Contributed by: Taisha Lewis, Verano Place Housing Assistant
Bicycle use is common for fun, transportation, and exercise in Irvine, and especially among the students in the UCI Community. Bicycle riding has huge benefits for health, convenience, and environment. Still, it is important to remember that bicycle safety is always an issue that Verano residents should remain conscientious of; regarding both bicyclists and the rest of the community.
There are mandated laws enforced by the Irvine and UCI police departments regarding bicycle use. Laws are set in place for both bicyclists, and drivers of vehicles sharing the road with bicyclists. Among them is the recently passed, “The 3 Feet for Safety Act”, which requires drivers going in the same direction as bicyclists on the road to keep a 3 foot distance. Other violations that could result in fees are: bicyclists not wearing a helmet, speeding on a bicycle path, unsafe riding, or riding on the UCI campus. For more information on citations visit: http://bike.uci.edu/enforcement/enforcement.cfm.
Within the community, as a bicyclist or driver, remaining aware of safety is important. Bicycles are not to be held or stored along walkways, stair wells, or in front of doors. These rules are outlined in the Verano Policy handbook and are in place to maintain safety for all residents. There are many designated areas for bike storage within the Verano community that can be used. While riding through the community, one should always remain aware of their speed and others aroud them, especially children. Drivers and bicyclists alike, should follow all traffic rules and stay vigilant in preventing accidents with one another. Especially at night it is important that reflectors are used on bicycles and that bicyclists wear flourescent or white clothing that can easily be seen by others.
As the Verano community is shared by many adolescents, kids bicycle safety is also an important subject. Children are especially vulnerable to accidents and should wear helmets at all times while riding a bicycle, and other safety equipment as needed. Bike should also be adjusted to fit their height, and all parts of the bicycle should be inspected for maintenance and repair as needed. Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult while playing outdoors.
As a last note, register your bike for free with the UCI Police Department and remember to always use a lock while storing your bike. This helps to prevent damage to your bike from being removed and also to deter from the possibility of theft.
A full list of policies regarding bike storage, riding, impound, and registration can be found at: http://sites.uci.edu/veranoplace/policies/.