The San Luis Obispo Police Department and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) are encouraging drivers and bicycle riders to look out for one another during National Bicycle Safety Month.

“Traffic safety is a shared responsibility,” Sergeant Robert Cudworth “People get around in a variety of ways, including bikes and walking, so it is important that we are aware of one another and do our part to ensure everyone is able to get to their destination safely.”

Unfortunately, deaths in bicycle related crashes are on the rise. In 2016, 138 bicycle riders were killed on California roads, a nearly 25 percent increase from 2011. Among the primary factors in these crashes were failing to yield right of way, speeding, improper turning, using the wrong side of the road and not following traffic signs or signals.

“Bicycle safety remains a key concern in our community,” Sergeant Robert Cudworth “It is why this month and really every month, we are committed to educating and informing the public on safe ways to go, whether on two wheels or four.”

The San Luis Obispo Police Department offers a few tips to ensure the safety of everyone on the road:

  • Drivers should look behind them before making a turn at an intersection, especially if crossing into a designated bike
  • Drivers should use extra caution backing up or leaving a parking
  • Bicyclists should go with the flow of traffic and let faster traffic
  • Bicyclists should make themselves visible and wear brightly colored
  • 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.
  • Both drivers and bicyclists should avoid distractions like using their cell

To learn more about safe ways to get around visit gosafelyca.org.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.