FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Cycling has never been more popular in the U.S. and Florida – and accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles have never been more common.
In 2008, 716 cyclists died in bicycle / motor vehicle crashes, or two percent of the total number of people killed and injured in traffic crashes that year, notes BicyclingInfo.org. Another 52,000 cyclists were reported injured in 2008, up from 43,000 the year before.
Florida is especially deadly to cyclists. The state accounted for 17.4 percent of the country's cycling fatalities in 2008, according to a South Florida Sun Sentinel story, making Florida the deadliest single state for cyclists.
In an effort to increase driver and rider awareness and safety on shared roadways, Team zMotion – a Zimmerman Advertising Team – has created "Ride Right, Drive Right." The program, created in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation and the South Florida Bike Coalition, seeks to educate motorists and leisure and competitive cyclists about each group's rights on the road.
"As a leader in the cycling community, Team zMotion has a vested interest in cycling safety," said Jeffrey Lynne, Executive Director of the South Florida Bike Coalition, who has led the organization's statewide advocacy and education efforts. "The campaign's goal is to make the roads safer and to save lives by building awareness."
The multifaceted campaign includes print and television advertising, as well as special signs to be placed on roads statewide. The placement is important. Historically, bicyclists have used paved roads, and shoulders and bike lanes on paved roads about two-thirds of the time when riding, according to statistics from the National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors.
"We believe this campaign will educate both motorists and cyclists about the need to act responsibly and share the road, and more importantly is designed to ease tension between the two groups," says Pat Patregnani, Founder of Team zMotion. "We hope to one day see this statewide initiative expanded into a national program."
The effort is especially timely. Last week, U.S. Department of Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood told the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C., of a department policy plan to create safe and convenient cycling and walking facilities as part of federally-funded road projects. "The establishment of well-connected walking and bicycling networks is an important component for livable communities, and their design should be a part of Federal-aid project developments," according to a DOT Website.
For more information on what zMotion is doing to help make Florida's roads safer for all of us, please contact Shamin Abas of Shamin Abas Public Relations at 561 366 1226, 917 494 9288 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org or Leah Knepper of Zimmerman Advertising at 954 644 4041, 954 303 7988 (cell), LeahKnepper@zadv.com.
Ride Right, Drive Right - zMotion.org http://www.zmotion.org/ride-right-a/195.htm
SOURCE Zimmerman Advertising