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Bicycle safety tips for spring weather

Published 5:40pm Wednesday, April 2, 2014

As I have stated in previous columns, March was a busy month. Last week I attended the 19th Annual Traffic Safety Summit in Lansing where I presented two breakout sessions.

I was very pleased to see the amount of attendees I had in my sessions.  I partnered with a representative from Michigan Model and we discussed bicycle safety in the schools. The representative discussed the Michigan Model Program on health and I discussed how we use this program to get into the schools with the T.E.A.M. program, in which two of our lessons discuss bicycle safety. With the weather hopefully finally changing, it’s time to get these bicycles in shape for our summer rides. I discussed how we use the time in the schools as police officers to discuss safety and health to the students.

I even had my attendees stand up and go for a mock bicycle ride, practicing hand signals and a quick game of hand signal Simon Says in the classroom.

MVC 257.648 (4) states “When a person is operating a bicycle and signal is given by means of the hand and arm, the operator shall signal as follows: (a) For a left turn, the operator shall extend his or her left hand and arm horizontally, (b) For a right turn, the operator shall extend his or her left hand and arm upward or shall extend his or her right hand and arm horizontally, (c) To stop or decrease speed, the operator shall extend his or her left hand and arm downward.

HB 4866 was signed into law as Public Act 1 of 2014 on January 28 by Gov. Rick Snyder giving bicyclists the option of signaling a right turn by extending their right horizontally. Until now, we could signal right turn with an “L” position by extending our left hand upward. The original law stemmed from 1949 when most automobiles lacked turn signals and motorists had to use hand signals, which are still allowed under 648(3)(a-c).

April’s theme for the Do 1 Thing program concerns food.  The goal is to have an emergency food supply that will meet the needs of your household for three days without outside help. An emergency food supply doesn’t have to sit on a shelf ready for disaster to strike (although it can). It can be part of the food you use every day. The key to a good food storage plan is to buy ahead of time. Replace items before they run out. Buy items when they are on sale.

Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to

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