Chance to advocate for better biking instruction to motorists

From: John B.
Sent on: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 10:40 AM

From the Bicycle Coalition of Maine:

Bicycle Coalition Calls for More Driver Education about Cyclist and Pedestrian Safety

The Maine Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is holding a series of "Conversations with the Community" in January 2012  to get feedback from residents about changes to the drivers education program.  (See schedule below.)  This is a great opportunity for Bicycle Coalition of Maine members to tell the DMV that we want new drivers to learn more about bicycling laws and sharing the road – and we want this topic to become a bigger part of the Maine Drivers Exam.

Here are the coalition's recommendations:

  • Ensure that the bicycling/pedestrian part of the motorist handbook is covered comprehensively and consistently by all instructors in the state.
  • Provide additional training for instructors/examiners on bicycle and pedestrian law and how motorists should share the road with cyclists and pedestrians so that they can better teach this material.
  • Develop better instructional materials, including the use of video and simulations, that focus on how to share the road with cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Add behind-the-wheel instruction on sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Add one or two more questions to the written exam about how to drive around bicyclists and pedestrians and include a bike/ped context in the on-road driver’s test.
  • Keep trained driver education instructors in the program, as opposed to parents, so that we can ensure that their training is consistent and thorough and that they know how to teach students how to share the road with bicyclists.

Coalition members can send written comments to Secretary of State Charles Summers, who oversees the DMV, by emailing [address removed].  Please copy Megan Sanborn  [address removed].

Here are the dates and times for the DMV’s "Conversations with the Community:"

  • Monday, January 9, 2012 @ 6PM, Kennebunk  Motor Vehicle Registry, 63 Portland Rd., Suite 4, Kennebunk.
  • Thursday, January 12, 2012 @ 6 PM,  Portland Motor Vehicle Registry, 125 Presumpscott St, Portland.
  • Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 6 PM, Bangor  Motor Vehicle Registry, Airport Mall, 1129 Union  St. Suite 9, Bangor.
  • Wednesday, January 18, 2012  @ 6 PM, Caribou Motor Vehicle Registry, 14 Access Highway Suite #2, Caribou.
  • Thursday, January 19, 2012@  5:30 PM, Calais Motor Vehicle Registry, 376 North St is a, Calais.

If you plan to attend, please prepare brief remarks.

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