What You Need To Know About Bicycle Safety - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/13/03

What You Need To Know About Bicycle Safety

It boils down to this, experts say it's the driver and the bicyclists responsibility to co-exist on Lubbock roadways safely.

Keith Burt rides his bike to work almost everyday. He works at DFC Cycles on Indiana Avenue. "I live in the Buffalo Lake area, so I ride a good 12 miles each way," Burt said. And if he's anticipating a ride in the dark, Burt says he's geared up with the appropriate and legal equipment.

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The law states that all bicyclists who ride at night must have reflectors mounted on the front and rear part of the bicycle. You must also have a red taillight and white headlight that emits 500 feet away. And while helmets are not required, they are recommended.

Bicyclists also have to follow all the same laws as vehicles. That means driving on the correct side of the road. "Cyclists have to be aware even more so than drivers because the drivers are sheltered and we know that," said Burt.

"As a driver, you need to always be aware of your surroundings, be prepared to stop at a moments notice," says Karen Slay, Executive Director of the Lubbock Injury Prevention Coalition. She recommends cyclists avoid streets highly traveled. "So many of our high speed streets don't have a shoulder on them. We recommend they don't ride on those streets unless you have a bike lane," Slay said.

But for cyclists like Burt, he says that's not feasible. "Everyone has a right to go where they're going," he said.

The message Burt wants to send is for drivers to kindly share the road safely with every type of vehicle.

"We have far to go to make this a bikeable community," said Slay.

Here are a couple of hand signals you may see bike riders using: left arm pointed up means a right turn. Arm straight out means left turn and stop is arm bent like upside down "L" with palm facing back.

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