IDOT, League of Illinois Bicyclists
team up to create bike safety video
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Goal is to teach beginning drivers to share the
road with bicyclists
[OCT. 21, 2006]
CHICAGO -- To increase safety for bicycle riders,
the Illinois Department of Transportation and the League of Illinois
Bicyclists are distributing 2,000 DVDs free of charge to Illinois
high schools, private driving schools and law enforcement agencies
to educate drivers on how they should share the road with
"The main thrust of this project is [to] teach beginning drivers
what they should and should not do when they encounter bicyclists on
the road," said Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Tim
Martin. "By teaching new drivers the rules of the road for motorists
and bicyclists alike, they can begin a lifetime of safe driving,
which can mean fewer fatalities and injuries on our roads."
added: "This video comes at an important time in Illinois. After
seeing a decline in traffic deaths involving bicyclists in 2005, the
numbers so far this year are on the rise. Our fervent hope is that
the video will help to make our highways, roads and streets safer
IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety funded the project with a
$20,000 grant to the League of Illinois Bicyclists, a statewide
advocacy group that produced and distributed the video, entitled
"Share the Road -- Same Road, Same Rules, Same Rights."
"The first and most important thing for drivers to know is that
bicyclists have the same legal rights and responsibilities on the
road as motorists," said Ed Barsotti of Aurora, executive director
of the League of Illinois Bicyclists. "Once drivers understand and
accept that, they will know what to do when they encounter
bicyclists on the road."
The video, about seven minutes long, is narrated by Robbie
Ventura, a retired professional racer and former teammate of Lance
Armstrong on the former U.S. Postal Service team. Ventura was also a
commentator on the Outdoor Life Network's coverage of the 2006 Tour
de France. Ventura owns and operates Vision Quest Coaching, which
trains bicyclists, triathletes and runners at three locations in the
Chicago area and downstate in Bloomington.
"As a cyclist who has trained long hours on the road, I know that
sharing the road is an absolute must," Ventura said. "As long as
motorists and bicyclists follow the traffic laws, everyone will get
where they [are] going safely and without incident."
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The video highlights a number of danger zones for motorists and
bicyclists and provides instruction how to get through these zones
The danger zones are:
cyclists too closely. Motorists should pass cyclists with three
feet or more of space.
to yield when making right and left turns in front of
parked cars opening their doors into bicyclists.
driveways, alleys or side streets without looking for cyclists
in the roadway or on sidewalks and side paths.
moving farther into a lane when the lane is too narrow for
motorists to pass safely.
moving farther into a lane to avoid dangerous road conditions,
such as broken glass, bad pavement and storm grates.
across lanes in traffic to make proper left turns.
ride illegally against the traffic.
The video has been provided to more than 900 police departments
and sheriff's offices throughout Illinois for use in training
traffic officers and to share with motorists and bicyclists in their
communities. The balance is being distributed to high schools and
private driving schools.
The League of Illinois Bicyclists expresses its appreciation to
IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety, the Illinois High School and
College Driver Education Association, the Illinois secretary of
state's office, and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation for their
support in producing the video.
Department of Transportation news release]