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« We owe a lot to the bicycle | Main | Generations »
Thursday
May062010

AAA Encourages Motorists to Share the Road

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

 

                     

Reader Comments (5)

GOOD LUCK is all I can say, Colorados Gov Ritter a very strong cyclists passed the 3 feet law some time ago, I have yet to see ANY motorist obey OR observe this! UNTILL the States post signs, telling motorist about this, nothing will change.In Utah I have seen signs,but thats about it. EDUCATION and RESPECT for cyclist IS going to take some time, AND hopefuly NO DEATHS. John Crump

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Crump

This is good — a sign of changing attitudes.

I wish AAA, and others, would say "a minimum of 3 feet" or something to that effect, because that's all the 3 feet is in my state — the legal minimum.

Good drivers should give more space.

Still, can't complain ... thank you, AAA.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRider

This is great to hear. I thought you might be interested to know that here in Oregon AAA actually gives service to cyclists. They won't repair a bike or change a flat, but they will transport you up to 25 miles from where you break down. A nice thought if nothing else.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Hmmmm, AAA is speaking out of both sides, then. Here in DC they are coming out strongly against bike lanes.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim

One reason for the change is that more media members and politicians are riding. Former President Bush gave up running for a bicycle, former Houston Mayor and current Democratic nominee for governor Bill White is an avid cyclist as is State Senator Rodney Ellis. This is just Houston. I'm sure the same is true elsewhere.

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTexasYankee

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