IDOT, League of Illinois Bicyclists Team Up To Create Bike
Safety Video for Drivers’ Ed Schools
Goal is to teach beginning drivers to
Share the road with bicyclists
CHICAGO – To increase safety for bicycle riders, the Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT) and the League of Illinois Bicyclists announced the
distribution of 2,000 DVDs free of charge to Illinois high schools, private
driving schools and law enforcement agencies to educate drivers on how they
should share the road with bicyclists.
“The main thrust of this project is teach beginning drivers what they should
and should not do when they encounter bicyclists on the road,” said Secretary
Tim Martin of the Illinois Department of Transportation. “By teaching new
drivers the rules of the road for motorists and bicyclists alike, they can begin
a lifetime of safe driving, which can mean fewer fatalities and injuries on our
Martin added, “This video comes at an important time in Illinois. After
seeing a decline in traffic deaths involving bicyclists in 2005, the numbers so
far this year are on the rise. Our fervent hope is that the video will help to
make our highways, roads and streets safer for all.”
IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety funded the project with a $20,000 grant to
the League of Illinois Bicyclists, a statewide advocacy group that produced and
distributed the video: “Share the Road – Same Road, Same Rules, Same Rights.”
“The first and most important thing for drivers to know is that bicyclists
have the same legal rights and responsibilities on the road as motorists,” said
League Executive Director Ed Barsotti of Aurora. “Once drivers understand and
accept that, they will know what to do when they encounter bicyclists on the
The nearly seven-minute video is narrated by Robbie Ventura, a retired
professional racer and former teammate of Lance Armstrong on the former U.S.
Postal Service team. Ventura was also a commentator on the Outdoor Life
Network’s coverage of the 2006 Tour de France. Ventura owns and operates Vision
Quest Coaching, which trains bicyclists, triathletes and runners at three
locations in the Chicago area and in downstate Bloomington.
“As a cyclist who has trained long hours on the road, I know that sharing the
road is an absolute must,” Ventura said. “As long as motorists and bicyclists
follow the traffic laws, everyone will get where they going safely and without
The video highlights a number of danger zones for motorists and bicyclists
and provides instruction how to get through these zones safely.
The danger zones are:
- Motorists passing cyclists too closely. Motorists should pass cyclists
with three feet or more of space.
- Motorists failing to yield when making right and left turns in front of
- Motorists in parked cars opening their doors into bicyclists.
- Motorists leaving driveways, alleys or sides streets without looking for
cyclists in the roadway or on sidewalks and sidepaths.
- Bicyclists legally moving farther into a lane when the lane is too
narrow for motorists to pass safely.
- Bicyclists legally moving farther into a lane to avoid dangerous road
conditions, such as broken glass, bad pavement and storm grates.
- Bicyclists moving across lanes in traffic to make proper left turns.
- Bicyclists who ride illegally against the traffic.
The video has been provided to more than 900 police departments and sheriff’s
offices throughout Illinois for use in training traffic officers and to share
with motorists and bicyclists in their communities. The balance is being
distributed to high schools and private driving schools.
The League expresses its appreciation to IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety,
the Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association, the Illinois
Secretary of State’s office and the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation for their
support in producing the video.