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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2020
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

Safety Campaign Encourages Sharing Roads Respectfully

On Two Wheels, On Four Wheels, On Two Feet!

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are raising awareness about the rules of the road and the importance of sharing the road respectfully. The county health department, the River Villages, and local bike clubs partnered to create a safe street campaign that includes street banners and a brochure to promote greater respect and awareness among pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

This effort, funded by the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), is supported by local law enforcement, county and village officials, and local bicycling organizations who are working to make walking and bicycling safer throughout Rockland County. "Traffic crashes on our roads are a major cause of injury in the county. Safety education is a vital step to reducing crashes and increasing roadway respect," said Dr. Ruppert.

Across-the-street-banners include important safety messages such as obeying stop signs and red lights, yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, minimizing distractions such as text messaging, and allowing safe distance when passing bicycles. Currently, banners are installed across main thoroughfares and busy corridors in Piermont, South Nyack, Nyack, and Suffern. In addition to the banners, a tri-fold safety brochure was developed with essential safety tips for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. The brochure, titled "How to Share the Road Respectfully," has been distributed throughout the county and is available on request by calling the Rockland County Health Department.

Several New York State and local laws aim to protect pedestrians and bicyclists. However, these laws and their enforcement are not enough to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists; roadway users must be respectful of one another and the various means of transportation. This education campaign helps bring awareness of New York State laws, such as prohibiting bicyclists from riding two abreast when a car is attempting to pass. Laws in Orangetown and the Villages of Piermont, South Nyack, and Grand View-on-Hudson restrict bicyclists even further by requiring them to ride single file at all times to help keep people safe.

The acknowledgment from our community leaders to raise awareness through education is expressed below:

  • "Enforcing New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws is important but can only go so far, especially in our popular corridor. We support education efforts to not only raise awareness of the rules of the road, but also to foster considerate attitudes among motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians," said Chief Daniel Wilson of the South Nyack-Grand View Police Department.
  • "It is a challenge for the River Villages to balance the flow of residents, weekend visitors to the villages, and users of the newly opened (June 2020) Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge "The Path." Piermont is proud of its Hudson River waterfront and charming collection of restaurants and shops, which makes the village a popular destination. But the density of cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists that can occur, particularly on weekends, keeps us vigilant to ensure safety and respectful attitudes," said Piermont Mayor Bruce Tucker.
  • "Rockland offers some of the best bicycling in the New York metropolitan area, and we love that so many bicycle riders include this area in their routes. But our roads can be dangerous with vehicular traffic on some of the area's narrow roads. Informing motorists on how to best share the road and educating our fellow bicyclists to obey New York State traffic law helps to protect everyone. Importantly, we want to ease tensions when congestion is at its worst, and risk of accidents are highest," said Michael Hays, Rockland Bicycling Club President.
  • "This long-overdue initiative will go a long way in promoting safety and mutual respect for all who travel through the Piermont and Nyack area. Everyone benefits when sharing the road in a courteous and responsible manner becomes the norm," said Chuck Solomon, President of the Bicycling Touring Club of North Jersey (BTCNJ).

October is National Pedestrian Safety Month, and GTSC supports efforts to prevent pedestrian crashes, including pedestrian enforcement efforts in targeted high-risk areas that focus on both motorist and pedestrian behavior.

Funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through grants from GTSC also supports child and passenger safety, highway safety, impaired driving, and police traffic services programs.

If you are interested in banners or brochures for your community, contact Agustina Lopez-Novillo at 845-364-3755 or email lopeza@co.rockland.ny.us. For more information, visit
http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/programs-and-services/complete-streets/

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