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Be Aware of Pedestrians and Bicyclists March 22, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements.
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With the onset of the spring-like weather, a definite increase in people outside and kids on bikes is taking place. The South Bend Police Department reminds motorists to be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians, particularly children.

More people will be walking and riding their bikes to conserve fuel, for exercise, and for fun. Use caution around children playing in neighborhoods, residential areas, and schools. This time of year, children are more likely to walk and ride their bicycles to schools.

Adults will be out walking before or after work in the early morning or late afternoon hours. Bicycles are vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities on the roads as other vehicles. Bicyclists and pedestrians are difficult to see particularly at night.

Safety Tips for Drivers around Pedestrians and Bicyclists:

· Slow down in or near residential areas and playgrounds

· Look for clues that indicate children may be in the area

· Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs of children possibly darting out into the road

· Children are impulsive; they don’t stop to think about safety

· Children have a difficult time judging speeds of approaching vehicles

· Children are not predictable and may lack road sense around traffic

· Make room when you are approaching bycyclists, be patient and wait until its safe before passing

· Give way and travel at a safe distance behind bycyclists

· Take extra care at night and during wet conditions

· Be aware of your speed while driving in neighborhoods and residential streets

And PLEASE demand that your children WEAR HELMETS.

No joke, I have dealt with several children on bikes or mopeds who were very seriously injured, including severe brain/closed head injury, that will affect the child and his family for the rest of his life. That could have simply been avoided had a $10.00 bike helmet been in use. Here’s a quick guide on proper fitting of a bicycle helmet.

Please expect kids will NOT by paying attention to you as a driver. Therefore it is imperative that you are watching the children when you are driving. South Bend Police respond to literally dozens of car vs. child calls every year, and nearly all of them are preventable by following rules of slowing down in residential areas, and paying attention to kids nearby. Please do your part this year!

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