The rules of bicycle safety are more important than ever during the warmer months, and they apply to every cyclist of any age.
However, with back to school just around the corner, there will likely be an increase in bicycle traffic as kids take further advantage of their summer freedom before possibly also riding their bikes to school.
"We may see more and more people on their bicycles," said Constable Melinda Mintenko with the Weyburn Police Service.
Bike safety tips from the Weyburn Police include the key point: cyclists must follow the same rules as a vehicle operator.
"Make sure that you yield to the right away to all pedestrians," she said. "Ride single file, and remember to never carry a passenger on your bike. Ride on the right-hand side of traffic, and never ride on the wrong side of the road against traffic. Ride one metre from parked cars and watch for car doors opening."
"Stop, look and listen. When you enter any street and at a busy intersection, it's always good to walk your bike across like a pedestrian. Stay visible, and remember a bicycle really is a vehicle, so observe all the traffic signs and regulations. Use your shoulder checks, hand signals, if you're able to do that. Keep your eyes on the road."
Mintenko said it's best to ride a bike during daylight, but if you must ride at night, "wear reflective clothing and have a light on your bike and a tail light as well."
As a rider, she noted, it is your job to make sure that you keep your bike in good mechanical condition and do frequent checks on it.
"If you do need some assistance with that, make sure that you ask an adult for some help with that and also to overview that the bike is the correct size for you."
Among the risks for slipping and falling during riding a bicycle are potholes and bumps in the pavement, as well as freshly-painted lines, weather conditions, and water puddles.
"So be careful and mindful of that and debris on the road as you make your way around the city," she reminded.
Helmets can save lives. In fact, according to Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, whose goal is healthy children, they report that helmet use reduces the risk of head injuries and brain injuries by up to 85 percent.
"Although we do not have a bylaw for helmets in Weyburn, we do highly recommend the use of them for cyclists of all ages," she stated. "A properly fitting helmet is key. Make sure that there are two finger widths between the helmet and the eyebrow. The chin strap should form a wire beneath the ears and only one finger should fit between the chin and the chin strap."
The Weyburn Police Service has been successful in obtaining a community grant from SGI for a Traffic and Injury Prevention Project. This means good behaviour on a bicycle and on the road can result in being awarded through their 'Positive Ticketing' campaign.
"We have partnered with the City of Weyburn to run a positive ticketing campaign and award citizens passes to the Weyburn Leisure Centre or Credit Union Spark Centre for good behaviour in the categories of seat belt and car seat safety, pedestrian safety, designated driver recognition, safe driving habits, and bicycle safety."
For more safe biking tips, please visit Saskatchewan Prevention Institute HERE.
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