Bike and Drive Smart on Thursday, February 4th (and every other day of the year…)
The San Luis Obispo Police Department will step up their bike safety enforcement operations on Thursday, February 4th, with focused enforcement on collision-causing factors involving motorists and bicycle riders. Special patrols will be deployed to crack down on drivers and bicyclists who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.
The Police Department has mapped out locations from over the past three years where bicycle-involved collisions have occurred and noted the violations that led to those crashes. Officers will be looking for violations made by car drivers and bike riders alike that can lead to life changing injuries.
The following safety tips can save lives and should be practiced every day, not just on days of increased police enforcement, and not just in the City of San Luis Obispo:
- Yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Failure to yield is the #1 reason for accidents when cars are at fault
- ‘Share the road’ with bicyclists
- Be courteous; California law now mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing bike riders
- Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a driveway or parking space
- Be especially watchful for riders when making turns, either left or right
- Be predictable, use turn signals
- Obey traffic signals, speed limits and stop signs
- When cycling in the street, cyclists must drive in the same direction as traffic. Wrong way cycling is the #1 reason for accidents when bicycles are at fault
- Don’t ride on sidewalks. People and cars aren’t looking for you there (and it’s illegal in the City of SLO)
- Be predictable, signal turns and stops with your hands
- When possible, make eye contact with drivers
- Bicycle Drivers are considered vehicle operators; you are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, stop signs, signals, and lane markings
- Bicyclists can increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk
- To be noticed when riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
- For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing
Bike safety, and road safety in general, is something to strive for 24/7, 365. Let’s make the roads safer for everyone.
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