MARYLAND SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAM RECOGNIZES BIKE TO SCHOOL DAY PARTICIPANTS

MDOT SHA Logo

MDOT SHA Logo)

Hundreds of Maryland Students Participating in National Bike to School Day, Wednesday, May 9; Drivers Urged to Pay Close Attention

(May 8, 2018) – Tomorrow May 9, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) urges drivers to be alert for bicyclists around schools during arrival and dismissal times.  Maryland schools will be participating in Bike to School Day events, which encourage non-motorized transportation to school for health, community and environmental benefits.  Bike to School Day is supported through the Maryland’s Safe Routes to School program, which provides funding to support walking and bicycling to and from elementary and middle schools.

National Bike to School Day represents a great way to teach kids about the importance of bicycle safety, as well as promoting physical activity and heightening awareness of how bike-friendly communities thrive.  Bicycling to school helps to reduce greenhouse gasses, reduces traffic congestion and reduced speeding near schools.

MDOT SHA has launched its bicycle safety campaign, Look Out for Each Other, which includes educating motorists on their role in bicycle safety by stressing “A Cyclist Might Be Someone You Know.”

“Bike to School Day is the perfect opportunity for our youngest travelers to explore bicycle commutes, which have both environmental and health benefits,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. “The Safe Routes to School program and Bike to School Day events bring together parents, school administrators and teachers, along with other community groups and agencies to improve the safety of children who walk or bicycle to school.”

Bike to School Day is coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and is part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month.

Maryland Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is managed by MDOT SHA and uses federal funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program. Grants are awarded annually to local government and non-profit organizations on a competitive basis, with consideration based on need and problem identification.

MDOT SHA offers the following tips for Maryland drivers and bicyclists:

For drivers:

• Expect bicyclists on the road and share the road.
 
• Stay vigilant at all times, especially when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
 
• Always follow the speed limit, which may be lowered in designated school zones.
 
• Pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space – it’s the law.
 
• Leave plenty of space between you and the bicyclist in front of you.
 
• Before turning, make sure the path is clear of bicyclists.

For children and adults biking to school:

• Obey the rules of the road, including traffic signals and stop signs.
 
• On a bike, ride with traffic but walk on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic.
 
• Wear a helmet – it’s the law for anyone under age 16, but everyone should to prevent head injury.
 
• Wear reflective material – it makes you more visible to drivers.
 
• Walk your bike across intersections.
 
• Use hand signals.
 
• When walking, use crosswalks and follow pedestrian signal indicators.

For more information on National Bike to School Day, please visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/. For more information on MDOT SHA’s bicycle safety campaign, please visit http://www.roads.maryland.gov/Index.aspx?PageId=357.

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