Keep Louisville Safe Campaign - Bicycle Safety
Monday October 13, 2008
Mayor Jerry Abramson and LMPD Chief Robert White today announced more initiatives designed to raise awareness and safety for both bicyclists and motorists. Today's announcement follows several other projects such as the Bike Project Maps, a 5 million dollar grant for bike and pedestrian improvements, and the Bike Louisville website.
Collisions and injuries are often a top concern for bicyclists as evidenced by the 153 bicycle crashes that the LMPD responded to in 2007. So far this year, police have responded to 122 collisions involving bicycles. Ninety-two of these collisions resulted in injuries and 3 of them resulted in a bicyclist losing his or her life. Abramson and White both agree that the public education campaign could play a key role in helping to reduce those numbers.
"As our reputation for being a great town for biking grows, more people will hop on their bikes and hop on the roads," said Abramson. "It's imperative that cyclists and drivers know how to accomodate each other."
Just last week, the police chief, with the assistance of Metro TV and Bike Louisville, videotaped a series of public service announcements that are now airing on all local television stations, including Insight Cable. The public service announcements can also be found at www.louisvilleky.gov by clicking on the link for Bike Louisville. The seven messages include 15 and 30 second spots geared toward motorists and bicyclists. The announcements also have several safety tips such as riding a bicycle with the flow of traffic and not against it and reminding motorists that bicyclists have the same rights of the road as vehicles. "Safety on the road isn't just for motorists, it's for bicyclists too," said Chief White. "It's important that we all educate ourselves on the rules of the road, no matter what our mode of transportation."
The LMPD is currently in the process of developing a 3 to 5 minute roll-call video that will be shown to all the officers throughout the department. The video will focus on traffic laws as they relate to motorists and bicyclists. Officers will be reminded that bicyclists riding at night must use a front light and that motorists should provide a minimum clearance of 3 feet when attempting to pass a bicyclist.
Keep Louisville Safe is a monthly program providing public awareness and safety tips to the residents of Metro Louisville. The program is now in its second year and has addressed such topics as copper thefts, elder abuse prevention, methamphetamine abuse and Campus Watch. Future themes will include Internet predator and DUI prevention.