Caution urged while cycling

Streetskill organisers are appealing to the entire community to take cycle safety seriously under the banner Be Seen, Be Safe.

Many residents in the Cayman Islands use cycling not only as a hobby but also as a means of transport and it is essential that riders do all they can to keep themselves safe.

‘When a bicycle is used on the road it becomes a vehicle and so should be treated as such,’ said Commissioner of Police, Mr. Stuart Kernohan. ‘It needs to be kept in good condition so that mechanics such as the brakes operate fully; it needs to have lights that will assist in keeping the rider safe in the dark and extra precautions such as wearing a helmet and light coloured clothes need to be taken by the person riding.

‘The first thing to remember is that traffic laws that apply to motorists also apply to persons riding bicycles, so riders must obey all sings and signals,’ said Mr Kernohan. ‘In addition, riders will dramatically decrease their chances of being involved in a collision if they ride on the correct side of the road – which is the left, with the traffic.’

Other points riders should follow include:

• Always have lights on the front and back of your bike so you can be clearly seen in the dark.

• Always ride with the traffic on the left.

• Wear a helmet at all times. The most serious injuries from a cycle accident are to the head.

• Keep your bike in good working order.

• Obey all traffic signs and signals.

• Keep both hands on the handle bars unless making a turning signal.

• Do not ride with passengers on the front or back of the bike.

• Keep bikes secure.

In addition, drivers must also play their part in ensuring the safety of riders:

• Keep an eye out for cyclists.

• Always use your mirrors before making a manoeuvre to check the path is clear.

• Always use your indicators to make your movements known to others.

• If you pass a cyclist, make sure you have enough room to do so safely.

Throughout the month police officers will be handing out information leaflets, adverts will be aired in the cinema and on television and later this month a cycle light give away day will be held where riders will be able to receive lights for the bikes.

The Streetskill campaign, launched 1 May by the National Roads Authority, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and The Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council, is aimed at educating motorists and influencing their behaviour.

Organisers are looking for feedback on the campaign and welcome ideas and thoughts from the community. Residents are encouraged to contact [email protected] – 244-3004 or [email protected] – 244-1762 or [email protected] – 244-5865.