VPD Issues Bicycle Safety Reminder

| October 16, 2017

Valdosta Police Department Press Release:

Update:

Earlier this year in May, the Valdosta Police Department put forth several helpful tips and information on laws regarding bicycle
safety. VPD wants to continue increasing awareness with additional information.

-Where a bicycle lane is provided on the roadway, the operator of a motor vehicle shall yield to a person operating a bicycle
in a bicycle lane.
-Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable
-Any person operating a bicycle in a bicycle lane shall ride in the same direction as traffic on the roadway
-Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible
from a distance of 300 feet to the front and with a light on the back which shall emit a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear.
-Reckless driving also applies to cyclists; any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons
or property commits the offense of reckless driving.
-Do Not allow a passenger to ride on the handle bars; No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the
number for which it is designed and equipped.

“As the fall temperatures continue to decrease, more citizens will begin to ride their bicycles for recreation. It is important to keep
aware of the traffic laws to ensure safety,” said Lieutenant Adam Bembry.

(Released May 2017)
As the City of Valdosta continues to grow, more traffic is to be expected. Also increasing are more citizens utilizing their bicycles as viable means of transportation.

The Valdosta Police Department wants to increase the safety of both motorists and cyclists while traveling between destinations. In Georgia, as in most states, a bicycle is legally a “vehicle.” This classification means that general vehicular traffic law applies to the operation of a bicycle.

The Valdosta Police Department Traffic Unit has provided some important safety tips to assist cyclists in remaining safe when riding.

-Bicycles must ride as close to the shoulder as possible and in the same direction as the flow of traffic.
-Cyclists are encouraged to avoid hazards such as: surface debris, rough pavement, drain grates which are parallel to the side of the roadway, parked or stopped vehicles, potentially opening car doors, or any other objects which threaten the safety of a person operating a bicycle.
-Maintain proper maintenance on your bicycle, the same as you would your automobile. Properly inflate tires, inspect reflectors and if riding your bicycle
at night, GA Law states that you must have a working light on both the front and the rear of the bicycle.
– Due to a bicycle being considered a “vehicle”, it is unlawful to ride on the sidewalk. Do not allow riders to ride on the handlebars of the bicycle. -Helmets are encouraged to prevent injury in case of a fall. When approaching a crosswalk, dismount the bicycle and walk the bike across.
-Do not assume motorists are aware of your presence while riding. Ride your bicycle in a defensive manner, the same as if driving defensively.

“As the amount of traffic increases in the City of Valdosta, it is essential that both motorists and cyclists pay close attention to the traffic conditions to avoid accidents,” said Lieutenant Bembry.

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