Proposed Legislation Would Help Reduce Pedestrian and Cyclist Traffic Deaths By Providing One Hour of Traffic Safety Education to Students Each Year
April 7, 2017 – (AUGUSTA, Maine) The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is organizing Traffic Safety Day in Augusta on Tuesday, April 11, to marshal support for proposed legislation that will help cut the number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed each year on Maine roads.
“Too many pedestrians and bicyclists are losing their lives on our roads, and in each case these tragedies are almost entirely preventable,” Coalition Executive Director Nancy Grant said. “The Traffic Safety Education Act will help reduce the unacceptable number of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in Maine.”
LD 1130, an Act To Provide Traffic Safety Education To Maine Students, is sponsored by Rep. Matthea Daughtry (D-Brunswick) and would ensure that all Maine children in grades two through 12 receive one hour of age-appropriate traffic safety education each year. The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Legislature’s Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs on Tuesday, April 11, at 1 p.m. in Room 202 of the Cross Building in Augusta.
The Coalition’s Traffic Safety Day is intended to help Coalition members and allies learn how to most effectively communicate the facts about the bill and why it is needed to legislators. The day’s events include:
- A meeting with the Legislature’s Bike/Ped Caucus at the Cross Café (111 Sewall St., Augusta) at 8 a.m. to discuss biking and walking issues.
- A brief training session on how to effectively communicate with lawmakers, from 9:15-10:30 a.m.
- Meetings with legislators from 10:45-11:45 a.m. in support of the Traffic Safety Education Act.
- The legislative hearing at 1 p.m. in Room 202 of the Cross Building in Augusta.
In addition to communicating support for the bill, Grant said, it is also important to note what the legislation will not do: it will have no fiscal impact on Maine schools or extend the school year, nor will it add to the state’s graduation requirements or increase teachers’ workloads; teachers would have the option of using the Coalition’s curriculum – developed by teachers for teachers – or have one of Maine’s certified Traffic Safety Educators make the one-hour presentation to students.
“The Traffic Safety Education Act will help keep our children safe now, when they’re walking or biking to or from school, home or a friend’s house, and in the future,” Grant said. “Children who’ve grown up learning the rules of the road will be safer around pedestrians and cyclists when they get behind the wheel as adults.”