Bicycle safety is becoming a bigger issue in the state of Louisiana. With school children returning to the classroom over the next few weeks there will certainly be a greater number of school age children and college students taking their bikes to class.

Riding a bicycle is a great way to get where you need to get. Many countries in Europe have more bicycle riders than they have automobile drivers. This increase in traffic and the fact that bikes and cars share common roadways means there needs to be an added emphasis on safety.

This is where the Louisiana Department of Transportation's participation in a new program called "Be A Roll Model" comes into play.

Riding your bicycle with a helmet, including lights if you’re travelling at night, but also using hand signals and travelling with traffic. Those are very important things to consider.

That advice comes courtesy of DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson as reported by the Louisiana Radio Network.

Secretary Wilson suggested this new safety campaign is designed to help reverse a very disturbing trend in the state where bicycles are concerned. Since 2014 to 2015 deaths involving cyclist have tripled. 

Secretary Wilson says safety is truly a two way street. The cyclist and the motorist need have a keen understanding of the rules of the road. Obviously the cyclist has got to learn to drive defensively. Motorist should understand that the cyclist does have a claim to their share of the roadway too.

Being alert, giving them their space, and recognizing that they are sharing the road with you, and we want each party to be safe and intact at their destination.

Secretary Wilson advises all motorist to become familiar with streets in their town that have designated bicycle lanes. He also advises motorist to be especially cognizant of bicycle traffic around our schools and universities.