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Introducing the CRW Safety Policy

Safety Corner logoFrom the March 2007 WheelPeople

The CRW Safety Committee proudly announces the official CRW Safety Policy. In response to the Safety Committee’s recommendation, the CRW Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution adopting the Safety Policy at their January 2, 2007 meeting. The Safety Policy reads:

“The CRW promotes safe, courteous, and lawful cycling practices. CRW members are expected to cycle in a safe, courteous, and lawful manner when participating in CRW rides, and to encourage the same among fellow members and CRW guests.”

While the Policy itself is new, the concepts it promotes are not. The club has always encouraged safety-conscious bicycling. Ride leaders ask ride participants to follow the “Rules of the Road” in their pre-ride safety talk, and most ride participants do. Including our Safety Policy in our membership form and on our website will help remind each of us of our responsibilities as CRW members. We hope that members will take the Policy to heart and work together to make it effective.

See the Q&A below for more information about the Safety Policy. Please take the time to evaluate your own riding habits, and take the initiative to speak up if you observe actions that conflict with the Policy—you will make a difference!

The CRW Safety Committee
Frequently Asked Questions about the CRW Safety Policy

Q: So what?
A: Big “so what”. This changes what it means to be a CRW member. When joining the CRW or renewing a membership, each CRW member will now explicitly agree to abide by the Safety Policy while participating in CRW rides.

Q: Why do we need a Safety Policy?
A: The Safety Policy formally recognizes that safe, courteous, and lawful cycling practices are core to the CRW and CRW membership. It’s intended to strengthen the safety mindset of the club, and to empower members to promote this mindset.

Q: What are we agreeing to when we agree to abide by the Safety Policy?
A: Each of us is agreeing to cycle in a safe, courteous, and lawful manner while participating in CRW rides, and to promote the same among fellow members and CRW guests.

Q: Why does something called a “Safety Policy” deal with courtesy and lawful cycling?
A: We could have called it the “Safe, Courteous, and Lawful Cycling Policy”, but that seemed unnecessarily wordy. All three are important and related. Safety is most important, followed by courtesy, followed by lawfulness, recognizing that tradeoffs must sometimes be made in an imperfect world.

Q: Who will enforce the Safety Policy?
A: Each of us, by setting a good example through our own behavior, by talking about the importance of safe, courteous, and lawful cycling, and by politely and thoughtfully reminding others when appropriate.

Q: The Safety Policy seems kind of vague. Why so?
A: We could have made it longer and more complex, but that wouldn’t make it better or easier to follow. What constitutes safe, courteous, and lawful cycling depends on many situation-specific circumstances that cannot be properly addressed in any policy statement.

Q: Does this mean that all CRW ride participants must wear helmets?
A: This is a non-issue. All CRW ride participants already wear helmets.

Q: Does this mean that we are expected to ride single file at all times on Massachusetts roads (since this is the law)?
A: No. As always, we expect ride participants to exercise good judgment, and to avoid unnecessarily impeding motor traffic (and other cyclists, for that matter). There are times when riding two abreast is safer—for example, riding two abreast is an effective way to intentionally occupy the travel lane where it is unsafe for motorists to pass within the travel lane. Not paying attention or not caring are, however, poor reasons to impede traffic.

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