LIMA — To combat safety concerns brought by more bicyclists on the road due to the warmer weather, a coalition of regional safety groups have organized a spring awareness campaign called MOVE Safe Allen County to remind motorists of the rules of the road.
Out of Ohio counties with similar population sizes, Allen County ranks first in the number of both pedestrian crashes, 116, and bicycle crashes, 97, when comparing the number of crashes between 2012 and 2016. When comparing “crashes per 100,000 population” rate from the same data set, Allen County ranks in at least the top three.
“A lot of people that have limited transportation options use bicycles to get around, and motorists need to know the laws,” Creating Healthy Communities Program Coordinator Shelly Miller.
The campaign will utilize advertising, social media (#MOVESafe) and public speakers to get the word out over the coming months to educate motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on their responsibilities when using Allen County’s roads. The campaign also includes an online community survey at https://bit.ly/2ut8QyP.
In brief, MOVE Safe Allen County wants to remind individuals that bicyclists should use the roadways instead of the sidewalks, and motorists should give at least three feet of space to bicyclists when passing. Bicyclists also should follow all of the rules of the road as any vehicle would.
Also, pedestrians should be extra cautious and alert to drivers’ actions whenever motor vehicles are close by.
Miller said police won’t be ticketing individuals for infractions, but the campaign is meant to create dialogue and establish safer community norms.
Other organizations involved include Allen County Public Health, Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition, Activate Allen County, Lima Memorial Health System, Mercy Health — St. Rita’s Medical Center, Bath Township Fire Department, Lima Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.
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