Safety tips for bikers and motorists

Safety tips for bikers and motorists

MARQUETTE — Marquette County has had an influx in bicycle traffic in recent years, which has led to increased concerns from the community.

There are some basic rules and recommendations both bikers and motorists can follow to decrease complaints and accidents.

When bikers are using the roadways, they should keep in mind that they are a part of traffic and must abide by such laws. By making eye contact with surrounding drivers and staying primarily to the right when on the roadway, accidents and frustration can be kept to a minimum.

On the flipside, drivers need to exercise respect and patience when sharing the road.

“It is recommended that bicyclists ride on the roadway because they are more visible there. Bicyclists are entitled to ride on the roadway,” said Sergeant Jackie Sweeney of the Marquette City Police. “So they [drivers] have to learn and keep in mind they have to share the roadway with bicyclists. When they see a bicyclist on the roadway they need to be respectful, they can’t get to close to the bicyclists. They have to treat them like another vehicle on the roadway.”

If bicyclists are uncomfortable using the roadway, they are allowed to use sidewalks and multi–use pathways, but they must abide by pedestrian laws.

“You actually have an added responsibility also. You have to warn the pedestrians, you have to be user friendly with other people on the bike path because you are actually traveling faster than other users on bike path,” Sweeney added. “So when you are approaching pedestrians, especially from behind, you are required by law to warn them.”

Sweeney added that knowing the laws are half the battle to safe travels for both bikers and motorists.

For a link to biking laws, click here.