Pledge to share the road
Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2015
With warmer weather approaching, more bicycles have been and will be seen on the roads.
The Michigan Vehicle Code includes bicycles and there are laws concerning bikes. These laws can be found under MVC 257.656 through 257.662. As an avid rider myself, bicycle safety is very important. But, not only do bicyclists have to obey the laws and do our part to be safe, we need motor vehicle drivers to be safe when driving near the cyclists.
The League of Michigan Bicyclists has a Safety pledge for drivers and cyclists. By reading the pledge, you can learn safety tips and make a commitment to be a safer driver around bikes and become a safer rider in traffic. Please consider taking this pledge and adding your name to the list or safety-minded road users.
Here are a few tips from each side of the pledge:
• Recognize that bicyclists have the right to ride on the roads
• Leave at least 5 feet between a cyclist and my side mirror when passing and to only return to the lane when I can clearly see the cyclist in my rearview mirror.
• Use signals to indicate my turns
• Yield to bicyclists (on both sides of road) who have the right of-way before turning at intersections and into driveways
• Never “hook” a bicyclist by overtaking them and then immediately turning in front of them.
• Recognize that the risk to bicyclists increases exponentially as my speed increases
• Never drive distracted, especially texting while driving
• Recognize that bicyclists may move away from the curb and use the full travel lane in order to avoid hazards or to prepare for turns.
• Understand that bicyclists are not required to use side paths or other off roadway facilities when they are present and that riding on sidewalks is extremely dangerous
• Model exemplary bicycling behavior by obeying all laws and traffic control devices that apply to bicyclists
• Use hand signals to indicate my turns
• Ride predictably in the same direction as traffic and not swerve in the road or between parked cars
• Ride in the furthest right lane that travels in the direction I’m going (except when making left turns or on one-way roads where bicyclists can ride on the left side of the road)
• Be assertive and assume that drivers do not see me
• Recognize that I have a right to move away from the curb to prevent getting “squeezed” and to avoid debris, hazards including car doors, or to prepare for turns
• Equip my bike with front and rear lights and wear brightly colored reflective clothing when riding in poor visibility
• Recognize that sidewalks are one of the most dangerous places to ride
• Never ride more than two abreast and single up to let others pass when it is safe to do so
Visit www.shareMIroads. Org or www.LMB.Org for more bicycle safety information and to take the pledge.
For your questions or comments, please email me at TrooperRob53@yahoo.com or call (269) 683-4411.