The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

August 14, 2009

Enid police say cyclists, pedestrians also must be just as vigilant as motorists on city roadways

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Ordinance also re-quires bicycles to be equipped with a front lamp when in use at any time from one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise. The same rules also require a back lamp on bicycles. Bicycles also must be equipped with a red reflector and a brake or brakes.

For those riding late at night or during early morning hours, Holtzclaw advised wearing brighter colors or reflective tape. He said to avoid dark-colored clothing when riding at those times.

He said the same tip should be used by people who are walking at night.

“Pedestrians walking at night should wear reflective gear or flashing armbands,” he said.

Those walking also should avoid walking on the roadway, whenever possible, and should walk facing oncoming traffic.

“Whenever possible, pe-destrians need to use crosswalks or cross the street at the corner if there’s not a crosswalk,” he said. “You can’t assume someone is going to stop for you if you’re not in a crosswalk.”

Holtzclaw also warned drivers from becoming more distracted by devices, such as cell phones and iPods.

He said studies are showing people who send text messages while driving are more impaired by their distraction than people driving under the influence of alcohol.

A city ordinance, titled Attention to Driving Re-quired, states: “The operator of every vehicle, while driving, shall devote his full time and attention to such driving.”

A citation for violation of the ordinance, which typically is issued in traffic accidents caused by a distracted driver, is $144.

Holtzclaw said people who need to send a text message or use a cell phone should pull over. He said police have seen an increase in texting while driving, especially in younger drivers.

“Especially, test messaging while driving is extremely dangerous,” Holtzclaw said.

If a call must be made while driving, he suggests using a wireless or hands-free headset.

“We need everyone to really pay attention,” he said, “especially since school has begun.”

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