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Share the road, it's the law

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Now is one of the busiest times of the year for the Finger Lakes, with tourists and seasonal residents on the roads with every day traffic.
But that also means more people cycling, jogging or walking on the side of busy roads. Both have a right to be there, it just means being safe on the road, and the side of the road.
“Basically the idea is to share the highways,” said Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike. He said drivers need to slow down to a safe speed when passing someone on the side of the road. Spike added that when passing someone on a bicycle, not to blare your car horn because it might startle the cyclist and make then swerve into traffic.
Schuyler Sheriff Bill Yessman said drivers need to give cyclists, walkers/runners, and horses and buggies “as much room as possible.” Both sheriffs said that cyclists need to be all the way to the right of the side of the road. Yessman added cyclists need to travel in single file, with the flow of traffic.
“Sometimes you see two (cyclists) riding abreast,” he said, commenting that is not safe.
For walkers/runners, there is one difference. Yessman said that instead of going with the flow of traffic, people not on bikes should be walking against the flow of traffic.
Yessman said that people using the side of the ride should also wear high visibility clothing, and cyclists should of course wear helmets. Yessman explained that fatal accidents happen because of head trauma. He said that when he went out on early morning walks, he took the extra precaution of wearing a traffic vest. Spike added cyclists should also use reflectors at night.
“Motorists can be frustrated when they are forced to slow down,” said Spike. “As well, cyclists worry about cars driving past them.”
“We live in a beautiful area that we can do these things relatively safely,” said Yessman. “There aren’t a lot of accidents.”

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