Ontario, Calif. — May is National Bicycle Safety Month and the Ontario Police Department encourages drivers and bicyclists to share the road safely not just for the month of May, but every month of the year.
“It is not just cars using the road, but also people on bikes, motorcycles, or walking,” Ontario Police Department Deputy Chief Mike Lorenz said. “The road belongs to everyone and we all share responsibility in making sure we all get where we are going safely.”
Bicycle riders must follow the same rules of the road as drivers, including stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians and not riding distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. California law requires drivers to allow at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle.
“With warmer weather, there will be more people out on bikes, so it is important that drivers anticipate more bike riders and exercise caution around them,” Deputy Chief Mike Lorenz said. “The same goes for bike riders. Be safe, know the law and follow it.”
In an effort to educate drivers and bicyclists on using roadways safely, the Ontario Police Department will have extra officers on patrol this month looking for violations made by drivers and bicyclists that increase the risk of crashes. Such violations include failing to yield, speeding, improper turning, riding a bike on the wrong side of the road or not following stop signs or signals.
The Ontario Police Department suggests following these tips to ensure the safety of everyone using roadways:
- Drivers should look behind them before making a turn at an intersection, especially if crossing into a designated bike lane.
- Drivers should use extra caution backing up or leaving a parking space.
- Bicyclists should make themselves visible and wear brightly colored clothing.
- Bicyclists are advised to use lights from dusk to dawn (front white light and rear red flashing light or reflectors).
- Bicyclists should always wear a helmet and use hand signals when turning or stopping.
- Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow moving vehicle.
- Both drivers and bicyclists should avoid distractions like using their cell phone.
Funding for bicycle safety enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.