|Vol. 17, No. 4||Sept. 25, 1997|
Make bike safety a priority on campus this semester
A number of students use bicycles to travel through campus, but with pedestrians and cars sharing the sidewalks and roads, accidents can happen. Statistics show that the majority of local bicycle-related crashes are the fault of the bicyclist.
The Newark Police Department has been awarded a grant for bicycle law enforcement from the Office of Highway Safety. The goal is to reduce the number of bicycle-related crashes by fining bicyclists who disobey traffic laws. Newark police officers will receive enhanced training in enforcement of bicycle violations.
According to the Delaware Driver's Manual, the bicycle rider has the same rights and responsibilities of the driver of a motor vehicle. The code details the laws that must be adhered to by bicyclists in Delaware.
"Bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles," according to John Forester, author of Effective Cycling. The most prevalent cause of crashes involving bicycles is the bicyclist going in the wrong direction on the road.
- Ride with the flow of traffic and staying as far to the right as possible,
- Yield to pedestrians,
- Not wear a headset that covers both ears, and
- Not carry a passenger unless the bicycle is designed for two.
In addition, safety-conscious bicyclists should:
- Have control of the bicycle and know how to execute a panic stop and make an instant turn,
- Ride in a predictable manner and signal their intentions, and
- Wear a bright helmet and clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night.