Members of the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division, with backup provided by the folks at WauwatosaNow.com, are now blogging. We will be providing you with an ongoing series of crime prevention tips, any current crime trends as well as pertinent news and notes as it relates to your Police Department.
The warm weather is approaching so it is time refresh bike safety and road riding reminders.
I would like to remind everyone that safety comes first and provide you with some bicycle safety tips. Many of these are just a review, but important nonetheless.
· Always wear a helmet when riding
· If you are wearing long pants, secure the cuff so it does not get caught in the chain
· Wear highly visible clothing
· Wear a good shoe that covers the foot and toes completely; no sandals or flip flops
· No headphones should be worn while riding, being able to hear is important
· Always tell others of your intended route and planned time of return
· Keep a water bottle with water or a sports drink to help prevent dehydration
· Remember and use the appropriate hand signals for slowing, stopping and turning
· Make sure you have a red reflector on the rear of your bike, and a white one on the front.
· Consider having amber or white reflectors mounted to the spokes of both wheels
· When riding at night, have a bright white light mounted on the front of your bike
· A warning device such as a bell or horn, used as a warning when approaching and passing others
· If you don’t have a warning device, announce that you are passing and on what side
· Be aware of your surroundings when riding, especially when on trails or off road
· Always lock your bike and secure any valuables whenever you are not actually riding
Many people don’t realize this but it is a Wauwatosa ordinance to have your bicycle registered if you live in the City. This can be accomplished free of charge at Johnson’s Cycle and Fitness, 6916 W. North Ave, any of the Fire Stations and the Wauwatosa Police Department.
Another fact that many bike riders are unaware of is that when on the roadway, a bike rider is subject to all the same rules and laws that a motor vehicle is subject to. This includes speed limits, traffic signs, traffic signals and yielding the appropriate right of ways. Violators can be issued a traffic citation even if they do not hold a drivers license. Also, bikes have to remain single file on a roadway to allow motor vehicles clearance to pass. If bikes are not single file, those riders not closest to the curb can be cited for impeding traffic.
On the same topic, motorists need to remember that bike riders have equal rights to the road. As long as motorists and bike riders heed all the rules of the road, everyone can get around without incident or injury.