05 May 2010

A surprising supporter

Cycling has a very surprising supporter, the AAA. 

Yes, the American Automobile Association is encouraging all motorists to respectfully share the road with cyclists.

In recognition of National Bike Month, AAA reminds both motorists and cyclists to be vigilant about sharing the road and the to exercise caution year round.
"It’s important for motorists to remember that cyclists are granted the same rights and are expected to obey the same laws as they are,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs for the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. “AAA appreciates the continued efforts of stakeholders and transportation officials towards making road safer for motorists and cyclists alike.”
The AAA is also urging motorists to exercise exceptional caution when approaching bicyclists with whom they share the road and offers the following tips:
  • Allow three feet of passing space between your car and the cyclist. Tailgating or honking can startle or fluster a bicyclist, causing them to swerve further into the driving lane.
  • Be patient. Remember, cyclists are moving under their own power and can’t be expected to go the same speed as cars.
  • Pay special attention to blind spots. Due to their size and location of bike lanes, bikes can often get lost in a car’s blind spot, so double check before changing lanes, making right-hand turns or before opening your car door on the traffic side when parked.
  • Be attentive on side streets and in neighborhoods. Children are especially at risk in residential areas. Follow the posted speed limit, avoid driver distraction and always be aware of your surroundings. Be particularly cautious when backing out of a driveway and onto the street.
It's nice to see an organization such as the AAA noticing that we are out there on our bicycles, and that our numbers are growing steadily.  I hope that they continue to spread this message to their members, even after Bike month is over.

from an article in NJToday.net

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