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May is National Bicycle Safety Month

May is National Bicycle Safety Month. The Hesperia Sheriff’s Station and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) will be focusing on bicycle safety enforcement operations throughout the month. Special patrols will be deployed to crack down on drivers and bicyclists who violate traffic laws meant to protect all roadway users.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 818 bicyclists died and over 45,000 were injured in crashes in 2015, with deaths rising over 12% from 2014 numbers. The Hesperia Sheriff’s Station has investigated 29 fatal and injury collisions involving bike riders during the past three years.

The following safety tips can help save a life:

Drivers:
– Share the road with bicyclists
– Be courteous; California law mandates at least three feet of clearance when passing bike riders
– Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space
– Yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals
– Be especially watchful for riders when making turns, either left or right

Bicyclists:
– Wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time you ride. If you are under 18 years old, it’s the law
– A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash
– Riders are required to obey the same rules, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
– When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
– Bicyclists should increase their visibility by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing
– When riding at night, the law requires a front light and a red reflector to the rear
– For additional safety, use a flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the Cali fornia Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information on Bicycle Safety Month, please visit www.NHTSA.gov/bicycle-safety

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