Goal #1: Motorists Will Share the Road

Goal #2: Bicyclists Will Ride Safely

Goal #3: Bicyclists Will Wear Helmets

Goal #4: The Legal System Will Support Safe Bicycling

Goal #5: Roads and Paths Will Safely Accommodate Bicyclists


Bicyclists Will Ride Safely

Bicycle safety education is more than just learning how to balance on two wheels. It involves knowledge, skills, and decision-making ability in traffic. It assumes that individuals -- both children and adults -- can learn to make appropriate decisions in a variety of complex traffic situations. Unfortunately, many cyclists and motorists do not place the same value on cyclist education as on driver education, even though they share the same road. By teaching cyclists the necessary knowledge and skills to cycle safely, bicycle safety education can be a useful means of preventing injuries and deaths. Safety instruction is already a component of many such programs. The most effective programs need to be identified and their use encouraged.

Strategy #1 Create a national "Ride Safely" marketing campaign targeted toward bicycle riders.

Action Steps

  1. Evaluate the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the campaign.
  2. Identify the themes, content, and target audiences for the campaign.
  3. Determine channels of delivery to reach diverse populations (i.e., different ages; ethnicities; genders; lifestyles; disabilities; geographic locations, especially rural populations).
  4. Create messages that provide accurate, culturally acceptable, and developmentally appropriate bicycle safety messages through multimedia sources.
  5. Develop state press kits and model products that advocate safe bicycling.
  6. Encourage bicycle retailers, hospitals, and corporations to sponsor the program and publicize bicycle rules of the road.
  7. Evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign.

Strategy #2 Encourage statewide bicycle safety conferences to promote the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety.

Action Steps

  1. Recruit organizations to sponsor statewide conferences focused on implementation of the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety.
  2. Bring individuals and organizations together to develop state and local strategies for bicycle safety.
  3. Assist interested states in conference planning to encourage compatibility with the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety.
  4. Create mechanisms that publicize and allow for coordination of state conferences and bicycle safety efforts.

Strategy #3 Expand school-based and community-based programs that teach bicycle safety to children and adult bicyclists.

Action Steps

  1. Create a national clearinghouse to compile bicycle safety education resources (e.g., parks and recreation programs, rodeos, after-school programs, health and safety fairs, faith-based programs, workplace safety programs).
  2. Develop needed additional educational materials (e.g., model curricula, books, video games, service-learning activities) to address bicycle safety education.
  3. Disseminate programs to teachers and community-based educators and encourage them to incorporate bicycle safety content into their classes.
  4. Require bicycle and traffic safety in educational and other relevant settings such as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, HEAD Start programs, and after-school programs.

Strategy #4 Educate community professionals on effective ways to promote safe bicycling.

Action Steps

  1. Convene a committee to develop and encourage educational programs targeted at local government officials, health professionals, criminal justice professionals (i.e., law enforcement, judges), traffic engineers, and others who can influence safe bicycling.
  2. Identify and evaluate existing bicycle safety materials or other community-based programs to determine if they can be adapted for these audiences.
  3. Disseminate successful programs in order to foster replication.
  4. Identify resources and a process for funding pilot projects focused on community leaders.

Strategy #5 Motivate decision makers at all levels to adopt policies that promote safe bicycling.

Action Steps

  1. Determine and publicize the economic, health, and community benefits of bicycle safety.
  2. Research the content and effectiveness of existing policies and the desired outcomes from new policies or policy changes.
  3. Draft model bicycle safety policies that can be adapted by decision makers in government, education, medicine, law enforcement, public health, etc.
  4. Create informational materials and an approach to engage policy makers and stakeholders in endorsing safe bicycling policies.