Pedestrians, bicyclists urged to stay alert

As summer kicks into high gear, more Michigan residents will be out walking, jogging or riding bicycles. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers to watch for traffic dangers and remember some simple safety tips.

Drivers are also urged to watch out for children. Seventeen percent of the bicyclists injured in motor vehicle accidents were 14 years old or younger.

Pedestrians are reminded to:

  • Cross the street at a designated crosswalk when possible, and always stop and look left, right, and left again before crossing;
  • Come to the edge of a parked vehicle and look around it if it’s blocking the view of the street, before entering the street;
  • Increase their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing reflective clothing that highlights body movements; and,
  • Walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic where there are no sidewalks.

Bicyclists should:

  • Obey the rules of the road as any other vehicle operator, including traffic signs, lane markings and signals;
  • Wear safety helmets and reflective clothing;
  • Stay as far to the right as practical when riding in traffic lanes, not ride more than two abreast in a single lane, so long as it does not interfere with the normal flow of vehicular traffic, and ride in the same direction as other traffic; and,
  • Have a front headlight and rear reflector if riding after dark.

Johnson recommends drivers:

  • Look out for and always yield the right-of-way to people walking, jogging, biking or crossing a street in the middle of a block;
  • Pull out slowly from driveways and parking areas, while watching for pedestrians;
  • Stop fully before turning right on a red traffic light, and make sure no pedestrian or bicyclist is crossing or waiting to cross; and,
  • Yield to anyone crossing the street if turning left on a green light.