Officials urge motorist and bicyclist to stay vigilant - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Officials urge motorist and bicyclist to stay vigilant

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Summer is nearly here and with it comes more bicyclists on the roadway and that means an increased risk for not only those bikers, but motorists as well.

Lawton has already seen up to six crashes involving bicyclists this year, with three of them happening in the past 30 days with the most recent one happened last Friday.

Lawton Community Services director Richard Rogalski said it’s hard for him to hear that a fellow bicyclist was hit.

"Your heart skips a beat when you hear about somebody being hit or injured. Because there is just no safe way to crash on a bicycle," Rogalski said.

He said wearing a helmet and bright clothing, even during the day is something cyclists can do to protect themselves.

"You need to be seen," Rogalski said. "It's very important that you're seen, and that you have your proper safety equipment on."

While wearing bright and reflective clothing can help Lawton Police Officer Sergeant Timothy Jenkins said both drivers and cyclists need to be alert while driving.

"It's a life or death situation,” Jenkins said. “If they're paying attention to each other, one knows one's coming, and the other knows the other's coming, and they can both know how to react. We definitely want everybody to be safe."

He said another way you can be safe is taking it slow when you see a bike and watch to see where it’s going.

"If they're not signaling wait, wait and see what they're going to do and then proceed,” he said. “For bicyclist, we want them to know to always ride in the flow of traffic that way if you're riding the flow of traffic the cars behind you see you and when they're coming up on they're not going to cut in front of you and cut you off."

Rogalski said cyclists need to know their limits and ride defensively because you never know if a driver will see you.

"Busses get overlooked, people don't see the bus coming at them and so, with a bicycle, it's so much worse you're so much smaller that's why being bright and reflective is so much more important," Rogalski said.

For more information, you can pick up a pamphlet from City Hall that gives information on how to stay alert and protect yourselves. It also has a map with paths and trail,

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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