Paul A. Nikas, Chief of Police
15 Elm St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
For Immediate Release
Monday, May 2, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Ipswich Police to Target Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety Violations, Provide Safety Tips
IPSWICH – With warm weather quickly approaching, Chief Paul Nikas announces that the Ipswich Police Department will be conducting a pedestrian and bicycle safety enforcement campaign, funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
The $3,500 grant will allow the department to conduct saturation patrols targeting pedestrian and bicycle safety violations, with a focus on educating pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists about the importance of being safe and sharing the roadways.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), 445 pedestrians are injured across the country every day and in the next hour, on average, one pedestrian will die from injuries in a traffic crash.
“We are committed to pedestrian and cyclist safety throughout our community,” Chief Nikas said. “We will be strictly enforcing the traffic laws and advise that residents take caution when on the roadways.”
Ipswich Police would like to remind cyclists that Massachusetts traffic laws require that they follow the same rules as vehicles, with a few exceptions, when riding on the roads. This includes:
- Stopping at stop signs and red lights.
- Yielding when entering the roadway or turning left and yielding to pedestrians.
- Communicating by using proper hand signals when turning or altering your course.
- Always wearing a helmet and increasing visibility by wearing reflective vests or light colors. Children under the age of 16 are required by law to wear an approved helmet.
Additionally, cyclists have the ability to pass other cyclists on the right and ride two abreast. However, they must allow vehicles the opportunity for overtaking them and move over when it is safe to do so to allow vehicles to pass.
Chief Nikas also reminds motorist to follow safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Yield to oncoming bicyclists when turning left, slowing down and passing at a safe distance when approaching a cyclist.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can’t see.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street.
- Be extra cautious when backing up – pedestrians can move into your path.
NHTSA advises pedestrians to:
- Stay on sidewalks whenever they are available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from cars as possible.
- Keep alert at all times. Don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night. If you don’t have reflective gear, wear a white shirt over your outer clothing.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.