On Sunday, September 19, the Alexandria Police Department will be hosting a bicycle registration event at the Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market, located at 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue. Officers will be at the market from 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. They will be offering information on registering a bicycle and providing bicycle safety tips. A local bicycle organization will also be performing free maintenance and tune ups on bicycles. The purpose of this event is to encourage the public to register their bicycles. Registering a bicycle makes it much easier to track in the event the bicycle is lost or stolen.
Additionally, officers would like to educate cyclists and pedestrians about traffic laws. Many people do not realize that in Virginia, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and must follow the same rules as a motor vehicle on the road. This means a cyclist has to obey all traffic lights, signs and signals. Many accidents and injuries can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of traffic laws or high risk behavior.
September 12 to September 18 is Virginia Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week, a DRIVE SMART Virginia and Bike Walk Virginia initiative with approximately 160 companies and organization partners statewide. A key goal of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Week is to educate citizens in understanding the importance of sharing the road responsibly and with respect.
- Pedestrians should use sidewalks if available. When walking on roads, walk facing traffic and travel on extreme edge.
- Pedestrians and cyclists can improve safety by wearing bright colors during the day and reflective material or blinking lights at night. Light colored clothing is slightly helpful in making you visible at night, reflective tape or reflective fabric is much better. Also at night, the use of a front light is required.
- Bicycles are considered vehicles when ridden on roads and streets and therefore must follow rules that apply to motor vehicles, including riding on the right side with traffic and yielding to pedestrians.
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs, signals, lights and markings.
- When riding at night, bicyclists must use rear reflectors; if using roads with speed limits of 35mph or more, use red tail lights visible 600 feet.
- Violation of a traffic law is a civil penalty or traffic infraction punishable by a fine or points against your driver’s license.