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.
- Evaluate the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the campaign.
- Identify the themes, content, and target audiences for the campaign.
- Determine channels of delivery to reach diverse populations (i.e., different
ages; ethnicities; genders; lifestyles; disabilities; geographic locations,
especially rural populations).
- Create messages that provide accurate, culturally acceptable, and developmentally
appropriate bicycle safety messages through multimedia sources.
- Develop state press kits and model products that advocate safe bicycling.
- Encourage bicycle retailers, hospitals, and corporations to sponsor the
program and publicize bicycle rules of the road.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign.
Strategy #2 Encourage
statewide bicycle safety conferences to promote the National Strategies for
Advancing Bicycle Safety.
- Recruit organizations to sponsor statewide conferences focused on implementation
of the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety.
- Bring individuals and organizations together to develop state and local
strategies for bicycle safety.
- Assist interested states in conference planning to encourage compatibility
with the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety.
- 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.
- 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).
- Develop needed additional educational materials (e.g., model curricula,
books, video games, service-learning activities) to address bicycle safety
- Disseminate programs to teachers and community-based educators and encourage
them to incorporate bicycle safety content into their classes.
- Require bicycle and traffic safety in educational and other relevant settings
such as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, HEAD Start programs, and
Strategy #4 Educate
community professionals on effective ways to promote safe bicycling.
- 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
- Identify and evaluate existing bicycle safety materials or other community-based
programs to determine if they can be adapted for these audiences.
- Disseminate successful programs in order to foster replication.
- Identify resources and a process for funding pilot projects focused on community
Strategy #5 Motivate
decision makers at all levels to adopt policies that promote safe bicycling.
- Determine and publicize the economic, health, and community benefits of
- Research the content and effectiveness of existing policies and the desired
outcomes from new policies or policy changes.
- Draft model bicycle safety policies that can be adapted by decision makers
in government, education, medicine, law enforcement, public health, etc.
- Create informational materials and an approach to engage policy makers and
stakeholders in endorsing safe bicycling policies.