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Bicycles can be dangerous, too

Usually when we think about pedestrian accidents we think of people on foot getting hit by cars and trucks. However, pedestrian accidents can also be caused by bicyclists, which is exactly what happened in Glendale earlier this month.

According to police, a 64-year-old woman was legally crossing at Brand Boulevard and Caruso Avenue in a marked crosswalk when a bicyclist traveling southbound on Brand did not stop at a stoplight and collided into the woman.

The woman was thrown to the ground and hit her head on the pavement. She suffered serious head and facial injuries that required surgery, police said. Making matters worse, the bicyclist fled the scene.

Bicyclists must follow traffic laws

There are many bike safety advocates who fight to make sure that bicyclists can travel on the roadways safety. But part of keeping bicyclists -- and pedestrians -- safe is the requirement that they follow the traffic laws.

Just like vehicles, when bicycles approach an intersection, they do not have the right of way and must yield to crossing traffic or pedestrians. They also must follow all street signs, signals and traffic markings, and they must yield to traffic if they want to change lanes.

When bicyclists fail to follow the traffic laws they can be ticketed. If they end up causing an accident like the one in Glendale recently, they can even face civil and criminal liability.

A person on foot is no match for a person on a bicycle, especially when you consider that the average recreational road biker moves at 17 to 18 miles per hour. The only way that everyone -- including pedestrians, bicyclist and motorists -- can stay safe is by following the traffic laws.

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