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NC DOTRALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC program, is reminding drivers to “Make Room for Bikes” and bicyclists to take steps to be safe on the state’s roadways during Bicycle Safety Month.

May is recognized as Bicycle Safety Month, both in North Carolina and nationally, as a time to celebrate the benefits of two-wheeled transportation. A variety of events are scheduled this month, including National Bike to School Day on May 9, National Bike to Work Week May 14-18, and National Bike to Work Day on May 18. As such, NCDOT expects more bicyclists to be on the roads, and take steps to make sure everyone stays safe.

The  Watch for Me NC campaign, a statewide effort to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety through better education and enforcement of the state’s pedestrian and bicycle laws, offers the following safety tips:

For Bicyclists:
• Wear a helmet. It could save your life.
• Use a light and reflectors when bicycling at night, and be as visible as possible.
• Ride in the direction of traffic. Drivers may not be looking for you if you are riding the wrong way.
• Obey all signs and signals. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights.
• Use all your senses – watch and listen for cars, particularly at intersections and driveways.
• Avoid distractions such as listening to headphones, texting or speaking on mobile phones when riding.

For Drivers:
• Look out for bicyclists, drive at slower speeds, and avoid distractions.
• Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any bicyclist, particularly those traveling in bicycle lanes.
• Slow down in areas where you are likely to find bicyclists, such as near schools and playgrounds.
• Keep an eye out for bicyclists at night.
• Avoid distractions such as eating, speaking with passengers and using mobile devices. Talking and texting while driving is dangerous and illegal in many places.

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