May is both Bicycle Safety Month and Motorcycle Safety Month, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department authorities encourage residents look out for one another while practicing social distancing measures while out walking, driving or riding their bikes or motorcycles.
“Biking is a great way to get fresh air and exercise, but keep in mind others are staying at home too and have the same idea,” Sergeant Robert Hill said.
“While we should be staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand people need to get out once in a while and run essential errands,” Hill said.
“Don’t let safety on the road go by the wayside, whether you are on two wheels or four,” he said. “It’s important to keep you and your family safe by remaining aware of your surroundings even though there’s less vehicular traffic.”
LASD suggests the following bicycle safety tips:
* Always wear a helmet and never ride impaired.
* Follow social distancing measures and maintain at least six feet of physical space between other riders and those out walking.
* Be seen: wear brightly colored clothing and have bike lights handy (front white light and rear red flashing light or reflectors)
* Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
* Rules of the road still apply: Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.
* Keep outside trips to a minimum; they should only be to get essential items or exercise.
LASD deputies will conduct motorcycle safety enforcement operations throughout the county during May designed to educate motorcyclists and drivers on the rules of the road.
With nearly 900,000 registered motorcycles in the state, many road users are going places without the same protections as drivers. Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than vehicle occupants.
To help protect you and your family, keep the following tips in mind while driving in your car or riding a motorcycle:
* Always check twice for motorcycles. Both your mirrors and blind spots.
* Use your signal when changing lanes.
* Never follow a motorcycle too closely. Always keep a safe distance.
* When at an intersection, allow enough space before turning.
* Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet and protective gear like gloves and leather clothing.
* Consider adding reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.
* Keep your lights on at all times, even during the day.
* Don’t assume drivers see you: signal well in advance before changing lanes and watch for turning vehicles.
Lastly, never drive/ride under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Remember, we are all in this together, even if we are told to stay apart.
Funding for the bicycle and motorcycle safety programs are provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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