As the new school year gets underway, the state Department of Transportation has begun their “Be a Roll Model” bicycle safety campaign. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says the number of deaths involving cyclists tripled from 2014 to 2015. He says cyclists need to bike safely and always follow traffic laws.

“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,” Wilson said.

Wilson says helmets are required for children under age 12 and encouraged for all other riders. He says motorists should also be alert and watch out for cyclists, especially in areas where there are no bicycle lanes.

“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,” Wilson said.

Wilson says everyone needs to be safe out on the road, whether on a bike or in a vehicle. He says as students are heading back to school, more bicycles will be out on the road.

“Young people are riding their bikes to school, riding home after school, and we want all of them to have a bright and safe future,” Wilson said.