Washington Police Department urging motorists to watch for bicycles and children

With the school year coming to an end, the Washington Police Department reminds residents to be extra cautious and alert for bicyclists and children.

“With the excitement of the end of the school year, many of the kids may be easily distracted and not paying attention to what’s happening around them,” explained Washington Police Chief Jim Lester. “It’s important for the motoring public to be aware of increased bicycle and pedestrian traffic during the summer months, especially near the pool and parks.”

The Police Department also reminds bicyclists of the importance of following the rules of the road and obeying all traffic control devices. The City of Washington has an ordinance that prohibits riding bikes and skateboards on the sidewalks in the downtown area, including Central Park. In addition, all bicycles used during the nighttime are required to be equipped with a front white light that is visible from a distance of at least 300 feet and a red light to the rear that is also visible at 300 feet.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 783 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2017.

“One of the best ways to avoid injury while riding a bike is the proper use of a helmet,” explained, Lester. “There are many different options available and parents should take some time to ensure the helmet they have purchased for their child is properly fitted.”

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute website, has more information on helmet safety and use.