Cyclists found an unexpected ally this week when the American Automobile Association (AAA) urged motorists to share the road with cyclists.
Jake Nelson, director, AAA Traffic Safety Policy and Research stated:
“It is important for roadway users to remember that cyclists are granted the same rights and are expected to obey the same laws as motorists.”
The AAA article went on to advise motorists:
• Allow three feet of passing space between your car and the cyclist. Tailgating or honking can startle or fluster a bicyclist, causing them to swerve further into the driving lane.
• Be patient. Remember, cyclists are moving under their own power and can’t be expected to go the same speed as cars.
• Pay special attention to blind spots. Due to their size and the location of bike lanes, bikes can often get lost in a car’s blind spot, so double check before changing lanes, making right-hand turns or before opening your car door on the traffic side when parked.
• Be attentive on side streets and neighborhoods. Children are especially at risk in residential areas. Follow the speed limit, avoid driver distraction and always be aware of your surroundings. It is particularly important to be cautious when backing out of a driveway and onto the street.
• Use good common sense. For example, in inclement weather, give cyclists extra room.
I find it encouraging when probably the largest motoring organization in the world, with 51 million members, issues a statement like this.
I have noticed a change in attitude in the media in general, over this last year, to one of more tolerance towards people who choose to ride bicycles.
I am confident this trend will continue, and it time more people will be encouraged to join the cycling ranks.
Kudos to the AAA