When riding your bicycle on Fort Bragg, or on any of the roads around the installation, bicyclists must take precaution. On many of the roads surrounding Fort Bragg there is increased traffic of large military vehicles going and coming from ranges and training areas.
“The bottom line up front is that bicyclists will adhere to the same rules that apply to motor vehicles,” explained Joe Hafner, from the Installation Safety Office. “There isn’t anything specific in writing at this time that identifies ‘off limit areas’ for bicycles other than the rule of no POV’s (privately own vehicles) on ranges.”
According to the safety office, the roads outside Army check points are public access roads, even if they are technically on Fort Bragg land. What does this mean for bicyclists? Bicyclists are allowed to ride on roads such as Longstreet, but must adhere to the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Regulation 385-10, section 5-7 and North Carolina Bicycle Laws. Currently the Fort Bragg regulation is being re-written, but is in effect until a new regulation has been approved.
To protect bicyclists, the regulation states:
North Carolina traffic laws require bicyclists to:
Ride on the right in the same direction as other traffic
Obey all traffic signs and signals
Use hand signals to communicate intended movements
Equip their bicycles with a front lamp visible from 300 feet and a rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 200 feet when riding at night.
Wear a bicycle helmet on public roads, public paths and public rights-of-way if the bicyclists is under 16 years old.
Secure child passengers in a child seat or bicycle trailer if under 40 pounds or 40 inches
Motorists also have to remember that they must share the road ways with bicyclists, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving a compact car or a large, military, five-ton truck.
“When you’re operating a large vehicle, there are a lot more blind spots and you have to take extra precautions when operating it,” said Sgt. James Riggs, 16th Military Police motor pool clerk and expert on operating large military vehicles. “If a bicyclist or motorcycle is in a lane that you need, slow down and yield to them. Let them go ahead. Don’t think that since you’re bigger than them you can cut them off. Share the road.”
Riggs also offered some advice to bicyclists on busy military traffic areas.
“Always wear the proper protective equipment and you have to understand that since we are big vehicles, it takes longer for us to slow down. So, you have to be very conscious of all vehicles,” Riggs added.
For more information on North Carolina bike laws, visit www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/lawspolicies/laws/. For more information on Fort Bragg bike laws, call 396-4677.