The Thousand Oaks Police Department continues to promote traffic safety within the community. In an effort to recognize certain hazards while driving, the Traffic Bureau is continuing a monthly traffic awareness reminder program, addressing a traffic topic each month. While we focus on a specific topic each month, it’s always imperative to constantly strive to follow all rules of the road. The month of June is dedicated to “Share The Road”.
Traffic collisions involving a motor vehicle with a motorcycle or bicycle occur at an alarming rate. Sharing the road safety awareness is a two-way street. Automobile drivers need to be vigilant to look for motorcycles and bicycles, recognizing that they have all the same rights and privileges. But, they can be harder to see, behave differently, and are far more vulnerable to road hazards and impacts. Simple things like always using your turn signal, even if you don’t see another vehicle around, and scrupulously checking mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes can potentially avert disaster. Riders need to likewise be mindful that they are indeed at risk. Following the lessons from a safety course will go a long way to reduce those dangers. Situational awareness is key, as is simply staying visible. Generous following distances, brightcolored clothing and DOT compliant helmet, and an aversion to car blind spots will make a difference.
The small size of motorcycles and bicycles compared to other vehicles on the road means they can appear to be farther away than they are, and it’s easy to misjudge their speed. The combination of congested roadways, distracted driving, and the difficulty of seeing motorcycles and bicycles in traffic has led to far too many preventable fatalities each year.
When driving a motor vehicle, here are some recommended safety tips:
1. Look twice for motorcycles and bicycles, especially at intersections.
2. Always assume motorcycles and bicycles are closer than they appear to be, and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle or bicycle.
3. Use your turn signals and check your blind spot before changing lanes.
4. Don’t follow a motorcycle or bicycle too closely.
5. Obey posted speed limits.
6. Bicyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as all other vehicles. They must come to a complete stop at stop signs and red traffic signals.
The Thousand Oaks Traffic Bureau encourages all to please share the road with others. Safe riding practices and cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways. But it’s especially important for motorists to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists and bicyclists such as size and visibility, and riding practices to anticipate and respond to them. By raising motorists’ awareness, both drivers and riders will be safer sharing the road.
For more information on sharing the road with others, please visit:
Thousand Oaks Police Department