Students across NC celebrate Bike to School Day

Posted at 2:49 PM, May 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-08 07:49:23-04

Raleigh, NC – Students at 18 elementary schools in North Carolina communities from Candler to Winterville will join others across the nation in participating in the second annual Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 8.

The event, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of bicycling to school, builds on the excitement surrounding National Bike Month in May.

Nearly 950 schools across the country participated in the inaugural national event in 2012, including 13 in North Carolina.

National Bike to School Day is based on the Walk to School Day model. Walk to School Day was founded in 1997 as a way to bring community leaders and children together to build awareness for communities to be more walkable.

The one-day event has now grown to a month-long celebration every October. In 2012, students and parents from more than 4,200 U.S. schools joined millions of Walk to School Day and Month participants worldwide.

NCDOT offers the following safety tips for bicyclists:

• Always wear a bicycle helmet;

• Ride on the right-hand side of the road, in the same direction as other vehicles;

• Obey all traffic signs and signals;

• Properly signal all movements and make sure movements can be made safely;

• Yield to drivers and pedestrians, as appropriate; and

• When riding at dawn, dusk or night, use extra caution. Be sure to use a headlight visible from a distance of 300 feet and a red reflector visible at a distance of 200 feet, as well as wear reflective clothing.

NCDOT also urges motorists to follow these safety tips when encountering bicyclists:
• Keep a lookout for oncoming bicyclists when turning left and wait for them to clear the intersection before completing your turn;

• After passing a bicyclist on your right, take care not to cut them off by immediately turning right in front of them;

• Slow down when passing a bicyclist to make sure the rider is aware of your presence and leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the bicyclist;

• Stay alert for bicyclists who suddenly swerve or turn in front of you; and

• Yield to bicyclists, when appropriate, as you would for other motor vehicles.