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Letter from Editor – Watch out for the two-wheelers


Hollywood, MD - The arrival of April brings with it roads that are likely to be a bit more crowded. Although they’ve already been visible due to the sometimes unseasonably warm days of this last winter, bicycles and motorcycles will become more prominent. Many of the two-wheeler enthusiasts tend to travel in large groups. Motorcyclists are assimilated into road traffic while bicyclists travel on the roadsides, although that situation changes on narrow, shoulder less rural roads.

Regarding motorcycles, conventional motorists (cars and truck drivers) should keep in mind that it is not always easy to judge the speed or distance of a motorcycle and it’s wise to stay alert for a change in speed and lane position. Safety experts advise motorists to wait for a clear stretch of road before passing a motorcyclist in a lane too narrow to share. Motorcyclists also have safety standards they need to adhere to. Maryland law requires operators and passengers to wear a safety-certified helmet. Motorcycle operators should signal before slowing down, changing lanes or turning. At intersections, safety experts advised motorcyclists should not assume they have the right-of-way when there is a vehicle approaching.

As for sharing the road with bicyclists, motorists are advised to reduce speed when encountering cyclists. Recognize hazards cyclists may encounter and give them space. Always allow extra time for bicyclists to travel across intersections. Children on bicycles can be a particular challenge to motorists since they can be unpredictable, unaware of traffic laws and, because of their size, harder to see. Again, bicyclists also have responsibilities. They must obey all traffic devices plus use hand signals to indicate stops and turns. Bicyclists also must wear safety certified helmets and check for traffic before entering a street or intersection. It is also recommended bicyclists wear brightly colored clothing in order to be more visible.

In Southern Maryland, local law enforcement does a very good job of keeping residents advised of when large groups of bicyclists will be traveling through the area. They, along with many motorcyclists, participate in riding events that aid charities. More two-wheel travelers—especially the law-abiding type—are a plus for our community.

Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration has more information on bicycle safety on its web site  as well as information on motorcycle safety

If you’re behind the wheel of a car, jeep or truck, watch out for the two-wheelers during the days ahead. Cyclists, don’t forget to wear your helmets!

The opinions expressed don’t necessarily reflect those of TheBayNet.com management.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

PHOTO CREDITS

Motorcyclist attribution © Can Stock Photo / warrengoldswain

Bicyclist attribution © Can Stock Photo / pressmaster

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