Safety Funds Paying Off in Dividends for Bay Bicyclists

Commuters in San Francisco are benefitting from education courses offered by the Bay Area's Bicycle Coalition. The biggest benefit? Coexistence.

We have the third largest number of bicycle commuters in the country. But that means we are also open to higher percentages of bike accidents. Especially with our winding roads, steep hills and unpredictable weather conditions. Even the most experienced bikers can find challenges on our roads, especially on streets where there are no bicycle designs.

Luckily, the city has teamed with one of the country's largest city-based organizations to help keep bicyclists safe. The city has provided funds for education classes that teach cyclists the importance of bike safety, rules of the road, and the benefits of riding predictable, courteously and confidently. Specialized classes are even offered for whole families, pregnant women and those new to the sport of cycling.

The key is knowing the law. Whether you are driving, biking or even walking, low accident numbers are because the students know and follow the rules of the road. Your rights and responsibilities of obeying traffic laws and knowing the proper lane positioning is crucial. Integrating biking into the daily lives of commuters with the right equipment and accessories is also part of the class curriculum.

In the first three months of the program, more than 200 students participated in classes. Even new taxi driver and Muni operators are learning how to share the road with bike riders through the program.

The overall goal is for all motorists and cyclists to know and understand the rules for all commuters and coexist with respect and safety.

Source: bikeradar.com, "San Francisco funds bike education classes," Peter Suciu, June 4, 2012

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