With Daylight Saving Time in full swing, it’s more important than ever for drivers to be careful while commuting to and from work in the dark, and for pedestrians and bicyclists to make sure they are visible.
In fact, thousands of children in Kern County will walk, bike, wait at the bus stop, and even drive to school in the extended dark periods. Others may exercise, walk their pets, or drive about in the evening hours. Safety advocates argue that Daylight Saving Time increases pedestrian and bicycle injuries, car accidents, and deaths.
Enter Project Light up the Night. The annual program hosted by the local bicycle advocacy nonprofit aims to make Kern County’s roads a little safer for drivers and cyclists by giving out free bicycle lights, helmets, and safety lessons at various locations throughout Bakersfield and Kern County.
Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to support Project Light up the Night each year by providing the helmets and lights, and are joined by Kern Family Health Care as a sponsor of the program.
“We all need to understand the added dangers that come with the commuting in the dark,” said David Cohn, managing partner with Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “Drivers need to be extra careful to watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, and they need to make sure they’re seen by motorists.”
Bike Bakersfield representatives will be handing out the free helmets and lights on select Thursdays throughout Kern County. Bicyclists must have their bicycle on hand to receive a safety light and helmet. The 2018 dates this year are as follows:
- 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Bike Bakersfield (1708 Chester Ave.)
- 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Standard Park (301 E. Minner Ave.)
- 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov, 15, at Greenfield Resource Center (5400 Monitor St.) and Bike Arvin (1241 Bear Mountain Ave.)
- 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, in location to be determined.
- 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, in location to be determined.
California law states that any cyclist riding at night needs to have a white headlamp, a red rear reflector, white or yellow reflectors on the pedals, and white or yellow reflectors on each side. The safety equipment is vital, especially in Bakersfield and Kern County, which has seen a rash of bicycle-related accidents in recent years.
In fact, earlier this year, the City of Bakersfield announced a “Bicyclist and Pedestrian Safety Plan,” a partnership with California Department of Transportation to examine the city’s roadways and determine which are the most dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians. The goal was to recommend design improvements, including more bike lanes, more signage, and new pedestrian and bike paths away from traffic.
For years, Chain | Cohn | Stiles has advocated and fought to raise awareness of bicycle, pedestrian and driver safety throughout the streets Bakersfield and Kern County.
AAA offers several tips for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians traveling at night. Here are just a few of them:
- Slow down.
- Keep vehicle headlights and windows clean.
- Do not use high beams when other cars or pedestrians are around.
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks and do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.
PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS
- Cross only at intersections. Look left, right and left again and only cross when it is clear. Do not jaywalk.
- Cross at the corner, and not in the middle of the street or between parked cars.
- Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
- Evaluate the distance and speed of oncoming traffic before you go out into the street.
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing if you are walking or biking near traffic at night. Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.
- Avoid listening to music or make sure it is at a low volume so you can hear danger approaching.
- Bicycle lights are a must-have item for safe night riding.
If you or someone you know is involved in a bicycle accident at the fault of someone else, please contact the lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com to submit a contact form.
- Bike Bakersfield gives away free safety equipment to locals (KGET-17, NBC – Nov. 1, 2018)
- Bike Bakersfield give away free bike lights (KERO-23, ABC – Nov. 2, 2018)
- Bicycle helmet and light giveaway (KGET-17, NBC – Nov. 14, 2018)
- Bike Bakersfield and Bike Arvin to host Project Light Up The Night on Thursday (The Bakersfield Californian – Nov. 13, 2018)