As the new school year in Chapel Hill begins, understanding the community and the laws are important to the safety of everyone. Remember to wear bright clothing, reflectors, safety lights or anything that keeps you visible whether cycling or walking or even simply waiting for transit.
Cycling: New bike laws now allow motorists to cross a solid line in the road to pass a cyclist as long as the opposite lane is clear. Bicycle laws also include making sure to have a white light on the front of the bike and a red light on the back of the bike. Please wear bright clothing or safety vest if possible when cycling and remain aware of traffic behind and in front- and remember that rules of the road apply to both motorists and cyclist. Please park bicycles either in bike corrals, or at bike racks and always lock the bicycle.
Pedestrians: Remember to walk on sidewalks whenever available. If there are not sidewalks, please walk facing traffic. Wear bright clothing and flashing light if possible. And use crosswalks to get to other side of street- in Chapel Hill it is law to use crosswalks. Be sure to press the button, when available, at crosswalks to indicate you will be crossing, but proceed with caution in case a motorists fails to see you as you cross.
Transit: Give operator notice of upcoming needed stop by pushing notice bar on sides of bus. Also, sit on buses when seats are available and enter at front of bus and always exit at rear of bus. When standing at a transit stop, stay back away from curb and if possible have a flashing light for visibility. Make sure operator is aware if you will be placing a bicycle on the front of bus as well as removing the bike from the bus.
Motorists: Cyclists are allowed to use a full lane of the roads but also are required by law to follow the same rules as motorists. Be watchful for cyclists using bike lanes and remember to share the road at the sharrow markings. Awareness of those that might forget or not be aware of best practices when walking or cycling is always important- watch out for everyone’s safety. NC Law gives pedestrians the right away at all times.
Other: Skateboarding is not for streets, but rather for sidewalks when not interfering with safety of pedestrians. When there is no sidewalk available, be aware of traffic and yield to motorist. When approaching a crosswalk, please dismount the skateboard while crossing. Please try to rollerblade so as to not bring harm to those walking and be aware of cyclists and motorists at all times.
Thank you for being aware of others and practicing safety at all times. Welcome to the new school year in Chapel Hill, NC!