Safe Roadways

THE SPRING season is in full bloom, and with the gorgeous weather comes increased outdoor recreational activity. The spring and summer months provide the ideal arena for individuals to get outside and take part in a myriad of events.

Biking comes to the forefront of such activities. It serves the dual purpose of both being relaxing and a physical fitness tool. That being the case, the Ohio Department of Transportation has dubbed May as “National Bike Month.” ODOT’s intention is to promote more bicycling and in a safer fashion.

“Bike to Work Week” recently concluded, an effort by cities and metropolitan planning organizations to have business commuters turn their daily journey to work into an opportunity for fun and exercise. It is a movement that should not be contained in a week, but rather demonstrated throughout the summer months.

ODOT Director Jerry Wray says, “Everyone has the right to use Ohio roads. Whether driving or biking, safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Wray is right. Roads are for everyone, but such use should not jeopardize safety.

National statistics show that more Americans are biking to work than ever before, increasing by 40 percent since the year 2000. Thus, bikers and motorists are sharing the roads like never before.

Those same stats indicate the fault for collisions between bicyclists and motor vehicles is equal between both kinds of travelers. Consequently, more responsibility and precaution needs to be taken. ODOT stresses that motorists and bicyclists to stay alert, share the road and give each other three feet of space when possible. Bicyclists should obey all the rules of the road, ride in a predictable manner, wear bright clothing and use proper lighting so they be seen when visibility is poor.

Both drivers and bikers should anticipate how others on the roadway will react and always keep their cool. Remember: road rage helps no one. There is no reason that biking should not be fun as well as safe.