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International students receive safety training from MassRIDES, MassDOT, MassBike and local safety officials, Brewster.

International students receive safety training from MassRIDES, MassDOT, MassBike and local safety officials, Brewster.

MassDOT is pleased to announce that it has partnered with MassRIDES the Statewide Travel Options Program, The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) and several Cape Cod resorts to provide a free bicycle safety training program for international students living and working on Cape Cod throughout the summer.

MassDOT is also pleased to announce its new bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign, “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet,” which debuted in June and highlights the importance of active, alert driving, walking and cycling.

“MassDOT is proud to partner with its state, local and nonprofit partners to spread knowledge that promotes safety and prudent behavior on the part of all travelers,” said Jonathan Gulliver, Acting Highway Administrator. “We encourage everyone, on all modes of transportation, to keep an eye out for their fellow travelers and remember that safety is the number one concern when traveling on roadways – particularly those which are used by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians simultaneously.”

“If we want more people biking and walking for transportation, which we do, then these kinds of safety trainings are essential,” said Pete Sutton, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator. “The program offers everything that a cyclist would need for their safety: a personalized route, safety equipment, and some basic knowledge of the road laws. With more programs like this, I believe that we can substantially reduce the amount of incidents that occur with cyclists. ”

Throughout the month of June, nine trainings were held for approximately 265 international students working on Cape Cod this summer. The program was created after several resorts expressed their concern for the safety of their international workers, many whom rely heavily on their bicycles to get to and from work. The student workers are known for biking all throughout the Cape to get to and from work. Often working late, laborers in this industry who commute via bicycle are required to navigate roads that are busy, narrow and poorly lit.

While bicycle safety is always a concern, the risk of collision is exacerbated for international students who are not always familiar with US rules of the road and cycling customs. The training is designed to teach basic rules of the road, with a heavy emphasis placed on explaining American bicycling culture, which often differs greatly with those in other countries. On  Cape Cod there are many narrow, dark roads that locals and vacationers are not used to seeing cyclists  use. Cyclists  are constantly reminded to always err  on the side of caution.

Also in June, MassDOT published a video highlighting risks which are present for all travelers on urban roadways, marking the launch of its new “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet” campaign.  The video emphasizes the notion that everyone who is traveling on a roadway is responsible for doing their part to ensure the safety of themselves and the people around them.

A sign posted near City Hall advises travelers to “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet,” which is MassDOT’s new slogan for bicycle and pedestrian safety in mixed-use travel areas.

A sign posted near City Hall advises travelers to “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet,” which is MassDOT’s new slogan for bicycle and pedestrian safety in mixed-use travel areas.

In addition to the video, MassDOT has posted several signs around the City of Boston reminding travelers to Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet.  The signs, which are located in some of the most traffic-heavy areas of downtown Boston, also inform viewers that “1 in 4 deaths in motor vehicle crashes involve people walking or bicycling.”

Learn more information about bicycle safety.

To learn about MassDOT’s ongoing revision of the Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan, which will serve as the Commonwealth’s guide to improving bicycle transportation across the state.

The training is part of a larger effort to increase road safety. The MassDOT Highway Division is also pleased to announce that a video has been posted to underscore the need for all members of the public to focus on the safety on all roads.  The video says that 1 in 4 fatalities on Massachusetts roads in 2016 were pedestrians or cyclists.  In 2016, there were a total of 401 deaths on Massachusetts roads.

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