The following is provided by Fred Helfrich of the Warsaw+Winona Ride+Walk Advisory Committee as a reminder to both bicycles and motor vehicles to share the roads:
Bicycles are vehicles and cyclists are drivers and must obey all laws. Just like cars, bikes must stop at stop signs and lights, signal before making turns, move with traffic in the right side of the lane IF the lane can be shared safely, and use lights when it’s dark.
Bicycle Drivers Should:
- Always ride with traffic, never against it.
- Ride predictably, with no sudden changes in direction.
- Hold your lane so you have room to ride. You don’t have to surrender your lane to motor vehicles if it is not safe to do so.
- State law allows riding two abreast, but be courteous and don’t hog the lane unnecessarily.
- Use the left lane when preparing to turn left and be sure to check traffic behind you and signal your intentions clearly.
- Respect cars, they are much bigger than you. And assume they don’t see you, so make yourself more visible.
Motor Vehicle Drivers Should:
- Watch for signage and road markings that indicate bike routes and bike lanes and be prepared to share the road.
- Treat bicycles like other vehicles. Remember that the cyclist is much more vulnerable to injury than you are in your car
- When passing a cyclist slow down and allow at least three feet of space between your vehicle and the cyclist. Be mindful if you have large mirrors or if you are pulling a trailer.
- Never cut them off. Give them room to be safe. Be patient and pass when it’s safe. Watch for signals from the cyclist about passing or waiting, most of the time the cyclist has a better view up the road than a following motorist.
- Don’t honk. Horns can startle and cause wrecks.
- Don’t tailgate the car in front of you, this will make it more difficult to know if you are approaching a cyclist in your lane.
- Try riding your bike; it will give you a whole new perspective.
Bikes are modes of transportation that benefit us all — whether we ride or not. They are clean and add no wear to streets — that means cleaner communities and lower road maintenance costs. That makes sharing the road smart.