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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780

KSP Urges Bicycle Safety
May is National Bike Month

Date of News Release: 05/01/2006

(FRANKFORT, Ky.)--- With the arrival of warmer weather, many people are seeking the great outdoors for exercise and recreation. The month of May is National Bike Month and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) reminds bicyclists to practice safe riding and motorists to be aware of riders on and near roadways.

"People of all ages are already taking advantage of the warmer temperatures to enjoy recreational and competitive biking," said Lt. Col. Dean Hayes, commander of the KSP Operations Division. "We want them to ride safely while having fun and getting great exercise."

According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 720 bicyclists died in traffic crashes with motor vehicles in the United States in 2005. In addition, about 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year.Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized. These numbers do not take into considertaion crashes and injuries that go unreported.

Many of these incidents could be avoided if bikers adhered to basic safety guidelines and drivers became more aware of their presence, said Hayes.

Studies have shown that helmets are the single-most effective countermeasure to death or serious injury in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, only about a quarter of bikers wear them.

Safe bicycling also includes regular equipment maintenance. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has other tips as well:

  • Stay alert to traffic and obstacles
  • Avoid biking at night
  • Make yourself visible with bright or florescent clothing
  • Always ride single file in the same direction as traffic
  • Close quick-release brakes
  • Obey the rules of the road

Hayes said motorists need to be on the lookout for bicyclists.

"Bicycling continues to increase in popularity as a form of recreation and exercise, but many roads were not designed to accommodate them," he said. "While bicyclists are not permitted on interstate roads, they may ride on all other roadways. Vehicle drivers should be on the lookout for bikers and take special care when driving near them."

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