Bike and pedestrian safety tips for spring and summer

With the daylight hours getting longer and the weather getting warmer, more and more pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists of all ages will be out enjoying the outdoors on Kingman and Golden Valley streets.

Kingman and Golden Valley fire departments are providing safety tips for kids as well as adults who bike or walk on city streets.

In the Kingman and Golden Valley area, about two dozen people were seriously injured in bicycle, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents in 2000, GVFD Public Education Officer Raeann Catanese said.

It may seem obvious, but when crossing a street, pedestrians should stop at the curb or the edge of the road and look both ways before stepping into the street.

Wait until any cars pass before proceeding.

If a car is parked, make sure there are not any drivers inside and that the car isn't running, she said.

Always walk on the sidewalk.

If there is no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.

For safety, wear brightly colored clothes to make sure drivers can see the pedestrian in the daytime.

At night, carry a flashlight or wear a special reflective material on shoes, cap or jacket.

Bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets.

Before riding, inflate tires properly and check brakes, Catanese said.

As with pedestrians, bicyclists should wear neon, fluorescent or bright clothing when riding in the day.

Avoid bike riding at night.

If a bicyclist does ride at night, have reflectors on the front and rear of the bike.

Headlights are required on bikes, she said.

Traffic rules for bicycles are considered the same as vehicles.

Ride single file with the traffic, not against it.

Obey traffic signs, signals and lane markings.

Use proper hand signal when turning or changing lanes.

Most bicyclist accidents occur at driveways or in intersections.

Check traffic before entering an intersection.

Bicyclists should watch for potholes, cracks, wet leave, storm grates or railroad tracks.

Avoid parked car doors as they are opened, she said.

Children riding motorcycles should ride in a controlled area until they are familiar with the machine.

Riders with less than six months experience on bikes are involved in more than half of all vehicle/motorcycle accidents.

In most accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles, the car driver report they did not see the motorcycle, she said.

When seated on the motorcycle, the child's legs should reach the ground.

The motorcycle should also be light enough for a child to push it.

Young and inexperience riders should avoid carrying passengers, Catanese said.

Arizona requires a motorcycle endorsement, which includes a written and driving test for a driver's license.

This state does not requirement helmets for bicyclists or motorcyclists.

The minimum age for motorcycle riders is 16 years old.

There is no age limit for off-road dirt bikes, she said.

In 1999, almost three times as many motorcycle deaths occurred to those not wearing helmets as those who did wear a helmet in an accident in the state.

More than $323 million in medical and insurance costs were also saved by wearing a helmet, Catanese said.