Bicycles are all over BayCounty this time of the year. It is good for both cyclists and motorists to know the rules of the road.News 13 talks with a law enforcement officer about safety tips for cycling in this Problem Solver report. Officer Jon Constantino of the Panama City Police Department uses it on patrol "I try to get on the bike at least once or twice a day if I can...it depends on the situation." Officer Constantino says a bike gives him a better chance to help remind cyclists he encounters about safety. He says, “the bike...enables you to be seen more…you are out of the patrol vehicle.
Officer Constantino, originally from New Jersey, brought his expertise on cycling patrol and safety to Panama City three years ago. He says cycling accidents can and do happen. Such was the case last Friday in Panama City. Luckily, the cyclist was not seriously injured. Remember, when riding a bicycle…do so with the flow of traffic. Officer Constantino tells us, “we treat the bicycle here as far as ordinances as a vehicle. That’s why we have hand signals. We try to get you to wear helmet. Those hand signals can been seen by drivers behind you if you are trying to make a right turn, left turn if you are trying to stop.”
Protective gear such as a helmet is a key to safe riding...a helmet is required for ages under 16.In addition to bright, visible gear in the daytime, when riding at night, the proper lighting is required on the front of the bike and the rear.
Officer Constantino urges young riders to take advantage of an up-coming safety seminar. He says, “even if we start them young and get them to grow up in the city, knowing the safety of operating a bicycle it will help when they migrate get older.”