Sun is shining, time for bicycle safety review

As the number of sunny days start to outnumber those that are rainy, more of us may ditch our cars and turn to our bicycles for transportation or recreation. If that’s the case for you and your family, consider following the following safety recommendations from the National Safety Council, an Illinois-based non-profit that aims to improve safety in just about every aspect of our daily lives:
  • Obey traffic laws. Bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as motorists.
  • Wear a helmet that meets mandatory safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Make sure it fits securely and is worn low near the eyebrows, rather than back on the forehead.
  • Know what your bicycle can do. Remember that bikes are slower, but more agile than motor vehicles.
  • Ride single file in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic. Make sure to stay as far to the right of the road as possible, while watching out for debris, sewer gratings, opening car doors and soft shoulders.
  • Use hand signals to let motorists know you plan to make a left or right turn up ahead.
  • Before heading into traffic, stop, look to your left, right, left again, and over your shoulder.
  • Make sure you and your bike have proper safety equipment. For you, that includes wearing bright-colored clothing when riding during the day and reflective clothing when riding at night. For your bike, it means having a bike headlight, as well to help you see the road ahead and help you be seen by others on the road. It also means, having reflectors on the rear and front of your bike, as well as on the wheels and pedals. Also consider having a horn or bell to help you get the attention of other road users and a rear-view mirror so you can see what’s approaching from behind.
  • Never hitch rides on cars. A sudden stop or turn could send the cyclist flying into the path of another vehicle.
Santa Cruz Paving Project Update The paving of Pacific Avenue, from Water to Cathcart streets, wrapped up on Friday. Now the city is gearing up for the next phase – paving Pacific between Cathcart and Laurel streets. The work was to occur this week, said Josh Spangrud, associate civil engineer with the city. But with rain in the forecast for Tuesday, the work may be delayed. Stay tuned.
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