Posted by Editoress on 09/19/13
The Share the Road Cycling Coalition, Ontario's cycling advocacy and policy organization, today announced the launch of a public education and awareness campaign aimed at both professional truck drivers and cyclists.
The announcement was made with representatives from the campaign partnership which includes the City of Toronto, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), and Toronto advertising agency Top Drawer Creative.
In launching the campaign Share the Road CEO Eleanor McMahon referenced the 2012 Ontario Coroner's Review into Cycling Deaths (2006-2010) of which Share the Road was a panellist: "The Ontario Coroner's Review outlined clear recommendations about the need for increased education and awareness campaigns to promote safe sharing of our roads, with key messages around cycling safety. The Review also recommended education targeted at professional truck drivers regarding awareness and avoidance of cycling dangers. This campaign is designed to reach both truck drivers and bicyclists with a view to enhancing safety," said McMahon.
"We hope that this campaign will prevent injuries and save lives. We are also very proud that it builds on the award-winning campaign we launched last year in partnership with the CAA and Top Drawer. We are grateful for the generosity of our partners, and to Top Drawer Creative for their expertise in shaping this important message. We are also grateful to the input from our partners in the trucking industry whose advice and counsel guided the development of the campaign," McMahon added.
Jeff Nealy, Terminal Operations Manager at trucking company Linamar Transportation spoke at the event.
The 2012 Ontario Coroner's Review into Cycling Deaths (2006-2010) noted that eighteen of one hundred fatal cyclist collisions with a motor vehicle involved a heavy truck. "It is our hope that, in pointing out the dangers of cycling in a truck operator's blind spot, we can enhance the awareness of these dangers with cyclists across Ontario. Further, by reminding truck drivers of the importance of avoiding cycling dangers we are educating drivers - and reminding them to be aware of cyclists," McMahon said. "This "Stay Safe, Stay Back" campaign emphasizes to both cyclists and truck drivers the importance of being aware, and taking care," added McMahon.
The campaign has the following main components:
• Development and distribution of a "Stay Safe, Stay Back" decal which will be placed on the back of all City of Toronto trucks (and other trucks - including municipal fleet vehicles - across the province) warning cyclists of the importance of remaining visible, and the dangers of cycling into a driver's blind spot
• Print ads that encourage cyclists to stay back, stay safe - and be aware of blind spots
• A 30-second Public Service Announcement (PSA) with messages focused on both target audiences: truck drivers and cyclists
• Launch of a website: www.staysafestayback.ca, to serve as a resource hub on the issue of road safety for truck drivers and cyclists
The campaign launch comes on the heels of the release of "#CycleON" on August 30, the first Ontario Bicycle Policy update in over 20 years. Share the Road led the development of a new provincial policy starting in 2008, and participated in stakeholder sessions convened by Transportation Minister Murray which shaped the final version of the Strategy.
"The new Ontario Cycling Strategy is a critical step forward as an overall integrated vision and framework for a more bicycle friendly Ontario. As the Strategy points out increasing road-user education contributes to safer streets. We share the Strategy's aspirational vision of zero fatalities and few serious injuries and look forward to continuing to design and execute strategies and campaigns which support that vision," McMahon said.
About the Share the Road Cycling Coalition
The Share the Road Cycling Coalition is a provincial cycling advocacy and policy organization created to unite cycling organizations from across Ontario, work with and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle-friendly and advocate for an enhanced provincial role. Core to the organization's mission and mandate are safety, education and awareness campaigns.
Since its inception, the Coalition has focused on outreach work across Ontario and has built partnerships with active transportation stakeholders notably: cycling advocates, local cycling clubs, municipal advisory groups, municipal and provincial leaders and officials, law enforcement, planners, public health professionals, and funders.
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