic signs and road signals are all factors that have contributed to deaths.
“Bicycle safety remains a key concern in our community,” Biedermann said. “It is why this month and really every month we are committed to educating and informing the public on safe ways to go – whether on two wheels or four.”
Throughout the month Lathrop Police will be encouraging motorists to look around them when making turns – especially when traveling into a dedicated bike lane – as well as using extra caution while backing up or leaving a parking space. Bicyclists are encouraged to go with the flow of traffic and let faster traffic pass and should always make themselves visible by wearing brightly coloring clothing and using aftermarket accessories that help improve visibility and cut down on collisions. Bicyclists are also advised to use lights from dusk until dawn – a white light on the front of a bicycle and a red light on the rear – to be more visible to traffic, and bicyclists should always wear a helmet when traveling on roadways.
Both motorists and bicyclists are reminded that it’s best to always avoid distractions – like cellular phones.
For more tips on bicycle safety and suggestions for how bicyclists and motorists can share the road safely, visit www.gosafelyca.org.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.