June 28, 2019 – Hartford, WI – As Wisconsinites, I think we love Summer because it’s warm, sunny and there is always something to do outdoors. We get so few days of perfect weather we simply can’t pack enough into these precious 90 days.
Of course summer also means there is much more activity on our streets and sidewalks. With kids out of school but likewise extremely active, we have many of them inline skating, skateboarding, riding bikes and walking. But as drivers, this makes it all that more important that we watch for these types of pedestrians whenever we get behind the wheel.
Already, we have seen a few occasions of minor accidents and near misses of people just not expecting people from using the sidewalk and pulling across the walk in their cars and causing accidents. Likewise, bikes can be a problem in heavily used sidewalks where there tends to be a higher level of traffic of walkers. Main Street, and downtown specifically, are areas where bikes are not allowed on the sidewalk due to the likelihood of bike vs. pedestrian accidents.
As you are driving your vehicles around the City, be aware that kids and adult pedestrians along with bikers are out there. Especially when you are entering areas where kids are more likely to conjugate like the Rec Center, Parks and of course the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, kids can pop out between parked cars in an instant and become targets. Stay aware and stay focused on your entire surroundings. Any distraction while driving can cause a life threatening accident.
Likewise, I can’t count how many times people have called City Hall and asked us to pass an ordinance making bike helmets mandatory.
Unfortunately, that would be uniquely restrictive and very tough to enforce. So all we can do is strongly suggest that all bike riders use helmets just in case of an accident. Accidents during summer doesn’t have to be caused by another vehicle, but can simply be a slippery road, a pothole or loss of balance. Already this early Summer, I am reading of many biking accidents in this area that have had serious injury and all include not wearing helmets. If you plan on riding, plan on wearing.
Let’s make this Summer a safe one for everyone who drives, rides or walks in our community.
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