Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mt. Juliet Police reminds drivers to share the roads
Posted: Mar 21, 2015 11:32 AM CDTUpdated: Mar 21, 2015 12:02 PM CDT

Today is certainly going to be a great day to enjoy the outdoors and break free from the winter hibernation. This means that more kids will be out, walkers and runners will hit the sidewalks and streets, bicyclists pedaling away, and motorcycles will be rolling. 
The Mt. Juliet Police Department has sent out a note to remind residents to think about pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists:
Spring is a reminder that it is extremely important to safely share the road. Automobile drivers must be aware that others have certain rights and privileges on our roadways, and must be aware and respect the law.
The police department always has a steady flow of concerned residents worried about motorists speeding through neighborhoods and not stopping at stop signs, all of which are valid concerns. Residents want to ensure their neighborhoods are safe. Speeders and stop sign violators lead to unsafe roadways. Drivers must yield to children playing in the streets; even though they are consistently reminded to stay out of the street, they do not always put safety ahead of their play. Motorists are responsible for driving with extreme care when children are present. Slow down near schools, playgrounds, and in neighborhoods.
Generally, pedestrians have the right-of-way at all intersections. Crosswalks are established to encourage pedestrians to cross at those locations. However, it can be common for pedestrians to cross roadways at other locations than crosswalks. The law specifically requires the driver to exercise great care and extreme caution to avoid striking a pedestrian.
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on roadways as other users. In most cases, bicyclists and motorists must share the same lane. The motorist should always expect the bicyclist to make a sudden move, as the rider could encounter trash in the road, a pothole, or another obstacle that forces them to swerve. Bicycles can sometimes be difficult to see, and the riders are exposed and easily injured in a crash. Motorists should recognize that bicycle traffic is often overlooked, and it is difficult to judge their speed. The most common causes of crashes are drivers turning left in front of an oncoming bicycle or turning right, across the path of a bicycle. Motorists must leave at least 3-feet of distance between their vehicle and the bicycle when passing in the same direction. A driver should never attempt to pass between a bicycle and oncoming vehicles on a two-lane road. Slow down and allow vehicles to pass the rider safely.
Many have the perception that car vs. motorcycle crashes are caused by the motorcyclist. However, research shows that approximately two-thirds of car vs. motorcycle crashes are caused by the car driver who turned in front of the motorcycle. In many cases, the driver didn't see the motorcycle until it was too late to avoid the crash. Motorcycles can be hard to see, and car drivers are accustomed to just looking for other cars and trucks. It is important for car drivers to always check their blind spots when changing lanes or turning to avoid crashes with motorcycles.
Sharing the road is an easy task for safe drivers. If a driver is consumed with distracted driving, speeding, and having no care for safety, sharing the road becomes difficult. Having safe driving habits and being aware of pedestrians, bicycles, and motorcycles is important to sharing the road safely. So, as the warmer weather springs in, please be extra mindful and share the road. 
Officers with the Mt. Juliet Police Department will be providing extra attention to neighborhoods and on the look-out for unsafe motorists. Every life counts.
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