Wilmington Police offers bicycle safety tips as summer draws closer

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Before you bust out your bike for a summer evening cruise, Wilmington Police say there are some things people should keep in mind.

Wilmington Police Officer Benjamin Jacobs says it is important to remember that in the state of North Carolina, bicycles are considered vehicles and bicyclists must follow the same laws as motor vehicles.

“The biggest mistake is actually not knowing that that bicycle is a vehicle. Knowing they should stop at the stop signs, and red lights, and yield to the pedestrians,” Jacobs said. “When I pull up at an accident, they say that. They say, oh I thought I could ride on the sidewalk. No, you can’t, that’s for pedestrians. You’re supposed to be on the roadway.”

When you are in the roadway, make sure you are going with the flow of traffic — not against it.

Bright, reflective clothing is a must for bike riders. While only cyclists below the age of 16 are required by law to wear a helmet, Zack Smithley at Bike Cycles says helmets can save lives.

“I’ve heard many stories of ‘my helmet saved my life.’ I know people that actually still have their helmets that they were in a wreck with because it meant that much to them,” Smithley said. “It was either a cracked helmet or a cracked skull.”

Another popular vehicle taking over the road is an e-bike. If you are riding an e-bike, Smithley says to make sure you are abiding by the same safety guidelines, especially since these bikes can go much faster than a standard bike.

For more safety guidelines, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

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