The Mountlake Terrace Community Policing Advisory Board, a citizen board commissioned by the City of Mountlake Terrace, issues a monthly “Safety Tips” release for ongoing public safety and awareness. This is the May 2014 Safety Tips:
Walking and Biking Safety
It’s fun, great exercise and the most environmentally-friendly way to get around our beautiful city, but doing it safely is the best way to get all the benefits. Annually, more than 125,000 injuries and 6,000 fatalities are attributed to these simple and beneficial ways of getting around. Statistics also show more people each year choose walking and biking as their primary modes of transportation, so be sure to practice these safety tips when out and about. And, have fun!
Always walk on sidewalks or paths separated from traffic. If there are no sidewalks or paths, always walk on the side of the street FACING road traffic, as far to the left as possible.
Dress to be seen. Wear bright-colored clothes so drivers can easily see you. At night, wear reflective materials on your shoes, cap or jacket to reflect the headlights of cars coming towards you. If it is dark or hard to see, carry a flashlight.
Always look for vehicles backing up when crossing driveways, and look for traffic at every driveway and intersection.
Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks. Never cross in the middle of the road.
If a car is parked where you are crossing, look for a driver in the car – they may be getting ready to move. If there is no driver, go to the edge of the car, look left-right-left to cross.
If no cars are parked where you are crossing, stop at the curb or the edge of the road. Look left, right, and left again, behind and in front of you for traffic.
Always walk when crossing the street – never run! You could trip and fall when running.
Keep looking for traffic and make eye contact with drivers until you have finished crossing.
When crossing the street at a signalized intersection, always look behind and in front of you for turning vehicles.
At a signalized crossing: If the “DON’T WALK” signal is flashing when you reach the crossing, wait for the next new “WALK” signal.
Always wear a correctly-fitted bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride. It should be snug and level.
Find a safe place to ride – younger children (especially under age 10) should ride on the sidewalk or pathway.
Follow the rules of the road when riding your bike in the street. (A Washington state law.)
Stay on the right side when riding your bike in the street, in the same direction as auto traffic. (A Washington state law.)
Use appropriate hand signals when riding in the street and obey all signs and traffic lights. (A Washington state law.)
When crossing the street, look left, then right, then left again, making eye contact with drivers.
Always watch for vehicles when crossing driveways or alleys.
Never carry riders on your bike.
Never ride between cars.
Give pedestrians the right-of-way.
Stay alert for unexpected obstacles.
Make sure your bike has a headlight and rear reflector if you are riding at night. (A Washington state law.)
Always make sure your bike is in good working order.
Make sure you have no clothing or laces hanging down that can catch in the spokes and gearing.
Wear bright-colored and/or reflective clothing to increase your visibility.