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Springtime Reminders

April 18, 2017
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Though the calendar says we are firmly in Spring time, the sun hasn't apparently gotten the memo, or is still on Daylight Savings Time, whichever you choose to belive. But, given that April showers bring May flowers, we seem to be on the proper course, so it's time that all of us start thinking Springtime a little more intently.

One of the most common sights you'll see as one is out ant about the community is that our youth are returning to the streets and sidewalks on their bicycles after a long winter. At the same time, a lot of folks are also dusting off the bicycles, getting their training started for the upcoming RAGBRAI trip when it rolls through the southern portion of the county in late July.

With the resumption of bicycles on the streets, motorists need to start seeing the whole picture a lot more, looking purposefully for that bicyclist as you travel the streets and byways. All vehicles need to remember that a bicycle is entitled to share the roadway just as motor vehicles are.

But at the same time, it is also a responsibility of all bicyclists, no matter the age, to observe and follow the traffic laws of the city and state when riding on streets and roadways.

Sometimes, bicyclists 'forget' they are required to stop at stop signs, just like a car must, or yield to traffic. This very situation greeted me Friday morning as I?drove to work on North Lawler - a bicyclist turned off College Drive and pedalled through the stop sign for southbound traffic at the curve on North Lawler, heading south. What troubled me about this was that the cyclist was no child. I recognized the rider, but we'll leave well enough alone on that.

Let us just leave it with this thought - If you're riding your bike, the traffic signs apply to you too. A bicyclist is not exempted from traffic laws. By the same token, motorists need to respect bicyclists and give them room - don't crowd them on the streets.

Along those lines, our area farmers are slowly starting to prepare for the upcoming planting season. As the fields dry and field work commences, extra care needs to be taken as you drive on our rural secondary roads as well.

Farm implements continue to grow in size and sometimes, in the rush to beat the weather, some farmers may not break an implement down completely for transport between fields in close proximity, and may just quickly move from field to field.

Should you come upon a farmer making such a move, give him the room he needs. If it requires pulling into a farm drive to let the implement pass safely, do so. Also, pay attention to flashing amber lights and the orange triangular Slow-Moving-Vehicle warning signs on farm equipment. They have a purpose - to warn the motoring public that the equipment is moving slower than average road traffic and that the driver should exercise caution.

We live in a busy, fast-paced world. But, there is no reason a driver cannot slow down for a few moments, take a little extra care, and allow everyone on the road to arrive at their destination safely.

Enjoy Springtime - but do it safely!



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