[KHTS] – On the heels of Amgen Tour of California this weekend in the Santa Clarita Valley, city officials are launching a new bike safety campaign that encourages cyclists and motorists to share the road.
May is Bike Safety Month, but the number of collisions between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists is on the rise in the SCV.
“In the last year, we saw 99 traffic collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians on our local roadways,” said Sgt. Rich Cohen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Traffic Unit. “That’s nearly two per week, which shows a need to improve awareness among motorists and bicyclists on our streets with regard to safety.”
The city will use bus shelter ads, print and online advertising and information materials at parks and trailheads to spread the messages “Respect is a Two-Way Street” and “Be Aware, Stay Alive.”
“The City of Santa Clarita continually works to keep local roadways safe for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike, but residents can also do their part by understanding and following the rules of the road,” said Andrew Yi, traffic engineer for the city. “Through the bike safety campaign, we hope to help motorists be more aware of pedestrians and cyclists, and help pedestrians and cyclists to be more aware of motorists, to dramatically reduce collisions among them.”
As part of the campaign, the city’s website BikeSantaClarita.com offers a number of tips for both cyclists and motorists, listed below.
Road Safety for Cyclists
- Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signs, signals and lane markings.
- Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve unnecessarily. Signal turns so that motorists can predict your movements.
- Wear bright clothing and use proper lights and reflectors.
- Pay attention to motorists, pedestrians and parked cars. Look ahead to avoid potholes and other road hazards.
- Make sure that the bike is in good working order before you begin to ride.
Road Safety for Motorists
- Treat bicycles like any other slow-moving vehicle and respect their rights on the road.
- Be patient with cyclists and give them the right of way.
- Allow ample space to pass a bicycle.
- Look out for cyclists when making left or right turns. Never try to outrun a bike when turning; they may be traveling faster than you think.
- Check for oncoming bicycles before exiting your car after parallel parking.
- Do not honk at cyclists unnecessarily.
The SCV Bicycle Coalition has also recently started to speak up about the need for road safety.
This chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition was formed in March by Nina Moskol and other local enthusiasts, following a local accident that involved an amateur competitive cyclists and a vehicle.
The SCV Bicycle Coalition supported Bike to Work Day on May 15 and are gearing up for the Kids Biking and Walking Festival on May 31.
For more information about cycling in the SCV, including trail maps, local bike laws and community resources, click here.