Chesterton Tribune

Chief Cincoski has tips for bike and pedestrian safety

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With the arrival—more or less—of spring and higher temperatures, Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski wants both motorists and bicyclists to watch out for each other as they share the town’s streets.

“Did you know that bicyclists have the same duties and responsibilities to operate bicycles as the drivers of cars do?” Cincoski said in a statement released to the Chesterton Tribune. “”That means that bicycles are to be ridden on the right side of the roadway, with the flow of traffic. Bicycles are to be ridden in compliance with all traffic laws. Bicyclists are required to stop at stop signs, ride the proper direction on one-way streets, and signal turns or slowing down.”

The following hand signals should be used by bicyclists and recognized by motorists:

•Right turn: extend the left hand out with the elbow bent at a right angle so that the left hand and palm are pointing straight up in the air.

•Left turn: extend the left hand straight out from the body, pointing to the left.

•Slowing or stopping: extend the left hand out with the elbow bent at a right angle so that left hand and palm are pointing straight to the ground.

Hard-shell helmets are not required by state law but Cincoski urges all bicyclists to wear them anyway. “Although accidents involving bicycles are rare in the Town of Chesterton, chances of head injuries from an accident or even from a fall are greatly diminished when wearing a helmet,” he said.

Unless specifically designed to do so, a bicycle may not carry more than one person, Cincoski added, and when a group of bicyclists is traversing any roadway, they must ride single file and no more than two abreast.

“Specifically, with regard to the operation of bicycles within the Town of Chesterton, bicycles are not to be ridden upon the sidewalk in front of any business in town, and in general if bicycles are ridden on the sidewalk in allowed areas, they are to be ridden in a manner which does not interfere with pedestrians,” Cincoski emphasized.

On the subject of pedestrians:

•“Pedestrian” refers to any person traversing a roadway, whether walking, jogging, or running. Under Indiana Code, a pedestrian may not walk or run in the roadway when a sidewalk is available.

•If a sidewalk is not available or is under repair, the pedestrian may walk in the roadway but must do so as close to the edge of the roadway as possible. If the road is a two-way street, the pedestrian must walk on the left side of the roadway, or against the flow of traffic.

•Unless using a marked crosswalk or other regulated pedestrian crossing, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.

•Crossing a roadway should be done safely. When crossing an intersection, the preferred manner is to do so at a crosswalk or at a regulated intersection. In the absence of these, look both ways. Do not presume that the driver of a vehicle can see you just because you can see him.

“Please be careful,” Cincoski concluded. “Try to dress in light colored clothing, and in twilight or dusk hours wear reflective clothing.”




Posted 4/20/2011




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