Comparing the risks to the health benefits, bicycling is already better than driving. But one clear way to make it even more so is to make our roads safer for cyclists. New York State is looking to take one big step forward on this. It may soon pass legislation making a bike safety class a requirement in order to get a driving license.
“The New York State Senate is expected to vote in favor of the Bill 8487 during the next legislative session in January,” BikeRadar reports.
“Pointing things out to people in an educational setting goes a long way to making people aware. And it is all as simple as looking for a split second before you open a door,” said Joe Sharkey, a Brooklyn Cyclists and Time’s Up! Volunteer who worked with the Senator Eric Adams and his office to promote the bill. “The unit proposed would be to raise awareness of all vulnerable road users, not just cyclists.”
Of course, to make cycling even safer, such a course would be useful if provided to an even broader portion of the population.
“The course should also be a part of traffic school for reckless drivers who endanger pedestrians and cyclists,” Sharkey said. “It should be mandatory for all city and state agencies which operate motor vehicles in New York that use tax dollars such as the police, responsible for traffic law enforcement, who often look the other way when vulnerable street users are carelessly put at risk, could do a better job with this training.”
And, more than anything, to make drivers more attentive to cyclists and improve the safety of our roads, we need to get on a bike and encourage others to do so as well.
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