Every now and then, government agencies and law enforcement agencies declare that certain months should be observed as awareness months. These are important because it allows communities to rally around a cause, making everyone who’s involved with it feel like they are part of the change they want to see taking place.
This month is bike safety month and the California Highway Patrol is promoting bicycle safety across the state in order to help cyclists keep in mind that they are important and that their lives matter. In order to make sure that everyone sharing the road understands this, CHP and others will be raising awareness to the importance of driving and riding safely and responsibly.
The natural wonders that our beautiful Golden state offers make this the perfect state for people riding their bikes. As such, it’s important that drivers know that bicycle riders are expected to share the road with them, and that, sometimes, these riders will not be easy to spot.
In order to help the community to learn more about the importance of avoiding accidents with bicycle riders, the CHP will be holding bicycle rodeos and a series of other events throughout the month.
According to California law, cyclists under the age of 18 must always wear a helmet. That’s a good idea not only for young riders but also for anyone who rides, regularly or not.
As officials and community leader press for more safety and awareness, CHP reports that bicycle collisions have declined considerably in the past four years.
It went from 13,378 in 2013 to 11,617 in 2016. Still, thousands of accidents involving bicycle riders still occur regularly.
With the legislation that came into effect in 2016, cyclists are now forced to pull over to let other cars pass by if there are several vehicles lined behind them. Before this legislation, multiple accidents would occur because drivers would attempt to go around bicyclists, making collisions more likely.
Unfortunately in many cases, cyclists are found to be at fault in accidents as well. So this law comes at the right time.
Since 2014, the law that forces drivers to give at least three feet of clearance of passing has been in effect. This has helped to ensure accidents don’t happen when drivers are trying to pass cyclists. But that alone isn’t enough. Whenever on the roadway, drivers should expect the presence of bicycle and motorcycle riders. Remember that at times, both of these riders may be in your blind spot, so make sure you know you’re absolutely on the clear before making any move.