The Kalamazoo City Commission approved a Five Foot Passing Ordinance in the fall of 2016, which requires motorists to pass bicyclists with at least five feet of space. This commitment by the Kalamazoo City Commission to ensure the safety of all road users was applauded by Kalamazoo Bicycle Club, who recently recognized the Commission with their 2017 Friend Bicycling Award. Bicyclists and motorists are reminded that road users must follow all the same traffic laws.
Here are some important laws for all road users to remember:
- Bicycles must be ridden on the right side of the road, while staying as “far to the right as practicable” (bicyclists can legally ride two abreast, but not if impeding traffic.) This makes cyclists predictable, just like motor vehicles. This is the law in all 50 states. Ride your bike like you drive your car.
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and signs, just as drivers.
- Bicyclists must turn left from the left turn lane.
- Bicyclists must use hand signals when turning.
- Lights are required for riding at night and recommended at all times
The following safety measures are also strongly recommended for bicyclists:
- Wear a helmet. This reduces risk of serious injury or death by 80%!
- Use a rearview mirror on your helmet, eyeglasses, or bike. Always be aware of what is approaching from behind.
- Wear bright clothing so you will be more visible.
- Use daytime-bright front and rear bicycle lights.
- Stay alert, avoid road hazards, like potholes, cracks, debris, drain grates, and other obstacles. Bicyclists can take a full lane if necessary to avoid dangerous situations.
- Ride out far enough from parked vehicles to avoid opening doors.
- Check your bike before every ride to make sure it operates properly.
Taking a moment to review laws and safety measures will help ensure that all road users can get from point A to point B safely, and remember to "give them five to stay alive!"