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Iowa Safety Education

Each year throughout the state of Iowa, Troopers of the Safety Education Unit of the Department of Public Safety's Iowa State Patrol Division provide bicycle safety education to several thousand bicycle riders.

Daily NonpareilOnline, Iowa

The programs are designed to enhance the rider's ability as well as educate them on what to look for and how to avoid accidents.

During 2004, Troopers of the Safety Education Unit conducted more than 247 programs to more than 9,569 participants of various ages. The State Patrol's dedication to bicycle safety comes in part from its cooperative effort with RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Beginning today, the Iowa State Patrol will have two officers participating in RAGBRAI - Sgt. Regina Clemens and Sgt. Dan Schaffer.

Every year several thousand bicyclists travel across the state enjoying Iowa's hospitality and beautiful scenery. In conjunction with RAGBRAI, a list of 10 rules of etiquette and safety has been developed as part of an overall "Ride Right" bicycle safety campaign.

* Use the right stuff. Keep your bicycle in good repair.

* Bring along the right gear. Wear a protective helmet and bright clothing.

* Use the right communications. Signal your turns and stops and sound off when passing.

* Practice the right riding. Stop off the road surface. Don't weave, don't draft, ride to the right, turn left from the center of the roadway and park completely off the roadway.

* Observe the legal right. Obey traffic laws.

* Use the right frame of mind. Use your brain when riding, stay alert to what's going on around you. Pace yourself.

* Make sure you have the right abilities. Don't drink and ride.

* Come prepared with the right attitude. Be considerate, be a predictable rider, be courteous to passing vehicles and other bicyclists.

* Exhibit the right attention. Keep your head up and ears open, give the right away to emergency vehicles, be aware of loose gravel, avoid wide cracks in the pavement, look out for railroad tracks and cross them at right angles.

* Ride RAGBRAI in the right condition. Get yourself in good physical shape.

The great majority of bicycle fatalities result from collisions between a bicycle and a automobile. Most bike/car crashes occur at intersections and driveways.

Although there are many factors involved, statistics suggest that cyclists may be at fault in the majority of these accidents. The good news is that accidents can be avoided if you know what to look for and what to do.

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14907732&BRD=2703&PAG=461&dept_id=555106&rfi=6

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