According to a press release from the Rock Springs Police Department Chief Dwane Pacheco and the RSPD wants to encourage citizens to be safe this summer. In summertime, RSPD sees an increase in traffic through the city both by drivers and pedestrians.
In the past 3 weeks, RSPD has responded to three vehicle versus child bicyclist crashes. This is an unusually high number of crashes involving children in a short period of time. Warm weather and young children can become a deadly combination unless proper safety precautions are taken.
When riding a bike, follow these tips from SafeKids:
- Wear a properly-fitted helmet. It is the best way to prevent head injuries and death. (RSPD gives away free helmets)
- Ride on the sidewalk when you can. If not, ride in the same direction as traffic as far on the right-hand side as possible.
- Use hand signals and follow the rules of the road. Be predictable by making sure you ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between cars.
- Wear bright colors and use lights, especially when riding at night and in the morning. Reflectors on your clothes and bike will help you be seen.
- Ride with your children. Stick together until you are comfortable that your kids are ready to ride on their own
Although your child may feel comfortable riding on their own, parents need to ensure that their child understands where to ride and how to properly cross roadways. Small children on bikes need close supervision as they can dart into the road at a moment’s notice.
Not only do pedestrians and bicyclists need to be safe, drivers have an obligation to be mindful of their surroundings on the road.
When driving this summer, please follow these tips from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA):
Share the road with motorcyclists/bicyclists:
- Warmer weather attracts many types of roadway users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
- While they have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as every motorist, these road users are more vulnerable because they do not have the protection of a car or truck.
- Leave more distance between you and a motorcycle—3 or 4 seconds worth. Motorcycles are much lighter than other vehicles and can stop in much shorter distances.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows other road users to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position
Be a mindful driver; be mindful of pedestrians. Things to remember as a driver:
- You can encounter pedestrians anytime and anywhere.
- Distracted walking is becoming part of the distracted traffic epidemic. Keep your eyes open for distracted pedestrians.
- Pedestrians can be very hard to see – especially in bad weather or at night.
- Stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, even if it’s not marked. This will help drivers in the other lanes see the pedestrian in time to stop.
- Cars stopped in the street may be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross. Do not pass if there is any doubt.
- Do not assume that pedestrians can see you or that they will act predictably. They may be distracted, or physically or mentally impaired.
- When you are turning and waiting for a “gap” in traffic, watch for pedestrians who may have moved into your intended path.
- Be especially attentive around schools and in neighborhoods where children are active. Drive the way you want people to drive in front of your own home.
We can all have a safe summer and help prevent further injuries by learning about how to be safe on the road. Education is a key part of prevention and all of us at Rock Springs Police Department encourages everyone to take the time to go through these tips with your friends and family; it could save a life.
If you’d like more information on how to be safe this summer, please contact us at 307-352-1581.