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Improve New Drivers' Education to Increase Cyclists’ Safety

This petition had 1,167 supporters

My name is Justin, and I am a rising high school senior.  I recently took the on-line training to get my Georgia Driver’s License.  I was surprised to find that out of the 30+ hours of material there was only one slide on awareness of cyclists.  And, even that slide was shared with information on pedestrians.  As a cyclist, racer, and endurance rider, I spend a lot of time on urban and rural roads.  I have seen firsthand how cyclists and drivers become involved in accidents.  I invite you to join me in requesting Governor Deal and Commissioner Mikell, to include more information on this important issue to the new driver training program.  The specifics are below. 

Many thanks - Justin Bridges  

It is no surprise that one-third of all biking crashes involve a car.  The cycling community in Georgia has gone to great lengths to educate riders to be more aware and courteous around cars.  But what about us, the cyclists, and our safety?  In the instances listed below, drivers are either distracted or unaware of our fellow cyclists.    

  • A motorist turning left directly in front of a biker
  • A driver making a right turn without checking the side view mirror (frequently without signaling, which would at least give the cyclist a chance to modify his speed to avoid an incident)
  • A motorist entering traffic from a driveway/parking spot right in front of a cyclist
  • A motorist failing to yield at an intersection/running a stop sign or traffic light
  • A driver or passenger opening the road side door after parallel parking

The Georgia 3-foot law has been a great start.  Promotional campaigns around this simple law have been memorable and hopefully made an impact.  However, as demonstrated above, there are many instances where “3-feet” does not prevent collisions.  While it is difficult and expensive to educate all drivers about these types of situations we can at least make an impact on what new drivers learn.  This petition requests that the Georgia Department of Driver Services add an extra minute or so to its 30+ hour new driver on-line training and testing program.  As of now, the training only addresses the 3-foot law, and that is part of one, single slide. Even that is shared with pedestrian safety.  By law, we share the road; let’s share it safely.

Education about how we can share the road safely may lessen any animosity drivers have toward the cycling population.  It is possible that a great deal of the frustration directed at cyclists is founded in a lack of information about how drivers’ actions affect us.  This knowledge, as part of the required new driver training, could make a huge impact on overall safety and awareness, allowing us to better coexist on our roadways. 

Please sign this petition to support additional new driver training to improve cyclists’ safety.


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