As traffic fatalities are up across the board, bicyclist deaths rose 12.2% in 2015, the largest percentage increase of any other roadway user group that year. To address this troubling trend, Governor’s Highway Safety Association and State Farm® have partnered on a new report, A Right to the Road: Understanding & Addressing Bicyclist Safety. Share & Be Aware is highlighted as an education model and will be part of a webinar on the report. A webinar detailing the report’s findings and suggestions will be held on August 29th at 2 p.m. Eastern. Registration is available at http://bit.ly/2uInbHw.
However, the program is facing an uncertain future due to changes in the last transportation bill. Approximately 80 percent of Share & Be Aware campaign costs has been funded by the state’s Highway Safety Improvement Program with donors and the Bike Fed funding the other 20%. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau Of Transportation Safety is working to identify a new funding source for FY 2018 as a result of the FAST Act prohibition on using HSIP funds for non-infrastructure initiatives (Fischer et al., 2016). Donors are invited to support this model education program as well.
The report analyzes national data to understand fatal bicyclist-motor vehicle crash characteristics, offering 30 actions steps to help State Highway Safety Offices and local communities assess and improve their current bicyclist safety programs.
Chief among these recommendations are collecting better crash data, increasing training for law enforcement to understand laws designed to protect bicyclists, partnering with bicycling and community organizations to amplify safety messaging, and coupling infrastructure improvements with public education campaigns.
The comprehensive report was authored by traffic safety expert Pam Fischer, with data analysis performed by Richard Retting of Sam Schwartz Transportation Consultants.