Stay safe as a bicyclist this season

In smaller communities, bicycling is a cost-efficient, environment-friendly and health-boosting alternative to vehicular travel during the warm months. Many choose to leave their motorized wheels in park and hit the streets on a six-speed.

However, federal statistics show that bicycling comes with great risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual fatality analysis indicates that the number of bicyclist deaths have risen steadily since 2010. While it’s unclear whether those trends can be blamed on reckless bikers, reckless motorists, neglected infrastructure or something else, officials agree that people must take great caution when choosing the pedals over the motor this summer.

Sheffield Chief of Police Sam Cain said that one the most common bike safety violation he sees is lack of visibility of the bikers, primarily at night. Bikers are required to install reflective equipment and/or lighting devices on their bicycles if they intend to use the bike at night, as well as avoid darker shades of clothing. Lights installed on bicycles must be visible from at least 300 feet, state code says.

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