Cyclists Have Road Rights Too. Here Are 5 Tips For Drivers & Cyclists To Coexist
In recent times, Trinidad has seen its fair share of road fatalities including bicyclists. Advocates of several cyclists groups have embarked on a public awareness campaign letting drivers know they can play a role in reducing cyclist related accidents.
For T&T drivers, here are 5 tips to follow when driving near cyclists:
1. The 3 Feet Clearance Rule: Bike riders would really appreciate some space on the road. Sadly, due to the size of motorcycles, many motorists usually drive within close proximity leaving very little room for errors. The 3-foot rule could really help give drivers a full frame view of the road when approaching a cyclist or group of cyclists. It’s also best to pass cyclists slowly instead of accelerating as you approach. So just as we see the “stay 30 Meters away” sign on huge trucks with air brakes, let’s all give cyclists 3 Feet.
2. Stay Off Your Phone: It is against the traffic laws of T&T to be on the phone
while in command of a vehicle. So if you’re on the phone while operating a motor vehicle – you’re breaking the law. Most drivers have bluetooth connectivity in their cars to still be in touch via the phone, however, every motorist should raise their awareness when approaching a cyclist even if it means asking your caller to hold for a short moment until you navigate away.
3. Consider Less Congestion On The Roads: Not only does cycling promote a healthy lifestyle for riders and a healthy environment for us all to live in; it also reduces congestion on our roads. We all know of the traffic congestion woes faced by all motorists in T&T. So please be patient with cyclists on the roads.
4. Look Around Before Your Exit Your Car: Imagine a rider peddling and approaching your car, when suddenly the driver flings the door open. Not a
pleasant experience for the driver or the cyclist, is it? Therefore, as a driver, before you open your door, look out the sideview mirror to ensure no one is approaching. This can also be applied for other oncoming vehicles and pedestrians.
5. Careful When Making Right Turns: If you’re driving along the road and trying to make a right turn while seeing an oncoming cyclist, you may think there is enough time for your to turn. Often times, this isn’t the case, a bicycle can easily get to 20 mph, therefore, if you’re in doubt, yield and allow the cyclist to pass.
We are sharing the above rules to help promote safe motorist and bicyclist behaviour through education and attitude adjustment. Let’s stay safe and be respectful to all road users.