The Bicycle Coalition’s Education Director, Megan Rosenbach, recently met with dozens of people who contract with the PECO Energy company to spread the message of bicycle laws, safety, and courtesy.
Rosenbach met the group of 75 attendees, representing over 12 of PECO’s contracting companies in the region on Friday, April 8.
These contracting companies are deployed by PECO for a variety of jobs and manage employees who drive service trucks across the region. Those in attendance learned first hand about the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s work and about being safer drivers around bicyclists.
Cycling in our region grew by 260 percent from 2005-2013, Rosenbach noted, but at the same time, there are still 100 people per year losing their lives in traffic crashes per year in Philadelphia.
She focused on moving toward a culture of mutual respect and safety among all road users; in effort to keep humanity at the center of the conversation, Megan spoke not of “cars” and “bicycles,” but of “drivers” and “bicyclists” – the humans behind the vehicles.
The hard and fast laws that professional drivers need to know—such as the 4ft passing law, the fact that bicycles are legal vehicles that can ride in the middle of a traffic lane, that people over age 13 need to stay off the sidewalks on their bikes and that riding with headphones is not only a horrible idea, but also illegal—were discussed, as well.
She also reviewed how to avoid some of the most common car and bicycle crashes like “dooring” and the “right hook” (a bicyclist going straight being struck by a turning vehicle). More nuanced aspects of sharing the road like when to honk (hint: only in emergencies) and why bicyclists may not “move over” for motor vehicle drivers, were also addressed.
As a result of the presentation, handout explaining bicycle laws and safety will be disseminated on PECO’s Contractor website.
Safety is the first of PECO’s six core values; the company has been supporting the Bicycle Coalition’s Safe Routes Philly program through their charitable giving since 2012, and, more recently, has been circulating information about bicycle laws and safety throughout their company. Megan will have the opportunity to address another crowd at PECO, the Front Line Supervisors, in May.