Share the Road is supposed to work both ways.? What is being done to educate bicyclists that they are supposed to obey traffic laws, for example, stopping at red lights? Why do the police never give tickets to bicyclists who break the law?
Response from Courtney Maciasz, economic development/public information officer at the Capital Region Planning Commission:
“Last November, the Capital Region Planning Commission kicked off the ‘Don’t Be a Road Hog’ Bicycle and Pedestrian Public Safety Education Campaign, which is funded through a grant by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
“From the first public meetings to gather input for the Capital Region Bicycle and Pedestrian Public Education Campaign, participating safety advocates requested that the campaign include safety messages directed at bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.
“Activities in our public education campaign routinely remind bicyclists of their responsibilities to be safe on our roads. Our first promotional event was a night ride in conjunction with the Baton Rouge Festival of Lights to remind bicyclists that the law requires them to have lights on both the front and rear of their bicycles when riding at night, and other rides emphasize the importance of bicyclists following the rules of the road.
“Our four campaign messages, which we include in all of our outreach materials, focus equally on the responsibilities of the bicyclist in sharing the road, emphasizing that they should ride with traffic and obey all traffic rules. Bicycle safety advocates, like the Baton Rouge Advocates for Safe Streets and Baton Rouge Bike Club, sponsor rides that seek to teach bike safety and the need to police themselves for greater safety.
“The campaign is developing materials for school age children to teach rules of the road at an early age to help prevent accidents.?In addition, chairman of the CRPC Bicycle and Pedestrian steering committee, Bruce Wickert, notes the grant covers adult education, which is designed to train adults using LAB ‘Traffic 101,’ which he teaches, and violators from above could be referred to. The class covers all aspects of cycling, including practical situation applications of the traffic law.”
Response from Baton Rouge police Sgt. Donald Stone:
“The Baton Rouge Police Department does issue citations to bicyclists as well as warnings. Commuting by bicycle is good for the city, but it does not mean that bicyclists can break the law. Everyone is safer when all commuters obey the traffic laws. Many of the bicyclists officers encounter are juveniles and unaware of the traffic laws pertaining to cyclists. Officers take this opportunity to increase awareness and educate them on traffic laws.”
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