Lessons From Your Youth That Could Save Your Life

Michelle Avola
Ex Director of NPC

Look both ways before crossing the street. Wear light colors at night so people can see you. Walk against vehicle traffic. Ride your bike in the same direction as other vehicles.

We probably all learned these and other important safety tips from our parents or at school when we were kids, but it seems like a lot of people have forgotten some of the most basic principles of bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Please read these important reminders and pass them along to your neighbors and friends. You just may save a life!

  • Pedestrians must walk AGAINST traffic (this includes the shoulder, travel lane, and bike lane.)
  • Pedestrians should use sidewalks wherever present. If you must leave the sidewalk, move to the grass, and only enter the road if you are facing against traffic.
  • Never step out in front of someone approaching on a bike or in a car. If you must exit the sidewalk for the shoulder, travel lane, or bike lane, look both ways before entering.
  • Cross at a crosswalk or controlled intersection, never mid-block. Drivers do not expect people in the middle of the road and landscaping may prevent them from seeing you until it is too late.
  • Look both ways, keep your head up, and avoid distractions. Keep your phone in your pocket.
  • Pedestrians may use the travel or bike lane(against traffic), if there are no sidewalks.
  • Be considerate. When walking/running in the shoulder/bike lane, stay single-file or step onto the grass to allow bikes to pass and avoid forcing them into the travel lane. Cyclists are traveling with traffic and cannot see vehicles behind them; pedestrians can see overtaking cars if facing the correct way.
  • Cyclists should always wear a properly fitting helmet. It is mandatory for you thunder the age of 16, and smart for EVERYONE.
  • Cyclists must ride WITH traffic and obey all road rules. This includes making complete stops at all stop signs/signaled red lights and using hand signals when turning in traffic.
  • Cyclists should use bike lanes if they are present unless there is a safety hazard.
  • Always bike with your head up, alert to hazard son or approaching the road.
  • Cyclists must NEVER wear earbuds or headphones to listen to music. Its unsafe and illegal.
  • Cyclists may use sidewalks when there are not bike lanes present except when posted as restricted (for example, downtown on 5th Avenue South).
  • Use extreme caution if riding on a sidewalk. Driveways and parking lot entrances and exits are frequent collision points.
  • Use extreme caution when entering the shoulder, travel lane, or bike lane if obstructions or hazards make the bike lane or sidewalk unsafe, use extreme caution.
  • Motorists are legally required to give at least three feet clearance when passing a person on a bike. Slowing down until it is safe to legally to pass a cyclist will not change your travel time, but it could save a life.
  • ALWAYS LOOK for people biking and walking before turning into or out of a parking lot, driveway, or turn lane.

Naples Pathways Coalition, Naples Velo, Blue Zones Project SWFL and many local bicycle/pedestrian education and advocacy organizations have been working together to educate all road and pathway users – whether driver, cyclist, or pedestrian – how to move safely and correctly along shared corridors. We are working to teach not only the rules of the road, but also proper etiquette in communicating predictable movement to ensure safe streets for all.

With proper caution and adherence to these reminders, we can all do our part to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.

Please visit www.NaplesPathways.org/join to learn how YOU can join the movement to create a safe, bikeable, and walkable Naples!

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