Overall, Eaton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 781 calls for service/events. Our higher call volumes occurred in the following areas: Traffic Stops-107, Suspicious Situations/Subject/Vehicle-56, Traffic Violations-51, Check Well Beings-37, Property Damage Crashes-32, Assist Citizen/Motorist Assist-26, Alarms-26, Fireworks Complaints-24, Shoplifting Complaints-22, Traffic Hazards-17, Larcenies-17, Personal Injury Crashes-17, Unwanted Subject-14, Abandoned Vehicles-11, Car/Deer Accidents-11, and Domestic Disputes-10.
Topics for future articles are always welcome. This topic is especially timely and came from one of our citizens –
Tips for Motorists to Safely Share the Road with Bicycles:
Pay attention. Bicycle fatalities have increased due to distracted driving. Even something as quick as glancing at an incoming call can result in a blow to a cyclist from a side mirror. The best thing motorists can do is put their phone away, and keep their eyes and mind on the road.
Learn bike signals. Understanding the signals bicyclists use will help you anticipate their next move. In Michigan, bicyclists are required to signal:
- A left turn by extending his/her left arm horizontally
- A right turn by extending his/her left arm upward or by extending his/her right arm horizontally
- An upcoming stop or slow-down by extending the arm downward
Use your turn signals. Just as you should pay attention to a bicyclist’s signals, they need to see yours to anticipate your next action as well. By notifying cyclists of turns, they can slow down or come to a stop. A lot of accidents are the result of automobiles turning without signaling the bicyclist.
Respect traffic signals and signs. Many car-bike accidents happen at intersections. Make sure you obey stop lights and traffic signs because they govern both automobiles and bicycles and always double check crosswalks.
Be considerate. In order to share the road successfully, both drivers and bicyclists need to respect one another. As a motorist, this might mean slowing down or driving behind a bicyclist until you can pass at a safe distance. It could mean getting into the lane over when overtaking a bike.
Lay off the horn. Even though slowing behind a bicyclist until you can safely pass might frustrate you, honking is the last thing you should do. A glaring horn is startling and a startled bicyclist is less steady on their bike, which can lead to falls and collisions.
There’s room for us all, so let’s share the road respectfully!
Yours in Public Safety,
Sheriff Tom Reich