Bike safety a big concern

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email

Recent deadly bicycle accidents have prompted new concerns about the safety of bicyclists on local roadways.

In 2011, nearly 700 people were killed in the United States in bike accidents involving vehicles.

To avoid accidents, there are a few helpful tips to follow.

Do not forget to wear your helmet. Always wear bright colors or reflective riding gear when riding at night or in the dark. And be aware of your surroundings when you are out on the road.

Remember that in traffic bikers operate under the same laws as all other motorists.

“Well I think cyclists need to be very much aware we have the same rights and privileges as motorists except we are sharing the road,” said Judy Lee, president of the Bike Michiana Coalition. “So we are the slow moving vehicle compared to a motorist and we need to be aware that motorists are on the road and so much bigger than we are. We need to ride on the right, we need to wear helmets, we need to be visible and we need to be predictable.”

Bike enthusiasts say South Bend has already made some progress in making roads a safter place for both cyclists and motorists.

Last month, the common council passed the three-foot clearance rule which requires drivers to provide at least three feet of distance when passing bicycles on city streets.

Also, 20 “sharrow” bicycle icon markers are being painted on streets across the area.

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