Big Safety Impact: Latest Driver Education Successes

Image credit: SFMTA


The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is a leading source of street safety education in the city. In addition to equipping people who bike with skills to bike confidently and safely, we also work with professional drivers who spend the most time behind the wheel on our city’s streets.

Our members named driver education a top priority in this year’s member survey, and we’ve worked hard at ramping up efforts to increase professional drivers’ abilities to navigate our streets safely. We are proud to share recent successes of our work with the City on the Large Vehicle Driver Training program.

Last year, we announced a new partnership with the City to expand the training options available to drivers of large vehicles, such as trucks, buses and fleet vehicles. Alongside our Vision Zero Coalition partner Walk San Francisco, we’ve worked with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) to ensure the Large Vehicle Driver Training Program addresses the major concerns of people biking and walking, and reaches as many professional drivers as possible. Funding for this effort was provided by the SFMTA and the SFCTA.

Our work on the SFMTA’s Large Vehicle Driver Training Program consisted of three main tasks: assisting in the production of a Large Vehicle Urban Driving Safety video, inviting companies who employ large vehicle drivers to employ the video in their driver training programs, and working with the SFMTA to create and deliver a professional driver training program for all City-employed large vehicle drivers, as well as private fleet operators.

The curriculum for the Large Vehicle Urban Driving Safety video was developed alongside a working group of various City agencies and regional partners who operate fleets of large vehicles including: the SFMTA, the SF Public Utilities Commission, SF Public Works, SF General Services Agency, SF Recreation and Parks Department, the California Trucking Association, Recology, commuter shuttle providers, tour bus companies and several other private companies. This working group focused on using their areas of expertise to make sure the Large Vehicle Driver Training program’s guidelines were strong and effective, to ensure that we’re improving the safety of our streets.

So far, we have contacted nearly 200 local and regional companies, including commercial transit fleets, tour buses, airport shuttles, food trucks, delivery fleets, construction companies, trucking associations and more. Following our outreach, as well as additional outreach done by the California Trucking Association and other stakeholders, over 3,900 professional large vehicle drivers have viewed the training video.

Additionally, we have presented the training program we developed to City agencies including the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco International Airport and San Francisco Fire Department, in addition to the private waste management contractor Recology. We also worked with SF Public Works, the SF Public Utilities Commission, and SF Recreation and Parks to ensure that their driver trainers were equipped to conduct these trainings themselves.

This work is part of our broader Driver Training and Outreach program, through which we have personally taught over 2,000 professional drivers – including taxi drivers, Recology truck drivers, Google and Genentech shuttle bus drivers and AutoReturn tow truck drivers – how to share our streets safely with people on bicycles. 

Want to get your company involved? We would love to help your company operate large vehicles in the safest manner possible for your drivers and everyone who uses our streets. If you’re interested in our training, please fill out our request form.

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