It's Bike Fest Month in Tucson, which means events are scheduled for bicycling promotion, education and exercise, but also prime time to review some rules of the road for two- and four-wheelers.
In 2013, Tucson Police Department estimates it responded to about 180 crashes involving bicycles and vehicles, said Officer Brandon Tatum, a spokesman for TPD. The department only responds to crashes with injuries, he said.
So far in 2014, the numbers are slightly down, with three fewer crashes between bicycles and vehicles than the same time last year, Tatum said.
Some of the misconceptions among bicyclists are that they can ride wherever they want, Tatum said, citing his experience as a traffic officer.
"You have to drive the bicycle similar to how the vehicles drive, you have to follow vehicle laws," he said. That means driving on the street, not the sidewalk, the same direction as traffic, and stopping at signals and signs, he added.
Drivers are responsible for sharing the road, as well.
"They should be aware that bicycles are going to travel in the same direction," he said, which should require heightened attention at left and right turns to watch for a bicyclist nearby.
Arizona law can be vague in some areas, Tatum said. For instance, it requires a light on the front of a bicycle and a reflector on the rear of the bike, but it doesn't require reflective clothing to make a cyclist easier to see, he said.
TPD recommends cyclists wear reflective clothing, especially on their legs, to draw drivers' attention. Also, he said, lights on the rear of the vehicle can make a cyclist more visible to drivers at night.
Bicyclists are supposed to ride "as close to the curb as possible," Tatum said, and drivers should use common sense to give them enough room when passing.