Despite many of the recent improvements on our streets giving people on bikes separate road space, people biking and driving still need to do so respectfully throughout our city. That’s one of many reasons why we’re committed to educating professional drivers, who spend more time on our streets than do others, how to share them safely with people biking.
Since 2014, the SF Bicycle Coalition has taught over 2,000 professional drivers – including taxi drivers, Recology truck drivers, Genentech and Google shuttle bus drivers, and AutoReturn tow truck drivers – how to share the roads safely with people on bicycles.
Last month, your SF Bicycle Coalition had the pleasure of training over 200 Google shuttle bus drivers how to navigate our city safely around people on bikes. Some folks were brushing up on our 2014 training for Google shuttle bus drivers, while many more recent hires were seeing the material for the first time.
The hour-long training covered the most common concerns for people driving around those on bikes: How to turn across a bike lane, safely loading and unloading on a street with a bike lane, and using mirrors to look for people biking. We also covered bicyclists’ rights, including the three-foot passing law. From the driver’s perspective, we discussed difficulties seeing people biking in blind spots and the need for people biking to pass right-turning vehicles on the left.
For the first time, we surveyed the drivers attending our training to see how well our education efforts were meeting their needs. We’re pleased to report that drivers overwhelmingly found the course valuable and applicable to their job. After taking the class, over 80 percent of drivers reported having a better understanding of the rights of people on bikes, the top causes of bike-car collisions and how to use common bicycle infrastructure.
To support our ongoing education programs, consider also becoming a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition.