Motorists and Cyclists Reminded to Prioritize Safety During Bicycle Safety Month

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EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO – With warmer weather encouraging more people to get outside and cycle, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds motorists and cyclists in Excelsior Springs to share the road safely this May, which is National Bicycle Safety Month.

Preliminary data for 2023 shows eight cyclists were killed and 438 injured in traffic crashes across the state.

Here’s what cyclists need to know:

  • Ride near the right side of the road, exercising caution when passing parked vehicles or those traveling in the same direction.
  • Cyclists may ride two abreast if they don’t impede traffic.
  • Obey all traffic signals and signs, and use hand signals to indicate turns and stops.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with brakes that can stop the bike within 25 feet from 10 mph on dry pavement.
  • Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, except for those inapplicable to bicycles (e.g., not driving under the influence).

For nighttime riding, bicycles must have:

  • A white front light visible from 500 feet.
  • A red rear reflector or red lamp visible from 600 feet.
  • Reflective materials or lights visible from 200 feet on pedals/crank arms, shoes, or lower legs.
  • Reflective materials or lights visible from 300 feet on each side of the bicycle or rider.

Violations can result in fines ranging from $5 to $25 for those 17 and older. For those under 17, officers can impound the bicycle for up to five days.

Cyclists are urged to follow these safety tips:

  • Ensure your bicycle is in good working condition before each ride.
  • While not mandatory, wearing a properly fitted helmet is crucial for protection.
  • Never carry passengers.
  • Walk your bike across busy intersections.
  • Do not hitch rides by grabbing onto other vehicles.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Use a horn or bell to warn others.
  • Refrain from stunts on streets or sidewalks.
  • Keep both hands on the handlebars except when signaling.
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing at night.
  • Maintain your bicycle properly.
  • Ride with caution and courtesy.
  • When on sidewalks, yield to pedestrians and provide audible signals before passing.

Both drivers and cyclists should be aware of their surroundings, understand and obey traffic laws, and prioritize safety. Reviewing bicycle safety guidelines and traffic regulations is highly recommended before hitting the road this cycling season.

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