Tulare County to Consider Becoming A "Share the Road County"

Tulare County’s Resource Management Agency has formed a coalition with residents, several other county departments, schools, and the California Highway Patrol to spread one common message – share the road.

The Tulare County Share the Road Committee has established several goals to achieve, including:

- Educating the public – including schools and local community groups – regarding the rules of the road and best safety practices.
- Implementing additional signage on the roadway system to remind the public about the rules of the road.
- Increased enforcement by local law enforcement agencies.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will consider approving a proclamation which designates Tulare County as a “Share the Road County.” The proclamation challenges all users of the county road system to work together through cooperation, courtesy, and observance of the laws governing the use of the public roads to improve safety and enjoyment for all modes of transportation.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2009 statistics, there were 13,083 pedestrians injured in roadway accidents and 12,043 cyclists injured in roadway accidents statewide. In Tulare County, there were 119 pedestrians injured and 12 fatalities. There were 93 cyclists injured and one fatality.

While 2011 statistics aren’t available, there was at least one reported cycling-related fatality in Tulare County when 41-year-old Scott Nelson died in August after crashing his bicycle into a jogger outside of Exeter.

“Providing road safety education to Tulare County residents, particularly to those who cycle, run, and walk, is a proactive step to preventing future tragedies,” said Allen Ishida, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “The Board of Supervisors supports this coalition’s efforts and urges other government agencies to join us in encouraging the public on how to share the road properly.”

The Share the Road Committee plans to ask Tulare County’s eight incorporated cities to adopt a similar proclamations of support, as well as outlying community councils.

The Tulare County Share the Road Committee was created in September 2011 and includes representatives of Tulare County’s Resource Management Agency, Health & Human Services Agency, and Sheriff’s Department, the Tulare County Association of Governments, California Highway Patrol, Southern Sierra Cycling, Visalia Runners, City of Exeter, Exeter High School, Visalia Waterways and Trails Committee, and the Tulare County Office of Education.

Pedestrian safety tips:

1. Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic, in rural areas where no sidewalks exist.
2. Stay alert! Beware of vehicles making illegal turns or running red lights.
3. Wear light-colored clothing and/or reflective material, especially at night.
4. Use crosswalks if they are available. Remember to stay within the painted lines.
5. Make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they see you.

Cycling safety tips:

1. Avoid biking at night.
2. Protect your head. Wear a helmet.
3. Learn the rules of the road. Obey traffic laws.
4. Stat alert. Always keep a lookout for obstacles in your path.
5. Check for traffic. Always be aware of the traffic around you.