The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 11, 2014

Spring can be a fun time, especially when people follow state laws and city ordinances

ENID, Okla. — Spring is in full swing, and as the days get warmer and sunnier, more and more people are going to take advantage of the nice weather and head outside.

Kids will be out riding their bikes, people will be out jogging and walking — all in the name of exercise and having fun.

But that also means the potential increases for accidents involving cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles. So, we’ve all got to be on our guard and watch out for each other. We’ve got to obey the traffic rules to keep each other safe.

State law requires that drivers give bicycles at least 3 feet of room when they pass. State law also requires that cyclists follow traffic rules, the same as motor vehicles.

City ordinances bar bicycles from being ridden on sidewalks, passing vehicles between lanes of traffic and riding more than two abreast.

Ordinances also require bicycles to use front and back lamps from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. Bicycles also must have red reflectors and brakes.

Helmets are not required, but we’d urge everyone to wear one. The added protection could prove to be important.

As Enid’s trail system grows and becomes more popular, we’re going to see more people utilizing it.

In places, the trail crosses some busy streets, particularly at Van Buren, Johnson and Cleveland. That makes following the rules even more important.

City ordinance gives pedestrians the right of way when they are using crosswalks. That means vehicles must yield.

The crossing at Van Buren also is equipped with lights that people using the trail can use.

When they are activated, vehicles must stop for pedestrians.

Other trail crossings are not as well marked, so it’s up to everyone to pay attention.

Drivers need to slow down around the trail crossings, in case they have to stop, and pedestrians need to look before they head out into the street.

In a collision between a vehicle and a person or cyclist, we all know who is going to suffer the most.

Please follow the rules. Spring is a fun time. If we pay attention and play it safe, we can avoid something bad happening.

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