May is National Bike Month, and this year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and AAA are teaming up to launch the annual “Be a ‘Roll’ Model” public awareness campaign, with a focus on bicycle safety.
The focus of the Roll Model campaign is to get parents, grandparents, older siblings and caregivers to commit to demonstrating safe bicycling habits every time they get on a bicycle. This means:
- Riding and driving with focus—never getting distracted
- Riding and driving prepared—always expecting the unexpected
- Putting safety first—always wear a bicycle helmet
- Following the rules of the road—remember that a bicycle is required to follow motor vehicle laws , including all traffic signs and signals
- Sharing the road—all vehicle drivers, cars and bicyclists, need to be aware and respectful of one another
On that last point—about sharing the road—Nebraska recently passed an important piece of legislation that will help to make the roadways safer for both bikers and motorists alike. Known as the “3 foot passing law”, the legislation requires every vehicle to leave a clearance of three feet between their vehicle and any bicycle or electric assistive mobility device (such as a motorized wheelchair) when passing. That bill was passed on April 4th.
This type of legislation that requires motorists to give bicyclists a safe distance when sharing the road is crucial to making our roadways safer and increasing the use of bicycles as a safe and healthy form of transportation.
Throughout the month of May, there will be several bicycle events across the country, including Bike to School Day on May 9; Bike to Work Week from May 14-18; and Bike to Work Day on May 18.