Law enforcement offers bike safety tips in wake of Merrill incid - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Copy-Law enforcement offers bike safety tips in wake of Merrill incident


Local law enforcement as well as bike safety experts are reminding the public about safe riding practices.

This, as the weather warms up - and a close call occurred in Merrill Sunday night, where a 9-year-old cyclist and a police cruiser were involved in a crash.

They cyclist only received minor injuries, according to police.

State Patrol knows it could have been much worse.

"It's a bicycle versus a car," said Sgt. Jon Pederson. "So it usually doesn't end well."

With an uptick of riders on the road, experts want to remind bikers about the little things they can do to keep themselves safe.

"To be visible, that's the big one," said Pederson.

"If it's bright, sunny daylight, there's a lot of color competing out there for the human eye to pick up," added John Nowaczyk, the store manager of Trek's Bike Store in Wausau. "So the high [visibility] stuff is the best."

Nowaczyk advised wearing neon colors on the road, and using a light - regardless of the time of day.

"You want to run lights, and not just at night. Lights are not just about nighttime, they're about being seen," he said. "At 45 mph, it takes a driver like four seconds to recognize something in the road, and then they're on top of you."

For kids - a big tip is being sure not to carry too much.

"So kids are in their cleats and have backpacks full of bats and baseballs, and they're trying to hold a glove and their water bottle," said Deputy Chief Emily Dobeck of the Mosinee Fire Department. "And they're just darting out because they can't stop, and they can't hold onto the handlebars."

Cities and towns differ when it comes to where bikes can and can't ride.

You can check with your city's website for specific information. 

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