Safe Cycling, LLC announced today the launch of www.RoadGuardian.com: the first Web site where bicyclists can report, mark and share the geo-locations of their cycling incidents and trouble spots worldwide. This is a free service.
It’s all about saving lives. In 2008 in the United States, 716 bicyclists were killed (2.1% higher than 2007) and an additional 52,000 were injured in traffic crashes (21% higher than 2007). (High fuel prices may have been a contributing factor in the rise as more people chose bicycles for transportation). Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities, and bicyclists made up 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during the year. The state of Florida saw the greatest loss of lives with 125 cyclists killed in 2008.
While cycling is safe, sharing space on our roads is becoming hazardous and the growing number of cyclists must find ways to protect themselves. In addition to knowing and following the rules of the road, cyclists can solve the majority of their problems by riding visibly and predictably. And a key to riding predictably is for cyclists to ride smart by knowing their routes and the conditions surrounding them. RoadGuardian.com will capture and share the information needed by cyclists to ride smart. Information such as:
- Where have cyclists experienced “close calls”?
- Where have cyclists been hit and injured?
- Where have cyclists been killed?
- Where have dogs chased cyclists?
- Where are the pot holes located?
- Where have cyclists been harassed by motorists?
Keeping in mind that a majority of cycling crashes goes unreported, knowing the answers to these and other related questions will help cyclists become smarter and safer on their rides. They may learn that the route they want to ride is risky and one to avoid. Equally important, the site isn’t just about allowing cyclists to avoid problem areas, but about targeting those areas for action: fixing pavement defects, deploying law enforcement or animal control, finding engineering solutions. This component is under development and should be available by the end of 2009.
The site’s value is dependent upon cyclists taking the time to report and share their experiences: close calls, collisions, deaths, pot holes, harassment, doorings, etc. Currently, the site has incidents reported in: United States, Australia, Canada, Belarus, Ireland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Philippines and Singapore. The site will be translated into numerous languages in the months ahead.
Avid cyclist and developer of RoadGuardian.com Joe Mizereck says, “It’s all about saving lives.” Mizereck hopes that cyclists, bike clubs, towns, cities, states and countries will embrace this tool and make it a part of their cycling cultures. He adds, “Making cycling safer can encourage non-cyclists to give the sport a try. As more people appreciate and enjoy cycling, we improve safety for everyone.” Mizereck encourages cyclists to visit the site to see what places in their towns could require more vigilance and to begin sharing their cycling experiences.