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Keep an eye out for children, motorcyclists

With nicer weather finally here and school drawing to a close, it is especially critical for motorists to be alert of their surroundings.

Often in the summer months, it is not uncommon to find children playing outside — running to and fro or riding their bicycles. Adult bicyclists and motorcyclists are also taking advantage of the nice weather and have rejoined automobiles on the roadways.

We ask that you pay particular attention when on the road for these groups of people.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, approximately 35 pedestrians and seven bicyclists are killed each year in Minnesota as a result of collisions with motor vehicles.

Pedestrians

The department encourages drivers to scan the road and sidewalks ahead for pedestrians, to drive attentively and at safe speeds and to anticipate pedestrians, especially in urban areas and around schools and colleges.

Drivers should look in all directions for pedestrians before making a turn, stop for crossing pedestrians at every intersection — even those without crosswalks or stoplights — and not block crosswalks while stopped.

Pedestrians should remember to cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections instead of mid-block and obey traffic signals. They should make eye contact with drivers and ensure they see you and will stop.

Pedestrians are encouraged to use sidewalks when provided and to make sure to wear light colors if walking at night.
Bicyclists

When it comes to bicyclists, they are allowed to ride on all Minnesota roads, except where restricted. They should ride on the road in the same direction as traffic.

Motorists should maintain a three-foot clearance when passing a bicyclist.

Bicyclists must obey all traffic control signs and signals the same as motorists, and should signal their turns in a predictable manner. Like pedestrians, they should wear light-colored or reflective clothing when it’s dark.

Keep these tips in mind, and do your best to educate your children on them as well. We don’t need to add to the statistics.