Share the Road: September is Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness MonthPosted: Updated:
Release from the City of Charlottesville:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Visibility and safety go hand in hand. September is Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Month, and the City of Charlottesville is reminding everyone who uses the roadways – people driving, walking and biking - to be visible and aware of others who are sharing the road. This includes not driving distracted.
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 114 pedestrians and 13 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles last year in Virginia. In that same period, 623 bicyclists and 1,571 pedestrians were injured.
The following tips promote safety for everyone:
- People walking should always use crosswalks and sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians should walk facing traffic.
- People driving should be aware that every intersection is a crosswalk whether marked or not.
- Both people driving and bicycling must yield the right of way to pedestrians in any crosswalk unless the pedestrian has a “Don’t’ Walk” or red signal. Pay special attention for people walking around school zones and school buses. Never attempt to pass a bus when the STOP sign is extended!
- Those who bicycle and walk at night should be alert, wear bright colors and use lights. People biking are encouraged to wear helmets.
- People biking should ride as far to the right as practical but motorists should be aware that bicyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of the lane for a variety of reasons, including traveling at the normal speed of traffic, turning, avoiding obstacles or if the lane is narrow.
- Those who bicycle may ride two abreast but need to move into a single file formation when overtaken from the rear by a faster vehicle.
- Bicyclists are required to give an audible signal when passing pedestrians on paths.
- Bicyclists are treated as vehicles and must obey traffic laws.
- People driving must pass at a reasonable speed at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle.
- Drivers may legally cross a double yellow line to pass bicyclists provided they can do so safely.
- Don’t drive, bike or walk distracted.