Do you like to hug the hills? Love those leafy country lanes? Or, do you savor shoreline flat runs? Almost anywhere you go, bicycling choices abound in Fairfield. But whether you’re cycling for recreation or to do some shopping, bike riding obviously can be risky too, according to the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.
Every year scores of children and adults in Fairfield require medical treatment because of bike related injuries, police report. In addition to roadways, sometimes sidewalks are the scene for accidents.
“While Connecticut state statutes do not prohibit the use of sidewalks by bicyclists, riding a bike on a sidewalk adds responsibilities for all cyclists. Studies show that cyclists are safer (with the exception of children) when they are operating on the roadway where motorists expect them to be traveling,” according to Deputy Chief of Police Chris Lyddy.
Connecticut law under Section 14-286 makes clear that “each person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across any roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal within a reasonable distance before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Each person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall within a reasonable distance give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or another bicycle operator…”
With the warm weather upon us, the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, a town government appointed advocacy and education panel, offers the following four tips to make your bike riding experience safer:
Wear a Helmet Every Time You Ride, even if it is just for a short ride. Make sure your helmet fits properly and is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Stay Visible: If a driver can see you they are less likely to hit you. Wear vivid colors. Use lights in front and back of your bike when biking in low light conditions or at night.
Look & Signal: Use hand signals to let drivers know where you are going. Look over your shoulder before changing lanes. Use audible signals such as bells to alert pedestrians.
Go with the Flow: Bike on the far right side of the road with traffic.
Obey all Traffic Signs & Lights: Cyclists have to obey the same rules of the road as automobiles do. Be courteous, be considerate of other driver and be cautious.
For more information on the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian committee and its work promoting safe walking and cycling, visit http://www.fairfieldct.org/bikeped or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org