May is National Bike Month - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

May is National Bike Month

May 21, 2004

Valdosta - Officer Steven Weisbrod is one of eight Valdosta Police officers who gave up the luxury of an air conditioned car to patrol on a bicycle. He's reminded every day how important cycling safety is. "You have to obey all traffic laws just like you would if you were in a vehicle," said Weisbrod.

Before his feet ever hit the pedals, he makes sure to put on his helmet. Head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes. "Your hands are going to catch you, but eventually, your head is going to hit the curb, post, or whatever is causing you to crash," said Weisbrod.

Once he's suited up, he starts his patrol against the side of the road and with the flow of traffic. "You want to ride as close to the curb as possible," said Weisbrod.

Officer Weisbrod says the most common bicycle violations happen at intersections. Cyclists tend to roll through the stop sign, rather than coming to a complete stop. "They don't realize that having a bike is an actual mode of transportation and that's the way Georgia law considers it," said Weisbrod.

And night time brings more rules. "At night you are required to have a front light and a rear reflector," said Weisbrod.

Motorists can help by always keeping watch for bicycles. They're smaller and harder to spot than most vehicles, but a little extra caution will keep cyclists like Officer Weisbrod safe.

posted at 3:00 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com