It’s spring: time for some bicycle safety tips

Spring is here which means there is an increase of people on bicycles so what better time to review some safety tips.

  • Apr. 20, 2016 1:00 p.m.
Arland Croquet

Arland Croquet

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

Spring is here which means there is an increase of people on bicycles so what better time to review some safety tips for cyclists, motorists and parents.

The most important safety tip today according to the Fort St. James R.C.M.P. is wearing a CSA approved helmet.

A head injury can mean brain injury.

Sgt. Poppy Hallam from the Fort St. James R.C.M.P. says that many officers have seen lives saved because of helmets.

“We do still see many people cycling without helmets and we want to remind the public that the risks are real, that serious injury can occur not just from collisions with motor vehicles but from something as simple as catching a rut in the shoulder and hitting a hard object,” Hallam said.

“These accidents can be fluke in nature with devastating consequences.”

The R.C.M.P. is warning the public that violation tickets are being issued for “cycling without a required bicycle helmet”, contrary to Section 184(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act which carries a $29 fine.

Here are some tips for cyclists to remember according to bicyclesafe:

Your bike helmet should fit properly and you should not wear a hat under your helmet. Make sure it is worn level to the forehead. The straps should always be fastened.

It’s important to remember that even experienced cyclists have accidents. You can’t always prepare for a fall.

Wear bright clothes and affix reflectors on your bike for added safety. Avoid wearing loose clothing so nothing gets caught in your bike chain and never ride barefoot.

Avoid wearing headphones because music can distract you from hearing noise such as other vehicles around you.

Parents should discuss approved biking areas especially to kids 10 years and under who should consider riding on the sidewalk rather than on the street. In turn, they need to be mindful of cars and trucks and all vehicles pulling out of driveways.

Bicycle safety tips to teach children according to the R.C.M.P.:

–          Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of injury or death to children so it’s important to teach them about traffic and pedestrian safety.

–          Bikes are not toys

–          Always wear a CSA approved helmet

–          Let kids pick their own helmet – they are more likely to wear it

–          Riders must follow the traffic rules, the same as car drivers

–          Riders must obey all signs and lights

–          Riders should use signals when turning or stopping

–          Ride in single file with the flow of traffic (right side of the road)

–          Bikes should be equipped with proper safety equipment including a headlamp and reflectors

For more information regarding bicycle safety visit: http://bc.cb.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/