SHA Urges Bicyclists and Drivers to Follow The Rules of the Road
During an event in Baltimore County on May 12 Greg Slater, SHA director of planning, along with Nate Evans, executive director of Bike Maryland, and Jerry Cunningham, whose wife Trish was a bicyclist killed in a traffic crash, highlighted the importance of this campaign.
“The State Highway Administration supports bicycling as an alternative method a travel to ease traffic congestion improve health and reduce environmental impacts. Part of that commitment includes adding bike lanes where safe and feasible,” Slater said.
More than 3, 000 people have been injured in the past five years, and 30 were killed in more than 3,800 bicycle-related crashes in Maryland.
“Many drivers do not realize that bicycles are legal vehicles and riders must obey the same traffic laws as automobiles. The sad reality is that in a collision there is no contest between a person riding a 20 pound bike and a 4,000 pound vehicle, so sharing the road is critical for everyone to make it home safely,” Slater said.
According to SHA officials, statistics show that most bicycle crashes happen between May through September. Nearly half of all bicycle involved crashes occur during “rush hour” between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
National Bike to Work Day is May 15 and drivers should look out for bicyclists, SHA officials said.
Here are some tips for drivers when encountering bicyclist on the road:
• Allow plenty of following distance;
• Look for bicyclists before turning or opening car doors;
• Slow down when approaching a cyclist;
• Pass bicyclists carefully, giving at least three feet of space;
• Do not honk your horn.
Also, tips for cyclist on the road:
• Follow all the same laws and the automobile drivers;
• Use hand signals to indicate turns;
• Wear protective gear, especially a helmet;
• Be visible with bright clothes and reflective material at night;
• Avoid distraction such as listening to music.