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UPMC Cole Healthy Holidays

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PENNDOT OFFERS SAFETY TIPS DURING BICYCLE SAFETY MONTH

May Marks National Bicycle Safety Month

HARRISBURG – As more people are dusting off their bicycles and getting ready to ride, PennDOT reminds bicyclists to follow the rules of the road.

“Bicycling is a great activity for children and adults,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “Regardless of your age, it’s important that you ride safely at all times. Motorists should watch for bicyclists and demonstrate courtesy by sharing the road.”

According to PennDOT, there were 1,423 bicycle-related crashes in Pennsylvania last year, which was a slight decrease from 2007. Bicycle fatalities fell by more than 50 percent from 20 in 2007 to nine in 2008.

Before getting on a bicycle, everyone should consider receiving training in the skills necessary to ride safely on the road. Another important safety tip is to be visible by wearing lightly-colored or reflective clothing.

Pennsylvania law mandates that children under 12 years of age must wear an approved safety helmet. PennDOT suggests all bicyclists wear an approved helmet and other protective gear, and offers these additional tips for safe riding:

• Adjust your bicycle to fit. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.
• Make sure tires are inflated properly and your brakes work before you leave.
• Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles.
• Signal your intentions in advance so motorists have a chance to react.
• Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars.
• Watch for road hazards such as potholes or broken glass.

For more information on bicycle safety, visit PennDOT’s Bike Safe page at www.dot.state.pa.us/bike/web/index.htm.

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