May is National Bike Safety Month, and local police departments are trying to raise awareness about bike safety.
Paso Robles police say bicycle-related deaths are on the rise.
According to the department, 138 cyclists were killed on California roads in 2016. That’s a nearly 25 percent increase from 2011.
Officers say speeding, improper turning, and not following traffic signs or signals have all contributed to the increase.
“Traffic safety is a shared responsibility. People get around in a variety of ways, including bikes and walking, so it is important that we are aware of one another and do our part to ensure everyone is able to get to their destination safely,” said Paso Robles Commander Davis. “Bicycle safety remains a key concern in our community. It is why this month and really every month, we are committed to educating and informing the public on safe ways to go, whether on two wheels or four.”
Police say drivers should look behind them before making a turn at an intersection and use extra caution while backing up or leaving a parking space.
Cyclists should go with the flow of traffic and let faster traffic pass. Bicyclists should also make themselves visible and wear brightly colored clothing. Cyclists are advised to use lights from dusk to dawn, always wear a helmet, and use hand signals when turning or stopping.
Police say it’s important for both drivers and bicyclists to avoid distractions, like using their cell phone.