In Minnesota, more than 90 million trips are taken by bicycle each year and millions more walking trips occur. Many of these trips are for transportation purposes and, for some Minnesotans, they are the only affordable means of transportation. With so many interactions between motorists and people walking and biking, educating motorists on best practices could help prevent approximately 50% of the serious and fatal crashes that are the fault of the driver. Since 2008, BikeMN has offered a People Friendly Driver (PFD) program, based in part on the successful bicycle-friendly driver program developed in Fort Collins, Colorado, to promote safe behavior on roadways.
Yesterday evening, BikeMN’s Education Team taught two virtual courses, People Friendly Drivers and Bike Basics classes to participants, with some joining all the way from Vancouver! People Friendly Drivers encourages everyone to recognize that our streets and roadways are public spaces, they are for everybody, and we want people to be able to access and use them safely and responsibly. Ultimately, all people getting from point a to b want to get where they are going safely, and ensuring everyone treats each other with respect and dignity through prioritizing safety, we can make that a reality.
Our People Friendly Drivers course reviews safe driving practices, including top habits to reduce crashes, greatest risk factors, common crash types, and an overview of roadway markings. We were excited by the turnout at last night’s class and are eager to continue to offer this course again in February and March. We are thrilled people are voluntarily seeking information to be a safer drivers, and hope to have more participants engage in this curriculum with us virtually or in person.