Students encouraged to practice safe cycling

Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

According to Title 40, the Georgia state traffic code, passengers cannot legally sit on the handlebars of a moving bike. Photo by Isabella Stern | Campus Carrier

Each year, many students choose to bike to and from classes, but with a recent increase in accidents on campus, there are a few tips bikers can heed in order to bike safely around campus.

Before getting the tips, students should understand the rules behind biking. Georgia Code Title 40 details all the rules that involve biking. Rather than reading the entire code, here are the basics students should know.

Helmets must be worn by anyone under the age of 16. Berry students, most of whom are over 18, are not required to wear helmets, but are encouraged to use them at their discretion.

Only one person should be sitting on the bike at a time, which means that trying to put other students on the handlebars or on the back of the bike is not allowed.

In the city of Rome, it is illegal to bike on sidewalks, and anyone caught will be ticketed. However, on Berry’s campus, this law isn’t strictly enforced because it is a private school, and students can choose to bike on sidewalks or the street.

Students can ride bikes in the street around Berry as long as they adhere to the proper traffic laws that all cars follow, such as stopping at stop signs and yielding the right of way.

In order to avoid accidents around campus, the biggest tip students can follow is to always be aware of their surroundings.

“Most of the bicycle incidents that we work involve a bicycle coming off the sidewalk, riding into the roadway,” Police Chief Jonathan Baggett said.

Most of the other accidents on campus happen when bikers assume that no cars are coming without looking both ways. In the archway between the Admissions Office and the Alumni Center, there have been two accidents because of students that haven’t checked to make sure that cars were not entering the roundabout before going.

Over the past years, other accidents have included a variety of different instances of students not being aware of other motor vehicles or other bikers. A little over 20 years ago, a girl was killed after another biker hit her head-on driving down the main stretch of campus. Also, because of the many accidents that occurred on Stretch Road between bikes and cars, the administration staff decided to construct Viking Trail so that bikers can safely bike to Mountain Campus.

Keeping this tip in mind can save students from accidents that could harm not only themselves, but others around them.

Baggett said that implementing rules may not solve the problem of bicycle accidents, but staying aware and attentive while biking can save someone from an accident.

“Berry’s a good place for bikes, people just need to be aware,” Baggett said.

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