County Addresses Bike Safety Concerns

38-39_sporting_icons set 3BARNSTABLE – County Commissioner Sheila Lyons is spearheading an effort to make Cape Cod safer for bicyclists, especially those who use bikes as their primary source of transportation.

The effort, the Regional Bike Safety Education and Awareness Campaign, is driven by the rise in Cape bike crashes. Available statistics from the county show an increase from 53 crashes in 2006 to 92 in 2011. Fatalities have also been recorded.

While the popularity of biking for both recreation and transportation on the Cape has increased, the safety campaign is particularly targeted at the approximately 3,000 seasonal workers visiting from other countries under the J-1 and H2B visa programs.

In many cases, these workers are unfamiliar with the local rules of the road and are especially at risk of injury in traffic accidents, according to county officials.

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Lyons said the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, Cape police departments and the Council on International Exchange are working to provide lights for international workers who use their bikes to get to and from work at night.

County officials have ordered 1,800 lights to be sent to Cape police departments to be handed out.

Lyons said they expect to receive and begin distributing the lights in the next week or so.