For those of us who are involved in Healthy Adams Bike and Pedestrian Inc. (HABPI), it is mostly about biking. We’re involved in a wide variety of projects and programs throughout Adams County and beyond, but nothing is more important than personal safety and safe biking.
Here’s a pretty amazing bike safety story. A while back, a bike rider was stopped at a temporary red light next to a construction site in northern Virginia. He was standing over his bike when an unoccupied dump truck started to roll toward him and knocked him as well as the bike to the ground. One of the dump truck’s tires then ran over his head! Here’s the amazing part: the man was wearing a bike helmet at the time and the helmet likely saved his life. He was taken to the local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Yes, after a dump truck ran over his head!
Immediately following this incident the dump truck’s driver, who had left it running and unattended next to the construction site, ran it down and managed to stop it from rolling any further. Local safety officials were called. They inspected the truck and found multiple safety violations for which citations were issued.
We’re fortunate to live in Adams County where there are several great bike trails, lightly-traveled back and country roads and the avenues on the Gettysburg Battlefield. There are so many great places to ride in our area. But people tell me all the time they don’t like to ride on the roads. Sometimes I agree with them; it can be dangerous. Cars are big, fast and sometimes operated in a less-than-safe manner. Drivers texting have added a new level of thrill to road biking. Please don’t do it.
Vehicle operators not knowing or understanding Pennsylvania’s four-foot law are equally irresponsible. Basically, all vehicles are required to give bike riders four feet of space when they pass them, they are required to slow down, and only pass when no vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction. The vehicle may cross over a double-yellow line to give the bike rider safer spacing.
Biking is a great recreational activity if both the bike rider and the vehicle operator simply respect each other and be courteous.