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Monday, April 15, 2013

LaHood: Zero Tolerance for Drivers Who Disrespect Cyclists [DC Streets Blog]


Secretary Ray LaHood (left) and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (right) ride along the Riverwalk to kick off U.S. DOT's bike safety summit. Photo: City of Tampa, via Fast Lane
First there was “Click It or Ticket.” Then there was Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Now, U.S. DOT is campaigning to end another life-threatening behavior: disrespecting cyclists.
“We need to develop zero tolerance for people who don’t respect cyclists,” Secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday at the first of two national bike safety summits hosted by U.S. DOT this month. “That’s the campaign we’re kicking off today.”
At yesterday’s summit in Tampa, Florida, LaHood announced a new, long-term, national-level campaign to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through aggressive education, enforcement and engineering.
“It’s simple,” LaHood said yesterday. “When you build a road, build a bike lane. When you’re fixing up your street, build in a bike lane. Do that, and we’ll be supportive of that at the national level.”
“Another simple thing,” LaHood went on. “We need to make sure people driving here have respect for bicyclists. Bicyclists have as much right to the road as they do.”
“If someone is not respectful of cyclists, there’s a penalty,” he said. “That’s it in a nutshell.”
The secretary conceded that improving conditions for bicyclists will not happen overnight, but he made a promise to the more than 200 planners, advocates and bicycle professionals in the audience that U.S. DOT “will not stop until the number of bicyclists killed on our roads is zero.”

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