SF launches vehicle training program to improve safety on streets 

click to enlarge Mayor Ed Lee, center, announces a program to educate drivers of large vehicles. - COURTESY BAY CITY NEWS
  • courtesy Bay City News
  • Mayor Ed Lee, center, announces a program to educate drivers of large vehicles.

Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday the launch of a large-vehicle training program that will educate truck drivers on how to safely traverse The City's streets as part of its Vision Zero strategy aiming to eliminate all traffic deaths in San Francisco by 2024.

Lee said city agencies and community advocates are coming together because "we need a continued, sustained, very serious education program" to ensure that large vehicles traveling in San Francisco are aware of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Lee said that while the urban- driving education program will be required for city workers and contractors who drive trucks, it will also be offered to all truck drivers who enter San Francisco via the California Trucking Association, as well as via privately operated commuter shuttles and companies such as FedEx and UPS.

Lee said with so much construction and economic activity in San Francisco, more trucks are entering and exiting The City, making it increasingly important that The City remains safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.

"The level of safety has to be at the highest level," Lee said.

John Knox White, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency planner who focuses on sustainable streets and is helping set the curriculum for the training, said interviews with truck drivers and bicyclists made it clear that "there's a lot of confusion" about bike lanes and who has the right of way.

Knox White said the SFMTA expects to release an instructional video by the end of April that will be used in the training program.

The video will use footage of intersections in San Francisco to show drivers how they should travel on The City's unique streets to ensure bicyclist and pedestrian safety.

Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation, said all workers who operate city vehicles or who are engaged in contracts with The City will be required to go through the training program.

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