Members needed for the newly formed Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council
The newly established Bicyclist Safety Council is the product of a bike safety bill that Washington Bikes championed during the 2017 legislative session. Similar to the state’s established Pedestrian Safety Advisory Council and Impaired Driving Advisory Council, the new Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council’s goal is to identify strategies to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries involving people who bike. If this sounds like something you have energy for and expertise in, read on to learn more, and contact us before August 8.
Why is a Bike Safety Council needed?: Fatalities and serious injuries for people who bike make up 7.2% of all traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Washington state, yet only 0.9% of commute trips are made by those biking. In short, it’s riskier to bicycle.
How will the Council make it safer to bike?: The Council will review bicyclist-involved collision data (case studies). This will be an opportunity to take a systemic look and gain a statewide understanding of what is taking place, where are the biggest weaknesses, and what solutions will curb the current, alarming trends. The Council will submit recommendations to the Washington state legislature by December of 2018.
Who will be on the Council?: The Council is intended to bring together diverse voices and perspectives from professions that have a connection to active transportation, Washington’s transportation system, or a role in responding to traffic collisions. The Council is also seeking diversity in racial background, age, gender, and geographic representation. The legislation explicitly calls for the following backgrounds and professional expertise on the Council: law enforcement, multimodal transportation planners, public health representatives, municipality representatives, bicycle advocates, and transportation researchers. The Council will include approximately 15 – 20 members.
When and Where will the Council meet?: The Council will meet approximately once a month beginning in September. The kickoff meeting is planned for Spokane, WA in honor of Cooper Jones who the legislation is named for. Half of the meetings will convene in Olympia, WA and the other half will be at yet to be determined locations in Washington.
Does a seat on the Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council sound like the role for you? If the answer is yes and you have the capacity to commit to the work through December of 2018, please reach out to Alex Alston at AlexA@wabikes.org by August 8. Washington Traffic Safety Commission will make the final selections.