By Mike Foley
It’s that time of year when snow and ice (are supposed to) give way to grass and leaves. It’s also the time of year when sidewalks, trails, bike lanes and neighborhood streets see more bikers and walkers.
In Minnesota, drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians not only at marked crosswalks but also at all intersections without crosswalks or stop lights. It’s the law! Failure to obey the law is a misdemeanor. A second violation within one year is a gross misdemeanor.
Pedestrians must obey traffic signs and signals at all intersections that have them.
Failure to yield the right-of-way and driver inattention/distraction are the main contributing factors in pedestrian crashes.
When it comes to bikes, bicyclists may ride on all Minnesota roads, except where restricted. Bicyclists should ride on the road (not the sidewalk) and must ride in the same direction as traffic.
When it comes to safety, bicyclists and motorists are equally responsible for bicycle safety. The number-one factor contributing to bicycle-vehicle collisions is failure to yield the right-of-way — by bicyclists and drivers alike.
About one-half of all bicycle-vehicle collisions are due to a variety of bicyclist behaviors, such as disregarding a traffic sign or signal. The other half are caused by vehicle driver behaviors, such as inattention and distraction.
Tips for drivers:
Tips for bicyclists:
Tips for pedestrians:
The Porchlite is a monthly newsletter and blog that is developed by the SUPC Communications Committee.