Walkers, bicyclists have to follow the rules of the road too
Friday May 18, 2012 | By:Jennifer Lysiak, Reporter
LANCASTER- With the warm weather approaching, more and more people will be seen either riding their bikes or walking down the streets in Lancaster and it is important for them and motorists to take extra safety precautions to avoid accidents.
Lately, I have taken noticed that people donít seem to know what side of the road to walk on or what side they should be riding their bike on. For some reason, when I see this it irritates me because it is a simple thing to do to protect oneself.
If there is no sidewalk, a person must walk on the side of the road facing traffic. This will give a person the best chance to see traffic approaching closet to you and take evasive action when needed.
When riding your bicycle on the roadways, a bicyclist must obey the same traffic laws, signs and signals that apply to motorists. They are required to ride in the same direction as other traffic. Riding in the opposite direction of traffic is both dangerous and against the law. Also, passengers and operators under 14 years of age are required to wear protective headgear.
There have also been some situations when I was driving at night where I almost didnít see a person, whether walking or riding a bike, because they were not visible. Hereís a tip. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you, even at street crossings that have crossing signals.
Let me just mention that luckily I did not hit them, but wearing bright colors during the daytime and at night wearing light-colored clothing and reflective clothing will help.
Also, the crosswalks in the Village of Lancaster Business District on Central Avenue should be obeyed. Driving down Central Avenue, I canít tell you how many times motorists do not yield for pedestrians. I understand people are always in a hurry, but it is worth possibly killing someone because you couldnít take five seconds to stop?
The biggest pet peeve I have is people not crossing at traffic lights. People will be 500 feet away from a traffic light and cross in the middle of traffic. I have seen this on Transit Road by Walmart. I just donít understand why they couldnít take the extra few seconds to follow the law? I think it maybe because they are lazy. To me these people are just asking to be hit by an oncoming vehicle.
Lastly, for all the dog owners out there walk your dog on a short leash. There have been several tragedies of dogs running out into traffic. It is important to stay in control of your pet by learning proper leash walking to keep them safe, yourself safe, and others who pass by.
Stay safe out there.