Listen to the iHeart Radio interview with CHP Officer David Martinez.
Throughout May, National Bicycle Safety Month, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) are joining forces to remind everyone to share the road safely and courteously.
The CHP also provides free bike helmets to children.
Since the “stay-at-home” directive brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people in California have taken to their bicycles for exercise and a change of scenery.
The events traditionally held throughout California by the CHP for Bicycle Safety Month may be somewhat curtailed in 2020. However, many CHP Area offices will continue to give helmets to children who do not have them. Their parents or guardians are urged to call their closest CHP office for information on how to obtain one. According to the National Safety Council, cyclists who wear a helmet reduce their risk of head injury by an estimated 60 percent. California law requires cyclists under 18 to wear a helmet, but it is a good idea for all who ride.
Statistics from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System show that, during the past five years, 792 bicyclists were killed and more than 56,000 were injured in traffic crashes. The data also shows that riding on the wrong side of the roadway and right-of-way violations are the major causes of bicycle-involved crashes.
Motor vehicle drivers are reminded to give bicyclists extra room when passing – at least three feet is required by law. When turning right, drivers should look over their right shoulder to scan for bicyclists, especially when crossing into a designated bike lane. Before opening a car door, drivers should always look for passing bicyclists, especially when next to a bike lane.