Bicycle safety a concern for international students this summer

Nearly 4,000 international students are making their way to the Grand Strand this summer as part of the J-1 visa program.

The program allows students from other countries to live and work in the United States for several months.

On Tuesday the city held an orientation workshop for the students, focusing on road safety.

Last summer more than ninety percent of the bicycle crashes Myrtle Beach firefighters responded to involved international students.

An international student was also killed after being struck by a bus on Kings Highway, so officials don't want history repeating itself.

"On a bicycle they need to be aware of the safety factors and a lot of the students come from different countries where this is the first time they're on a bicycle so we really want to highlight that," said Myrtle Beach Crime Prevention Officer Pete Woods.

Woods tells the students to not only be aware of themselves, but drivers who are also unfamiliar with the area.

"People aren't as diligent because they're on vacation and they're driving haphazardly," Woods explained.

International students Lloyd Agura and John Rojas are here from the Philippines until mid June.

"I'm so excited to meet other personalities here in USA and I'm very excited to work," Rojas explained.

For them, bicycle accidents are not too big of a concern this summer. They explained when they need to get around, they'd rather walk.

"Actually the convenience stores are very near and it's easy for us to walk," Agura explained.

Woods' best advice for drivers is just to be aware, and give bicyclists a lot of space when you drive around them.

Although it isn't mandatory, officers remind cyclists to always wear a helmet. They say make sure to use bicycle lanes wherever you can.