Bicycle Coalition of Maine commemorates Global Road Safety Week

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 5:00pm

Monday, May 13 is the start of the 8th Annual UN Global Road Safety Week, a week meant to increase knowledge, skills, and awareness about the importance of protecting vulnerable users on the roads.

“Going on walk, biking to work, or driving to errands should not be life threatening activities,” said Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM) Executive Director Jean Sideris, in a news release. “We have a lot of work to do to make our roads safer for all users, especially those walking, biking, and rolling. We invite everyone in Maine to commemorate Global Road Safety Week with us.”

Last year in Maine, twenty-one people died on the roads after being hit by a vehicle, another 234 injury crashes were reported, according to BCM. One cyclist was killed and another 140 injury crashes were reported. This year there have already been 4 pedestrian fatalities.

“As our state looks more and more to active transportation as a climate solution, it becomes even more important to protect vulnerable road users and to ensure we are all doing our part to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries,” said BCM.

Global Road Safety Week serves both as an opportunity for people to experience the fun and benefits of walking, biking, and rolling, and also as a solemn reminder of the cost of traffic fatalities. See all BCM events at https://www.bikemaine.org/events/

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will be hosting events throughout the state, giving residents young and old opportunities to learn about road safety, and take part in rides and events promoting safe and fun biking, walking, and rolling. From Urban Cycling classes, to bike rodeos for kids, a film screening in Bath, community rides, and Portland’s Bike to Work Day, there is something for everyone.

The keystone event of the week is the annual Ride of Silence — a silent, slow-paced group ride — which honors cyclists who have been killed or injured while biking. The Ride of Silence is an international event held on the third Wednesday of May every year to recognize vulnerable road users who have been injured or killed in crashes on public roads, raise awareness that bicyclists have a legal right to use the road, and remind motorists to respectfully share the road with all users.

As the statewide coordinator of the Ride of Silence for the last few years, the BCM hosts a ride in Portland, as well as supporting and sharing other rides being held this year in Lewiston and Saco. The Ride of Silence is free for participants. Registration for the Portland ride and more information about the other rides in Maine can be found at bikemaine.org/ride-of-silence/

To learn more about Global Road Safety Week and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s free events from May 13-19 throughout Maine visit this page: https://www.bikemaine.org/events/

 

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine a better and safer place to bike and walk. Founded in 1992, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has grown into the leading bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group in the state. The Coalition believes all Mainers should have access to bikes and bike education, and we envision a future where Maine’s roads, public ways, and trails are safe and accessible, resulting in cleaner travel options, improved health, and stronger economic benefits for Maine communities.