The California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety are embarking on a month-long campaign to encourage all motorists to share the road with bicyclists.
“The goal of the ‘Roll Model’ campaign is to educate motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians about the rules of the road and encourage everyone to act responsibly,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “It is especially important for bicyclists to be visible when riding with traffic and for motorists to use extra caution when approaching driveways and making turns at intersections.”
May’s traffic safety campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration follows a significant increase in the number of people killed in collisions involving bicycles. According to Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System data, there were 142 bicyclists killed in California in 2011. That number is 5 percent of the total collision fatalities in California.
On Feb. 3, a cyclists was killed in an accident on Fulkerth Road near Bystrum Road when cyclist Jose Borges, 39, of Hilmar, was struck by a passing motorist.
Beginning Sept. 16, a new California law requires drivers give bicyclists three feet of clearance when passing, or a driver must slow down and wait until passing would not endanger a cyclist’s safety.
In March, Caltrans released the California Household Travel Survey, which found that the percentage of California residents walking, bicycling, or using public transportation on a daily basis has more than doubled since 2000.
“More Californians are walking and biking and it is everyone’s responsibility to save lives by avoiding distracted driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “When all travelers pay attention and share the road, it helps curb collisions and improve transportation safety.”
CHP and OTS say that being a “Roll Model” means:
-Riding and driving focused – never distracted.
-Riding and driving prepared – and always expecting the unexpected.
-Putting safety first – we never know when a crash will occur. Regardless of skill level or age, always wear a helmet on a bicycle and a seat belt in a car.
-Sharing the road – both motorists and bicyclists should look out for one another and show mutual respect.
For additional tips on safe cycling, read a previous TurlockCityNews.com article on cycling safety.
For more information on pedestrian and bicycle safety, visit the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center at http://www.pedbikeinfo.org.