The New Mexico Department of Transportation and Department of Health want to increase bicycle safety during National Bicycle Safety Month in May.
On Wednesday, the DOT will have a free helmet fitting and distribution event during “Bike to School Day” from 1 to 4 p.m. at 4505 W. Second St. Each individual will receive one free helmet, while supplies last.
The state agencies also have some safety reminders for both bicyclists and drivers.
Bicyclists should always wear a helmet; ride in the same direction as flowing traffic; obey all stop signs and traffic lights; ride as far to the right as possible; signal their intent to change lanes or make a turn; be visible if riding at night by using a flashing orange or red light and by wearing reflective and light-colored clothing; be aware of parked cars, especially doors opening; and yield to traffic before entering the street from a sidewalk.
Drivers are reminded to look carefully for bicyclists before turning right or left, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic; avoid sudden right turns after passing a bicyclist on their right; slow down and merge behind the bicyclist before turning; stay watchful for sudden movements and lane changes as some cyclists, especially children, might make unexpected moves; provide a safe travel distance away from people biking; stay alert and avoid distractions; treat the bicyclist as a legal, slow-moving vehicle.