'Safe Streets Save Lives' Launches in South Carolina (Video)

Reader Contribution by Staff
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After a year in the making, the Safe Streets Save Lives collaboration launched last week with a series of new, educational PSAs and the stories of lives cut tragically short by bicycle crashes.

The South Carolina initiative was the result of an innovative partnership between the advocates at Palmetto Cycling Coalition and the attorneys at MyBikeLaw.com.

The Safe Streets concept got its start back in 2008, after the PCC successfully campaigned for the reform to SC’s bicycle traffic laws. That victory led the advocates to partner with Charleston-based attorney, Peter Wilborn, of MyBikeLaw.com, in leading more than a dozen bicycle safety workshops for law enforcement and implementing other efforts around the state. In 2010, the two organizations set their sights on a long-term strategic bicycle safety campaign for South Carolina.

Safe Streets Save Lives is the tangible result of a simple visionary goal: reducing the number of automobile / bicycle crashes and deaths on South Carolina roads.

“No innovative partnership is a piece of cake,” Wilborn says. “There were bumps in the road, mostly in the early going. But we were able to do something together we couldn’t do apart. Together, we’re proud of what we produced, and we love that South Carolina can be a model of something great for a change.”

The SSSL campaign produced four video PSAs, each emphasizing the responsibility of cyclists to obey the rules of the road and the requirement of motorists to safely navigate and treat bicyclists with respect.

“We are excited to finally present these videos to the public,” Rachael Kefalos Bronson, PCC Executive Director, says. “Too many people are killed in this state each year in accidents that could be easily prevented. These videos are a wonderful tool to reach more bicyclists and drivers and improve experiences on the road for both groups. It takes cooperation from all sides to improve safety; let’s get there together.”

In addition to the videos, the website compiles helpful (and humorous) tips for cyclists, including “Lights aren’t just Christmas decorations” and “Helmet hair is all the rage.” On a serious note, the initiative also highlights eight South Carolinians who lost their lives in bicycle crashes, including Matthew Burke (whose story I included on the blog back in February).

Watch the videos and read the narratives on the Safe Streets Save Lives website.