Bicycle AccidentIn honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists released its Bicycle Friendly States Ranking on May 22, 2012. Arkansas is ranked as the 50th Bicycle Friendly States – last, in other words.
The rankings were based on an examination and comparison of the states in five (5) categories: Legislation and Enforcement, Policies and Programs, Infrastructures and Funding, Education and Encouragement, and Evaluation and Planning. While Arkansas received a score of “2” in the “Legislation and Enforcement,” in part due to its safe passing law, the lowest score of “1” was assigned in all other categories.
Arkansas’s high rate of fatalities in proportion to the number of bicyclists is cited as one reason for its poor ranking. The League recommended bicycle safety as an emphasis for all projects, programs, and policies. The top suggestion for Arkansas was that it adopt a state bicycle plan and establish a bicycle advisory committee to oversee the plan.
Others suggestions included:
- Develop a Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) curriculum for bicycling enforcement both for new officers and continuing education – focus on laws related to bicyclists, interactions between motorists and bicyclists, and bicycle collision investigation.
- Adopt a statewide Complete Streets policy. The National Complete Streets Coalition has a model state policy and other resources to ensure adoption and implementation.
- Adopt federal funding project rating criteria that incentivize bicycle projects and accommodations. The state is spending a low amount, less than 0.56 percent, of federal funding on bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Conduct a share the road campaign creatively addressing the issues specific to your state.
- In general, any question that was answered with “no” should be addressed so the answer can be a “yes” next year.
Source: Today’s THV and The League of American Bicyclists
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