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Sept/Oct 2012 Issue

Bikes, cars can share the road safely

As a growing number of Americans are picking up their bikes for recreation, fitness, and transportation, AAA has partnered with the League of American Bicyclists to help motorists and bicyclists share the road safely.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of bicycle commuters nationwide increased 40 percent from 2000 to 2010. Yet unfortunately in 2010, 628 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes and an additional 52,000 were injured.

To educate both motorists and bicyclists on the importance of sharing the road, AAA produced a series of videos that offer bicycle safety advice for all road users. The videos can be found at AAA’s newly redesigned ShareTheRoad.AAA.com, a web site that also offers bicycle and helmet fit guides, more safety tips, and riding skills advice.

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the traffic lane. When approaching bicyclists, motorists should slow down and allow at least three feet of clearance when passing them. Motorists also should be especially cautious around children on bikes, who are often unsteady and unpredictable.

Arkansas raises speed limits on rural highways

Motorists in Arkansas can step on the gas a little harder on some rural highways because the state is raising the limit to 60 mph from 55 mph.

Approximately 265 miles of rural, four- and five-lane, undivided highways were included in an analysis by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) and were expected to have their speed limits raised this summer. In all, 87 sections of highway were examined for factors like existing crash rates, highway design, and locations of school zones to determine if raising the limit would be safe.

State officials say the increase will help save drivers some time on the road without compromising their safety.

For more details on the affected highways, visit www.arkansashighways.com.

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