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November 26, 2005

Study: OSU students blind, illiterate, and not safety conscious

The state of "Cycling" edumication on one American college campus is revealed in a recent study.

Most OSU bicyclists ignore crosswalk signs prohibiting them from riding across the road, according to a recent study by an OSU psychology class. The study also found that many OSU students don’t believe cyclists ride in a safe and responsible manner on campus.

“It’s a complex and almost unsolvable problem,” associate professor Richard Potts said.

His psychology of social behavior class conducted the study during the first part of this semester.

The class has done the study four or five times before and have found similar results.

Things keep getting worse with each study, apparently.

So what's the skinny?

The study found 91 percent of cyclists rode their bikes across crosswalks, despite some of them being marked with “no bike” signs. Of the 9 percent who walked their bikes across, 72 percent of them did so at marked crosswalks.

“We understand that we have a problem,” Shearer said.

So what are they doing about this?

Concern for the safety of pedestrian and bikers on campus is the main reason Monroe Street will be closed to traffic during regular business hours soon. That area is where the largest number of collisions occur, Shearer said.

A $41,000 grant from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office will pay for an OSU police officer who will be dedicated to traffic safety.

This is another measure the police department is taking to increase biker and pedestrian safety on campus, Shearer said.

More on the test:

The study Potts’ class conducted included a questionnaire that was distributed to 145 students, 51 of whom are cyclists. Students indicated they do not believe bicyclists at OSU ride in a safe and responsible manner. On a scale of one to five, one meaning definitely not safe and five meaning definitely safe, the average response was 2.77.

Students who were cyclists were more likely to say they are safe and OSU police do not need to be on campus reminding cyclists about bike safety rules or giving them citations.

Twenty-six percent of students answering said a bicyclist has hit them at least once while they were walking or cycling on campus.

It's obvious that the problems come from little, or no, knowledge about state bicycling laws, which require bicyclists to operate in the same manner as motor vehicles.

There seems to be an interest in increasing educational efforts on campus.

A Special Committee has made several suggestions:

A permit requirement for bicycles.

The creation of a pamphlet that addresses bicycle safety.

A  suggestion that the university remove bike paths in favor of creating bike routes.

A very interesting situation they got up there. ;-D

THE DAILY O'COLLEGIAN of Oklahoma State University ( Oct. 25th ): Bicycle Safety Re-evaluated by Shannon Muchmore.

November 26, 2005 in Cycling News Network | Permalink

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