May is Bicycle Safety Month: Share the Road

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A bicyclist on Coast Highway. NB File Photo by Lawrence Sherwin ©

May is National Bicycle Safety Month, and the Newport Beach Police Department reminds drivers to follow the speed limit and look out for people on bike rides.

“The days are longer, and the weather is pleasant, making for ideal conditions to go on a bike ride,” Lieutenant Eric Little said. “Drivers, please share the road so we may all get to places safely.”

To help keep people biking or walking safe, the Newport Beach Police Department will conduct traffic safety operations throughout the month, focusing on the most dangerous driver behaviors such as speeding, making illegal turns, failure to yield to bicyclists or pedestrians, and stop sign/red-light running.

The Newport Beach Police Department suggests the following safety tips for bicyclists and drivers.

Drivers:

  • Slow down and follow the speed limit. Be careful traveling through intersections.
  • Look carefully for bicyclists and pedestrians before making a turn or opening a car door near streets or bike paths.
  • Be patient when traveling behind a bicyclist. Maintain at minimum three feet of space when passing or overtaking a bicyclist.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Bike Riders:

  • Use lights at night (at minimum, a front white light and a rear red reflector).
  • Although not required for riders 18 and older, always wear a properly secured helmet. Helmets significantly reduce the chance of a head injury in the event of a crash.
  • Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow- moving vehicle.
  • Yield to pedestrians, just as a driver would. Pedestrians have the right-of-way within marked crosswalks or within unmarked crosswalks at intersections.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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