In observation of National Bike Month, a month-long showcase of the many benefits of bicycling, Ocean Pines Police are rolling out a bike safety awareness effort that is geared to both drivers and bicyclists throughout the month of May.
The police department will be distributing new, high-quality helmets to children in need. The free bike helmets can be picked up at the Ocean Pines Police Department, located at 239 Ocean Parkway.
“Bicycle safety is a two-way street,” said Ocean Pines Marketing and Public Relations Director Denise Sawyer. “By law, helmets are required for anyone under 16 years old and bicycles on the roadway are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries in the United States in 2015.
Ocean Pines Police would like to remind residents and guests that a large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other.
Officers are asking drivers to yield to bicyclists as you would motorists, especially along Ocean Parkway. They are urging motorists to give cyclists room and remember to pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.
Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, dawn, and dusk.
Sawyer said it’s important to make your intentions clear to everyone on the road.
“Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars,” said Sawyer. “Bicyclists should signal turns and check behind them well before turning or changing lanes.”
For more information on bicycle safety, visit the Ocean Pines Police Department’s web page at www.oceanpines.org/administration/police/.