SPD encourages bike use, safety

May is National Bicycle Safety Month and the Susanville Police Department is encouraging more people to get active and safely take bike rides.

The SPD will be at the Lassen County Children’s Fair on Saturday May 6 handing out pamphlets on bicycle safety. Stop by our booth between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and talk with our officers.

To help keep people biking or walking safely, the SPD will conduct traffic safety operations focused on driver behaviors that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, such as speeding, making illegal turns, failure to yield right of way and stop sign/red light running.

The SPD 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 and give them space when passing. California law requires drivers to change a lane, when possible, to pass bicyclists.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Bike riders

  • Use lights at night.
  • 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 or 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.