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.

NEW BIKE SECTION OF THE COLORADO DRIVERS' HANDBOOK (pdf)

NEW 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. But...

It's clear, 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.