Congratulations to Bike
Denver, Bicycle Colorado and the state Department of Motor Vehicles
on working together to produce new bike-friendly sections for
the Colorado Drivers' Handbook. The new material attempts to
educate drivers about sharing the road with bikes and motorcycles
and even goes into some detail on the causes of common car-bike
crashes. Of course I would like to get my paws on the text and
mess with it a bit to make it even better (as I see it anyway),
but overall it's a good message. This is not lunkhead advocacy.
This is starting to get to the heart of the matter.
BIKE SECTION OF THE COLORADO DRIVERS' HANDBOOK (pdf)
SECTION ON SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES (pdf)
We bike dorks
often talk about the need to educate drivers as well as bicyclists,
and this is a good place to start. Cyclists elsewhere should
expand on this idea for the drivers' manuals in their own states.
in Denver especially, that many of our drivers have never bothered
to procure a license let alone read the manual. It's common for
drivers here to understand the most basic rules of the road while
remaining completely oblivious to the finer points, such as the
proper sequence at a four-way stop. This is much more than an
annoyance. Nationwide about 20 percent of drivers involved in
fatal crashes are said to be unlicensed; a much higher percentage
of hit-and-runners are thought to be unlicensed. Whatever the
percentage, it's higher in Colorado. Attempts at driver education
have to move beyond these official channels and, if at all possible,
hit people right where they live -- television.