Implementing public information/awareness programs:
The Department and other appropriate institutions should seek to acquaint the public with the benefits of cycling and increase acceptance of the bicycle as a legitimate mode of transportation. The public should be encouraged to consider using bicycles for transportation. It should be made clear that bicycling is a viable mode of transportation, rather than an unusual activity.
Implementing motorist information programs:
While motorists would be affected by a broad-based public awareness program, they have special information needs that must be addressed in a more targeted program. The delivery of information to motorists should begin when they prepare to obtain licenses and should continue throughout their driving careers.
Information related to bicycle operation and road-sharing techniques should be included in driver's education curricula and in state-issued drivers' manuals. Licensing written exams should have questions related to motorist-bicyclist interactions. Behind-the-wheel training should include practice in scanning for bicycles, evaluating bicyclists' behavior, and sharing the road with a variety of vehicles.
An ongoing campaign to provide all motorists with information related to bicyclists' use of the roadway should be initiated. Such information should be distributed through flyers enclosed with license renewal and vehicle registration letters, and through media campaigns directed specifically to motorists.
Increasing selective enforcement of traffic laws:
Local police departments should conduct regular enforcement campaigns targeted at the most critical violations (in terms of car/bicycle accident causation) by both bicyclists and motorists. This type of program could concentrate on bicyclists riding against traffic, disregarding traffic signals and stop signs, and not lighting bicycles at night, and motorists failing to yield to bicyclists at intersections. This would educate both motorists and bicyclists in the rules of the road and could reduce unsafe operation. Such a program should be accompanied by the development of appropriate fines and penalties for adult cyclists. The major burden of responsibility for this element will lie with local jurisdictions with appropriate support provided by state and federal agencies.
--Bicycle Transportation for Energy Conservation, a report of the Secretary of Transportation to the President and the Congress, April 1980.
Year Accidents Warnings Tickets 1972 41 39 0 1973 27 73 116 1974 33 46 237 1975 69 61 343As a result, Des Plaines decided to adopt the more aggressive bicycle enforcement warden system used by the neighboring town of Niles. In this program during 1975, Niles wardens stopped 6,000 cyclists issued warnings and instructing cyclists in proper bicycling techniques. As a result, their accidents went from 17 to 3. The similarly encouraging results of the revised Des Plaines program are shown below:
Year Accidents Contacts Warnings Tickets 1976 31 1977 28 6,166 4,739 734 1978 18 22,297 3,783 270[As you can see, it is not the summonsing activity which reduced accidents, it was the contact and education provided by the officers.]
--Marda Formann Mayo, Bicycling and Air Quality Information Document, prepared for USEPA by Abt Associates, Sept. 1979.
Cycleway will be officially launched in 1990. Should you wish to obtain further details, contact either your local road safety officer or RoSPA, Cannon House, Priory Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6BS.
--London Cyclist, Jan/Feb 1990. London Cycling Campaign.
Training Teachers to Teach Bicycling:
Toronto has been instructing teachers since 1985 and while the goal is a core bicycle curriculum in the schools, individual leadership development with targeted and interested teachers enhances the Toronto program by developing a core group of teachers who continue to support and contribute to the development of the larger, comprehensive program.
European Cycling Issues:
Data on safety (i.e. taking exposure into account) are not available, but data on accidents are. The group of countries with fewest bicycle accidents -- Netherlands, Great Britain and Sweden, with around 100 fatal accidents in 1985 -- consists of countries with both high and low levels of cycling; thus, bicycle accident rates and bicycle use do not seem to be positively or negatively correlated. Likewise, there is no evident correlation between bicycle accident rates and traffic law enforcement: the Netherlands, where cyclists seem to be subject to the least enforcement of all European countries, are comparatively safe for cycling.
--Jim Freemont, Proceedings from Pro Bike 88. Bike Federation, 1818 R St. NW, Washington, DC. 20009. 202/332-6986.
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Last updated: 7 April 1999