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Can raising awareness of Colorado cyclists increase safety?

Bicyclists suffer a disproportionate number of injuries on Colorado roads. There are many campaigns to improve cyclist safety, but the issue is largely due to drivers of motor vehicles who are not attentive to cyclists on the roads.

One way to remedy this problem is to increase awareness of cyclists among drivers. Awareness campaigns may help drivers respect cyclists, thus leading to fewer accidents and cyclist injuries. Here are a few initiatives in Colorado that are aiming to increase awareness of cyclists to make roads safer and reduce injuries:

Share the Road license plates

Colorado offers a special license plate called "Share the Road," with the specific objective of raising awareness of cyclists on the roads. The initiative is one of several by the organization Bicycle Colorado, and it said that there are already 6,000 of these plates on Colorado vehicles.

The license plates have a picture of a cyclist in the middle, with the words "Share the Road" in capital letters below. Although it may seem like a small gesture, it reminds other drivers to be aware of cyclists on the road. Low visibility of cyclists leads to serious accidents and bicycle-related injuries such as closed-head trauma, because drivers may not see or expect to see a cyclist sharing the road.

Colorado Pedals Project

The Colorado Pedals Project is an initiative by Governor Hickenlooper to make Colorado the "number one bike state." It includes many steps that aim to increase awareness of cyclists on the road. The project, which began in 2015, has $100 million in funding between public and private funds. One of the awareness initiatives that the Colorado State Department of Transportation is undertaking as part of this project is replacing the "Share the Road" signs with "3 Feet to Pass" signs, which research has shown is more effective for increased safety on the roads.

Raising awareness of Colorado cyclists can increase safety for everyone on the roads. When drivers are more aware of cyclists and make efforts to be attentive to them on the roads, drivers can be more courteous and drive with increased caution when they encounter cyclists.

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