Recently some of my cyclist friends had some advise they would like to add to bicycle safety.

According to Georgia law, a bicycle is a vehicle and is entitled to be on the road. The rider should ride on the right side with traffic as close to the edge as practical. All traffic laws should be obeyed which includes stop signs and red lights. Arm signals should be given when turning.

All riders under the age of 16 must wear helmets and it is the law of common sense for all ages to wear them. There is no way to exclude the fact that a bicycle rider is vulnerable and should protect himself any way possible. Making oneself visible by wearing an orange or yellow vest and having lights on the bike help with this. Reflectors on the front and rear of the bike and on the pedals are required by law. A mirror on the handlebars also helps with visibility.

When passing by a line of parked cars, a cyclist should watch for doors opening and cars pulling out of parking places. Caution should also be taken when crossing side streets and alleys. They should also watch out for potholes and other hazards on the road that might take them down.

Dogs present a problem and many a rider has gone down when they encounter a dog running after them. An experienced cyclist might outrun the dog, but usually if you stop and walk the bike, the dog will lose interest in you. Dog owners should be responsible and keep the dogs in their yards.

To help protect our environment, commuting to work by bicycle cuts down on pollution. Riding recreationally helps prevent obesity which often progresses into diabetes. Families that ride together are creating a habit that hopefully will stay with their children in the future.

Communities that are creating bike paths and lanes are to be commended for providing a safe place which encourages cycling.

More information on Georgia Bicycle Traffic Laws can be found by visiting online at www.bicvclegeorgia.com/galaw.html