Thursday, July 10, 2014

TOP STORY>>Critical Days: Bike safety

By Airman 1st Class Cliffton Dolezal
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Whether it’s to stay in shape, save money at the pump or simply enjoy a nice ride, a significant number of Team Little Rock’s Airmen ride bicycles. Whatever the reason, base Airmen and families need to have safety on their mind.

According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center in 2012, approximately 725 people lost their lives to bicycle incidents that involved a motor vehicle, just fewer than two people every day of the year in the U.S. This number represents an increase from the 682 bicyclist fatalities reported in 2011.

“When off base, bike riders have to abide by the same rules of the road as motor vehicles, because cyclists also share the same road with vehicles weighing thousands of pounds more than they do,” said Rick Myers, 19th Airlift Wing ground safety manager.

Following these simple steps will help you stay safe when out for a ride:

– Wear a properly fitting helmet

– Be visible

– Know and obey traffic rules

– Be predictable

“As a cyclist you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times and ride defensively,” said Myers.

Drivers should also be aware of their important responsibility in sharing the road. By exercising caution and extending common courtesy, future tragedies could be avoided. Following these tips could save a life:

Be careful when passing stopped vehicles

Allow several feet when passing pedestrians or cyclists

Obey the posted speed limit

Yield to pedestrians and cyclists at crosswalks

For more information about traffic safety, Airmen should refer to Air Force Instruction 91-207, The U.S. Air Force Traffic Safety Program.

Reference AFI 91-207, paragraph 3.5 Installation Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Little Rock Air Force Base Installation 31-218 Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision for more information.

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