Ocean View Police Report Uptick in Serious Bicycle Accidents
OCEAN VIEW, Del.- The Ocean View Police Department wants to increase bicycle awareness and safety in the wake of an uptick in serious bicycle accidents.
"[Routes] 26 and 1 are our biggest concerns because that's where the heaviest traffic congestion is," says Sgt. Rhys Bradshaw. "The back roads are also a concern because they don't have bike lanes on a lot of those roadways which forces the bikes to ride more in the roadway instead of on the shoulder."
Bradshaw says there have been two serious crashes recently, and a deadly bike accident in nearby South Bethany last week. Cpl. Brian Caselli says the two accidents--and last year's deadly accident in Ocean View--all happened the same way.
"[There is] heavy traffic going one direction and the bicycle is going in the same direction of the traffic but obviously they don't have anything blocking them," Caselli explains. "Cars going the other direction trying to make a left see this opening from the car that's stopped but they can't see the bike coming."
Caselli says awareness and wearing safe bicycle gear--like lights and helmets--can help cut back on crashes. The Ocean View Police Department provides bike lights for free at their headquarters.
Many locals say the summer J-1 Visa students are the area's largest bicycle population and say the students are more vulnerable to crashes.
"There's probably a little more tolerant [drivers] maybe in Europe where they are from," says Bob Wheeler. "The American drivers...they are getting there but this is the time of year we are going to see lots of bikes so they've got to be cautious and careful of them on the roads."
Other cyclists like Robert Massaro wishes Ocean View had a safer place to cycle, like a bike trail.
"We have an onslaught of the number of people coming down here but the infrastructure has not kept up with the number of people unfortunately," he says.
The Ocean View Police Department asks that drivers and bicyclists pay attention and follow the rules of the road. Some bike safety resources can be found here.