Driver, Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Awareness
By: City Manager, Rachelle Rickard
We all know that our wonderful community is filled with kind and caring residents who want to do everything we can to help keep our friends, family members and neighbors safe from harm. With whatever mode of travel we use to get around town, we can achieve better safety in our community by remembering to follow established roadway precautions, watching out for others and always using a good dose of common sense, kindness and courtesy.
With our warmer, springtime-like weather bringing even more walkers and cyclists out to enjoy our hometown’s scenic community and roadways, I thought it’d be a good time to share a few important safety reminders that have come my way from our Police Chief.
Driver Safety Tips
• Be on the look out for pedestrians and cyclists everywhere, at all times.
• Be prepared to stop, and be sure to come to a complete stop.
• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections. Stop well back from the crosswalk to allow other vehicles to see the pedestrians as well.
• Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
• Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as at nighttime or in bad weather.
• Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
• Always cross the street at marked crosswalks.
• Obey signs and signals. Look left-right-left to make sure the road is clear in both directions before crossing.
• If a vehicle approaches, make eye contact with the driver to be sure that they see you before you cross.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
Bicyclist Safety Tips
Bicycles on roadways are considered vehicles, and cyclists have the same responsibilities to follow the rules of the road, just like when driving a car.
• Use marked bike paths or multi-use paths when available.
• Obey all vehicular traffic signs, signals and laws on the roadways.
• Yield to traffic when appropriate, and yield to pedestrians who have entered a crosswalk.
• Be predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves in advance to others. Look before turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making the turn.
• Watch for parked cars. Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars, such as doors opening or cars pulling out. Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
• Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for cars and to make sure the drivers see you before crossing. Enter a street at a corner and not between parked cars.
Most importantly, whether traveling by foot, bike, skateboard, motor vehicle or other, please do not venture out on the roadway when distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol.
For more information on vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov, or the California High Patrol website at www.chp.ca.gov.
If you have any questions about this or any other topic related to the City of Atascadero, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Rachelle Rickard is a native of California and a nearly 30 year resident of Atascadero. She graduated with a business degree from California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University in San Luis Obispo. In February 1997, She took a job as the Accountant with the City of Atascadero and was promoted to the position of Director of Administrative Services. At the time of her appointment to the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Atascadero, she was the youngest person ever appointed to that role; she was also the first female Department Head ever appointed within the City. Rachelle Rickard was appointed to the position of City Manager of the City of Atascadero in June, 2013.