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Palos Park Police Department's Safety Information for Bicycles

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PPPD Biking tips: How to avoid a collision

1. Get a rear light. If you're riding at night, you absolutely should use a flashing red rear light. Bike shops have red rear blinkies for $15 or less. These kind of lights typically take two AA batteries, which last for months (something like 200 hours) I can't stress this item enough: If you ride at night, get a rear light!

2. Wear a reflective vest or a safety triangle. High quality reflective gear makes you a lot more visible even in the day time, not just at night. I had a friend ride away from me while wearing one during the day, and when she was about a quarter mile away, I couldn't see her or her bike at all, but the vest was clearly visible. At night the difference is even greater. Bike shops have vests and triangles for $10 to $15. Also, when you hear a motorist approaching, straightening up into a vertical position will make your reflective gear more noticeable.

3. Choose wide streets. Ride on streets whose outside lane is so wide that it can easily fit a car and a bike side by side. That way a car may zoom by you and avoid hitting you, even if they didn't see you!

4. Choose slow streets. The slower a car is going, the more time the driver has to see you. I navigate the city by going through neighborhoods. Learn how to do this.

5. Use back streets on weekends. The risk of riding on Friday or Saturday night is much greater than riding on other nights because all the drunks are out driving around. If you do ride on a weekend night, make sure to take neighborhood streets rather than arterials.

6. Get a mirror. Get a mirror and use it. If it looks like a car doesn't see you, hop off your bike and onto the sidewalk. Mirrors cost $5-15. Trust me, once you've ridden a mirror for a while, you'll wonder how you got along without it. My paranoia went down 80% after I got a mirror. If you're not convinced, after you've used your mirror for a month, take it off your bike and ride around and notice how you keep glancing down to where your mirror was, and notice how unsafe you feel without it.

7. Don't hug the curb. This is counter-intuitive, but give yourself a little space between yourself and the curb. That gives you some room to move into in case you see a large vehicle in your mirror approaching without moving over far enough to avoid you. Also, when you hug the curb tightly you're more likely to suffer a right cross from motorists who can't see you.

Why Is Bicycle Safety So Important?
Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries. Some of these injuries are so serious that children die, usually from head injuries.

A head injury can mean brain injury. That's why it's so important to wear your bike helmet. Wearing one doesn't mean you can be reckless, but a helmet will provide some protection for your head and brain in case you fall down.

 

PALOS PARK POLICE TIPS FOR BICYCLISTS: HOW TO RIDE IN TRAFFIC

Rule 1: Be Predictable. Ride so drivers can see you and predict your movements.

1. Obey traffic signs and signals. Bicycles must obey traffic laws like other vehicles.

2. Never ride against traffic. Motorists aren't looking for bicyclists riding on the left side of the road. Ride on the right, with the traffic.

3. Use hand signals when initiating a turn. Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy and of self-protection.

4. Ride in a straight line. Whenever possible, ride in a straight line, to the right of traffic but about a car-door-width away from parked cars.

5. Don't weave between parked cars. Don't ride over to the curb between parked cars, unless they are far apart. Motorists may not see you when you move back into traffic.

6. Follow lane markings. Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked right-turn-only.

7. Choose the best way to turn left. Remember: There are two ways to make a left turn. 1) Like an auto. Signal, move into the left lane and turn left. 2) Like a pedestrian.

8. Don't pass on the right. Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.

9. Go slow on shared paths. Yield to pedestrians. Give pedestrians audible warning when you pass. Do not ride on sidewalks where prohibited.

10. When biking with others, ride in line when other traffic is present.


BIKE SAFETY TIPS
The Palos Park Police Department wants you to have fun riding your bike and be safe too.  Check out these tips for bike safety.

ALWAYS
  • Ride with traffic. Keep to the right of the road.
  • Obey all traffic regulations.
  • Use proper hand signals for turning or stopping.
  • Stop and look both ways in order to make sure that sidewalks or streets are clear before entering a street.
  • Walk your bicycle across busy streets at corners or crosswalks.
  • Use proper headlights and a red tail light or reflector when riding at night

NEVER

  • Show off. Keep your hands on the handlebars.
  • Zigzag, race or stunt ride in traffic.
  • Hitch rides on trucks or cars.

TIPS

  • ALWAYS wear you bike helmet and make sure your brothers and sisters do, too.
  • Make a deal with your best friends to always wear your helmets when you ride together.
  • Donít ride at night.

FACTS

  • Wearing a bike helmet is the most important thing you can do to protect your brain and your life when riding a bicycle.
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 14 have the highest rate of injury of all bicycle riders.
  • More then 500,000 children a year go to the hospital emergency rooms of doctorsí offices due to bike injuries.

Palos Park Police Offer FREE Bicycle Safety Helmets
Palos Park Police are offering Free Bicycle Safety Helmets to children in Palos Park. Chief Joe Miller says 'The helmets are a preventative measure in conjunction with the National Children-N-Safety Program.'

Head injuries and falls from bicycles are often times the main reason children visit emergency rooms during the summer months. Palos Park Police hope that by issuing the helmets they can prevent head injuries to children riding bicycles.

All members of the Palos  Park Police Bicycle Patrol Unit wear their bike helmets any time they ride. Helmets can be picked up at the Palos Park Police Department 8999 W. 123rd Street, For more information, contact Chief Joe Miller at 708-671-3770.

 
 

 


8999 West 123rd Street
Palos Park, IL 60464
-Locaction-

NON-EMERGENCY POLICE RESPONSE (708) 448-2191
POLICE BUSINESS (708)448-0639 or (708)671-3770
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday-Friday

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