Bicycle Safety is paramount for MCB Camp Lejeune

28 Aug 2012 | Pfc. Joshua W Grant

The roads can be dangerous for cars, trucks or SUV’s in any weather and any time of day, but even more so for bicyclists.

Whether on the road, commuting or taking a recreational ride safety must always be priority.

The number of bicycle related traffic fatalities is on a steady decline in the United States for the past two decades, and with more money constantly being devoted to making the streets safer for cyclists, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects the number to continue to fall.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune abides by N.C. state laws for bicycle safety, which is why there are four mandatory regulations for anyone planning to ride a bicycle aboard the base.

All bicyclists must wear an American National Standards Institute or Snell Memorial Foundation standard approved bicycle helmet before riding. Between evening and morning colors, all riders are also required to wear an approved reflective vest over their clothing.

John Abney, traffic safety manager for Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, said most people remember to wear a glow belt, but he highly recommends the more reflective material the better, especially on a bicycle.

Bicyclists are also mandated to ride on the right edge of the road, following the flow of traffic, and must ride single file when riding with multiple cyclists.

“On base, like out in town we are under the ‘Share the Road’ program,” said Abney. The program is designed to allow all cyclists ample room on roadways for safe travel.

Bicycles are allowed to be operated at night time but only when equipped with a headlight, and a red light or red reflector in the rear.

Marine Corps Community Services suggest a slew of extra tips to keep riders safe aboard MCB Camp Lejeune such as ensuring any rider’s bike is equipped for safety before they begin riding, keeping both hands on the handlebars while riding, and riding slower on wet roads or when traveling off road.

Abney said with the advancements in hybrid and electric cars, ‘situational awareness’ is the most important part. These quiet vehicles can sometimes creep up on riders, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep alert.

Abney stated a lot of riders wear headphones while cycling, which is against the base regulations and highly discourages people from continuing it.

Whether it’s a family ride through the trails, or back and forth between home and work, everyone aboard base must play their part in keeping the streets safe for bicyclists.