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Press Release: Share the Road Bike – Truck Safety Education Event

Posted by on April 22nd, 2008 at 11:00 am

Below is the full text of an upcoming bike/truck safety event organized by PDOT:

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2008

Contact: Suzanne Kahn, Phone: 503-823-1758

Share the Road Bike – Truck Safety Education Event

(PORTLAND, OR) – Bikes and Trucks can Share the Road. The City of Portland Office of Transportation, Maintenance Operations and Transportation Options staff are working together to educate bicyclists and companies employing professional drivers about the importance of sharing the road. A special opportunity for bicyclists to interact with individuals who drive trucks and large equipment for a living will be offered during the evening commute on Tuesday, April 29, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. The event will take place on SE Clinton Street just west of SE 39th Avenue.

What: Bike – Truck Safety Education Event

When: 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where: SE Clinton St. just west of SE 39th

Why: The City of Portland Office of Transportation wants to educate bicyclists and motorists about the unique challenges truck drivers face. It is important to recognize blind spots and use caution around big trucks.

At this Share the Road event, bicyclists riding along the SE Clinton bikeway will have the opportunity to climb into the cab of a large working vehicle and sit in the driver’s seat. They will be able to view the roadway from the driver’s perspective. Even with additional mirrors and some emerging technologies, large trucks still have blind spots to the front, rear, and sides of the truck – especially along the passenger side.

While we may think that a driver may see a cyclist, add in the possibility of greater noise from the larger engines, lower gearing, and heavier suspension. Professional drivers may also be listening to work-related calls coming over a two-way radio. Oftentimes, driving up a curb or even running over a metal item, like a bicycle, can feel like a small pothole or nothing at all to a large vehicle.

Many large trucking companies post stickers on the back of their trucks warning other road users that the truck may make wide turns and to avoid passing on the right of the truck at intersections. Many bicyclists just do not see these signs. Bicyclists may incorrectly assume that the driver can see them or they may be unaware of the blind spots altogether.

The City of Portland Maintenance Operations is installing bike guards on fleet trucks and placing bright green stickers on the rear and right side of the trucks where bicyclists are more likely to notice them. The stickers encourage cyclists to make eye contact with the driver and signal their intentions for the safety of all.

The City of Portland understands that professional and commercial drivers of large trucks and equipment take safety very seriously. Their commercial license is their life blood, and without it they can lose their job and ability to support their families.

It is important for bicyclists and motorists to recognize blind spots and use caution around big trucks at all times. The City advises cyclists not to hang out in truck blind spots when possible. Additionally, a bicyclist should assume that a truck driver can’t see them unless the cyclist can see the driver in the rear view mirror of the truck. If you can’t see the truck driver in the rearview mirror, the driver cannot see you. Always make eye contact with the driver and signal your intentions.

The City of Portland encourages all road users to Share the Road safely and responsibly.

For more information about this project, contact Suzanne Kahn, Maintenance, at 503-823-1758.

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