Spring is here and this is the time of year that bicyclists take to the streets. Each year hundreds of cyclists are killed or injured. Bicyclists can help prevent these incidents by learning about their bikes and how to avoid potential problems.
Head injuries are the most serious injury and are the most common cause of death among bicyclists. The most severe injuries are those to the brain that cause permanent damage. Studies have proven that a bicycle helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injury by 85% and the risk of brain injury by 88%. Helmets are designed to cushion the blow to the head and must pass special safety tests to be certified. Make certain that any helmet you buy has been approved by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), the Snell Memorial Foundation, and/or another legally authorized certifying organization.
The following rules are the sections of the Springfield Traffic Code pertaining to the operation of bicycles in the City of Springfield:
- Bicycle drivers shall follow the same rules of the road as those persons driving cars.
- Bicycle drivers shall obey the same signals and signs that motorists do.
- Bicycle drivers shall keep both hands on the handlebars at all times, except when signaling.
- Bicycle drivers shall sit on the seat and not on the handlebars or frame.
- Bicycle drivers shall drive as near the right side of the street as possible in single file.
- Bicycle drivers, when crossing a sidewalk or entering a street, shall allow the pedestrians and automobiles the right of way.
- Bicycle drivers shall not hold on to moving automobiles or trucks.
- Bicycle drivers shall not ride on sidewalks in front of stores or office buildings and shall signal to pedestrians on neighborhood sidewalks when passing.
- Bicycle drivers shall ride their bicycle at a safe speed.
- Bicycles shall only be parked against the curb, in a rack, or against a building so that they are not in the way of people walking on the sidewalk.
- Bicycles shall have a bright light on the front, a red light or reflector on the rear, and a bell or horn.
- Bicycles shall have good brakes so that they may be stopped fast and safely.