Friday, June 10, 2011

Biking Safety Makes Headlines

How popular is biking in Saipan? Legislators have finally taken notice.

Read more from today's Marianas Variety:

Representative Ralph S. Demapan wants to hear from the public regarding a bill he has introduced to ensure the safety of bicycle riders.

In an interview Wednesday, Demapan, Covenant-Saipan, said there have been incidents in which bikers were almost killed by speeding cars that side-wiped them on public roads.

He said it is important to determine whether bikers should be allowed on certain roads. Under House Bill 17-194, no vehicle will be allowed to pass bikers unless the opposite lane is clear from oncoming traffic.

According to the bill, “when a vehicle is overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, the person driving the motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance…not less than three feet.”

Demapan said biking is a popular and healthy recreation in the CNMI and has become a cheap mode of transportation.
But some bikers, he added, often inhibit the flow of traffic which sometimes pose a potential hazard not only to themselves but to the motor vehicle drivers as well.

"It is necessary to establish safety measures for bikers and motor vehicle operators," Demapan said.

For more information about commenting on the bill, call his office at 664-8899.

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