FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2010
MEDIA CONTACTS: Lt. Tom Trumble, ;Chris Eatough of Bike ,
Virginia's 2nd Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week Sept. 12-18;
Arlington County, DRIVE SMART Virginia, Bike Walk Virginia and the
Virginia at the DMV join forces
ARLINGTON, VA- In 2009, 84 people died walking or cycling on our Virginia roadways. In addition, 607 cyclists and 1,402 pedestrians were injured.
Lack of knowledge and risky behaviors often leads to crashes between roadway users. Taking time to learn the laws and safety tips can save a life, especially with area schools starting back up and many students walking, cycling and driving on the roadways.
"Many people don't realize that a bicycle is considered a vehicle in Virginia and has the same duties and rights as motor vehicles on the road," says Janet Brooking, Executive Director for DRIVE SMART Virginia. This means bicycles and cars have to obey all traffic signs, signals, lights and markings and are enforceable by law. A bicycle should always travel in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic.
Motorists are required by law to approach and pass bicyclists at a reasonable speed and to allow at least two feet between their vehicle and the cyclist. Motorists are required to use signals to notify other roadway users of intent and cyclists must do the same, using . "Behaving in a predictable manner while driving, biking, or walking can reduce the risk of crashes" according to Kimberly Perry, Executive Director for Bike Walk Virginia.
Whether riding in a car or on a bicycle, all safety precautions should be used, including a safety belt in a car, and a helmet on a bicycle. Cyclists and pedestrians can also protect themselves by wearing bright clothing, using flashing lights during day and night, and by securing loose clothing.
For more information about motorist, bicyclist and , visit www.drivesmartva.org or www.bikearlington.com
Detective Crystal L. Nosal #1187
Media Relations/Legislative Affairs
Arlington County Police Department
1425 N. Courthouse Road
Arlington, VA 22201