June 28th, 2013
“Education and awareness are key factors when it comes to the safety on our roads. The online bike safety website sponsored by the League of Illinois Bicyclists offers an additional tool to help ensure safe and enjoyable rides by bicyclists and by motorists,” Secretary of State Jesse White announced Thursday morning. White was one of several state dignitaries, including Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon and IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider, which helped launch the new online “Illinois bicycle safety quiz challenge” outside of the James R. Thompson Center, Chicago.
More than 700 people have already taken the quiz at bikesafetyquiz.com, a resource for bicyclists and motorists on how to properly share the road with each other. The tool is meant to help close an education gap – and reduce resentment – for both road user types.
The free, first-of-its-kind website teaches users key safety techniques and relevant Illinois state laws in an interactive quiz-based format for various audiences: “Adult Bicyclists,” “Motorists” and “Child Bicyclists.” While the quiz is easy to use, that does not mean that all of the questions are easy. “I have been a driver for a long time; I have been a biker even longer. Even with all of that experience, taking the quiz was a good reminder and a good challenge to some things I thought I knew,” Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said.
In each, the user progresses through a total of 25-33 multiple-choice questions, divided into bronze, silver and gold levels. The learning comes from explanations in the question response feedback, with users getting up to three chances to answer each question correctly, said LIB executive director Ed Barsotti. “When motorists and bicyclists know how to share the road and follow the rules, it makes the trip safer and less stressful for both,” Barsotti said. “Our online quizzes are a quick, easy, and fun way for all of us to learn a bit more.”
It is crucial that the state becomes more multi-modal and bikesafetyquiz.com is an important resource to ensuring the safety of road users, IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider said. “We are very much interested in ensuring that, through this quiz, everyone can learn what it means to share the road safely together,” Schneider said. The Illinois Department of Transportation is in the process of developing its first state long-range transportation plan, including a state bike plan, she said. “We want to make this a bicycle friendly state. Right now, we rank ninth in the nation. We want to become number one and this is one step towards that goal,” Schneider said.
The League invites any Illinois resident who drives or bikes to “test their bike safety IQ” with the bikesafetyquiz.com quizzes. Besides checking and honing their knowledge, people who complete a quiz are eligible for raffle prize money and other incentives. Elementary schools and driver education programs with high participation rates are also eligible. The annual prizes are funded by Illinois’ Share the Road specialty license plates for cars, vans, and light trucks.
“By providing additional educational tools like these for bicyclists and drivers, we will help them to become better equipped to travel in a responsible ways on the roads of Illinois,” White said. “Please join others, like me, who have taken the quizzes to become better educated and better informed.”
This project would not have been possible without LIB member and bicycle club contributions, an in-kind donation from Promet Solutions and a Get in the Action Mini Mobilization Grant, funded by Cadence Health and Edward Hospital and Health Services and in partnership with Action for Healthy Kids and the DuPage County Health Department.