Let’s get the new year off to a great start: Safety tips for bicyclists and motorists

--- Published on August 05th 2018 ---
NUSD helping hands

Hopping on a bicycle and pedaling to school is healthy, fun and good for the environment. Natomas streets are likely to be filled with pedal-pushing students when classes resume Wednesday, Aug. 8.  We urge motorists and bicyclists to recognize that and exercise caution while traveling near schools.

Nothing is more important than the health of our students and community. Disaster can strike quickly when people are careless, unsafe, or fail to share the road. Whether you’re behind the wheel of a car or bike, drive with care,  obey traffic laws, be predictable, and stay alert at all times.

California law requires motorists to pass no closer than 3 feet from a bicyclist traveling in the same direction. That alone won’t ensure safety, however, so please abide by the following tips:

            BICYCLISTS

·        Wear a properly fitted helmet, and take off headphones

·        Beware of cars leaving driveways, and hazards, such as road debris

·        Ride in the same direction as traffic, on the right side of the road

·        Obey all traffic signs and signals

·        Ride in a straight line, don’t weave in and out of traffic or parked cars

·        Yield to pedestrians and use hand signals before making turns

·        When passing through an intersection, look for motorists in all directions

·        Ride 3 to 4 feet away from parked cars to avoid harm if a car door opens

·        Make yourself as visible as possible — equip your bike with reflectors and use a headlight if riding at dusk, dawn or in foggy weather

MOTORISTS

·        Take it slow – drive at safe speeds, exercising particular caution near schools

·        Give bicyclists ample room, at least 3 feet, when passing them – state law requires it

·        Yield to bicyclists when turning, and always look for them before pulling over to park at a curb

·        Don’t honk to communicate with bicyclists, except in an emergency

·        Always signal before turning

·        When parked beside a sidewalk, check for bicyclists before opening your vehicle’s door.

·        Don’t follow bicyclists too closely – it can be distracting or intimidating to them

·       Stop at the end of driveways before crossing a sidewalk or entering a street