Cycling safety: Do your part to keep it safe and fun

MANITOULIN–Summer is here and so is the warm sunny weather. This means that outdoor enthusiasts of all ages are enjoying their favourite activities. Cyclists are now riding their bikes and using the roads and area trails. It is important for cyclists and motorists to keep safety in mind when on their travels.

Here are a few things to remember:

Motorists:

• Motorists must allow cyclists a safe space to ride on the roadway, as a bicycle has the same rights and responsibilities when on the road.
• Do not honk your horn at a cyclist unless you are doing so for safety reasons. This could startle the person riding the bike, which could cause them to lose control of their bicycle.
• If you decide to pass a cyclist, ensure that you pass in a safe place that will allow you to overtake the rider without forcing them off the road.
• Use a little extra caution and drive defensively when travelling through residential areas. Younger riders may dart out onto the street suddenly from a driveway.
• Intersections are a common location for collisions between vehicles and cyclists. Be aware of this when you approach a controlled intersection.
• When making a right turn, check your mirror to ensure that there are no cyclists in your blind spot or attempting to go by you on the right.

Cyclists:

• Do regular inspections of your bicycle to make sure that it is improper working order.
• Make sure that your bike is the correct size for you. A bike that is not the right size for you is difficult to control and generally not comfortable to ride anyways.
• Wear a helmet! Helmets are mandatory for all riders under 18-years-old and are just common sense. Helmets must also be fitted and worn properly.
• Obey all traffic laws. Cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as any other vehicle on the road.
• When riding on the street, ride as close to the right side of the road a safely possible.
• Scan the road ahead for potholes, sewer grates or other road hazards. This will allow you to safely take the space you need to stop or move around the hazard.
• Signal your intentions. If you must move out into traffic, change lanes, stop, or turn; use the proper hand signals to let others know where you are going. This is required by law.
• Ride in single file on the roadway and allow enough space between you and the bike ahead of you.
• Do not take passenger on your bike…period. This is extremely dangerous and illegal unless the bike is designed for two persons.
• Wear bright clothing and be visible.
• If you plan to ride at night, you are required to have a working headlight and a tail light on your bike. This will help you to be visible and to see where you are going.
• Very young riders should be properly supervised. Children under 10 years of age do not have the decision making skills to judge speed and distance that adults have. A parent should be riding with their children. It is also important to teach your children how to ride their bikes safely and make them aware of the rules.

“Safety on our roads is one of the top priorities of the OPP, Bicyclists have as much right to use the roadways as do motorists,” advises Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb, detachment commander for the Manitoulin OPP. “By respecting one another this is one way that everyone keeps safe. Remember the rules and always ride safe and have an enjoyable summer.”