Officials Say Bicycle Safety Begins at Home

August 1, 2004--Posted 5:30 pm CDT

JONESBORO, AR-- Local authorities say it is no coincidence that more bicycle accidents happen between 3 and 4 p.m. than at any other time.  So Jonesboro Police, along with several other agencies including SAFE Jonesboro Coalition, spend much of their time teaching bicycle safety. 

“Back in the nineties we had five bike crash fatalities,” SAFE Jonesboro Coalition chairperson Mike Smith said, “For a town of this size it is simply unheard of.”  The good news is since that time,Jonesboro cyclists have been relatively safe from tragedy, but Smith feels this is not good enough.  Beginning next week, Smith will head out to local schools and talk to area second graders about bicycle safety and give out free bike helmets.

Jonesboro Police add it is important to teach children the rules of the road.  This includes hand signals for turning and the dangers of weaving in and out of traffic.  Sgt. Stephen McDaniel also says some responsibility falls on drivers, whom he says need to be aware of bikers at all times.  “It can be as simple as a biker heading down the wrong way of a street and a car driver makes the turn not knowing anyone is there.”

Officials remind everyone that bicycles are supposed to follow the very same rules of the road as a regular vehicle.  They have the same rights as drivers and should never be riding on sidewalks.