Driver’s Education Presenter Training

Volunteer presenters are the core of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition’s traffic safety education program.  This video provides a sample on how to successfully present at a driver’s education class.  After viewing the video, you are ready to sign up for classes.  We will frequently email you about class opportunities in your area.


Welcome students.
Always introduce yourself.
Be sure to do a count with the amount of students in the class.
This section is required by Iowa Code 321.378
Bikes Use Same Roads as Cars
Iowa Code 321.234 allows bikes to be on the road.
Upheld by Iowa Supreme Court (Vasconez v. Mills 2001)

The only exception is Interstate Highways
Bicycles are not permitted on highways with minimum speed limits
This only includes Interstate Highways in Iowa. Other states may permit Interstate use.
Good reminder that speed limits on other roads are maximum not minimum

Same rights and responsibilities
Important traffic principal
Iowa Code 321.234 gives bicyclists the same rights and duties except by nature where the provisions do not apply.
Where a car can operate, so can a bicycle.
Except by nature gives bicyclists ability to operate on trails, sidewalks. Bicyclists may be under 16 years.

A person riding a bicycle is at a greater risk for death (in the event of a crash)
Cars have crash protection
Bicyclists do not have crash protection
Bicycling is not necessarily dangerous, but when crashes happen the risk for death is greater

Faster moving traffic yields to slower moving traffic
Important traffic principal
If you are the faster moving vehicle, you must slow to the speed of the slower moving vehicle
Bicyclists are not impeded traffic, they are traffic because the legal definition is wider than just cars. (Iowa Code 321.294)

First come, first served
Important traffic principal
Just because your vehicle is faster doesn’t provide the right of way
If a bicycle is in line at a sign or signal first, they get to go first

When will I see people riding bicycles?
Any time of day
Bicycles are required to have a rear reflector or red light and a front white light
Any time of year, including winter

Where will I see people riding bicycles? Shared Roadways
Local roads are where you will see most people ride bicycles
Local roads account for 50% of bicycle-vehicle crashes
Bicyclists do NOT have to ride far to the right as possible (word is practicable, meaning safe choice for the bicyclist)

Trails will cross roads, but not always at intersections
Intersections may not be a right angles obscuring view
Slow down, look both ways and over shoulder

Paved shoulders
Paved shoulders are created for motorists (prevent run-off-road crashes, breakdown lane, etc)
Convenient place for bicyclists but use not required
May be covered with debris
Rumble strips may be dangerous

Sharrows or shared lane pavement markings
Do not change motorist operations. Can drive over them.
Create awareness for motorist of heavily used bike routes
Pass bicyclists like you would on any other roadway

Bike Lanes
Only used by bicyclists, no parking or vehicle use allowed
It is only paint, not a force field

Protected Bike Lanes
Bike lanes, but separated by curb or other means
May use parked cars as a buffer
Expect crossing controls at intersections

Protected Bike Lanes
Separation by curbs and flexible posts
May be two direction bike traffic

Green Lanes
Provide visual notice of bike lanes
Usually used in intersections or driveways
Use caution when driving near

Bike Box
Stopping facility allows bicycles to filter to front of stopped vehicles
Allows bikes to exit intersection when light changes before higher speed vehicles

Bike-Only Traffic Light
Exclusive light controlling movements of bicyclists
Not to be used by motor vehicles
Be aware, bicyclists may not be able to activate traffic lights

Do riders have to use bike lane?
No – see the cement truck in picture?
Potholes, debris, block by cars
Bicycles may be making a left turn

Do riders have to use the bike lane or trail? Does it lead to destination?
Destination may not be on same side of road as bike lane or trail
What if bicyclist wants to continue straight?

Turning onto a roadway or trail
Trails may be at odd angles and cross mid-block.
Slow down
Look over shoulder and check blind spots

Bicyclists are faster than walkers
Don’t underestimate the speed of bicyclists
Look both directions on a sidepath trail, bikes could be coming from either direction

Sidewalks and trails near roads are ripe for crashes
Children are not able to judge the speed of moving cars
Look over your shoulder, check blind spots

School speed zones
Very important to follow
Dangerous to speed in these areas

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Slow your speed
Important traffic principal (Iowa Code 321.307)
Slower speeds reduce chance of injury or death
Slower speeds makes passing easier

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Be sure lane is clear
Other vehicles may be approaching from ahead or behind. Passing with oncoming traffic is illegal.
Be sure you can see in all directions before passing.
There is no room to correct if there is an oncoming vehicle without injuring the cyclist.
Required by Iowa Code 321.303

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Move a safe & reasonable distance to left
Legally required to pass at a safe and reasonable distance (Iowa Code 321.281)
Could be dangerous for bicyclist if not enough lateral distance is taken to pass.

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Change lanes when passing
You cannot operate in more than one lane of traffic (Iowa Code 321.306)
Changing lanes assures you have enough room to pass
Allows motorists behind you to have a clear view of bicyclist

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Don’t return to the right until safely past
Self explanatory, right?
Iowa Code 321.299

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Don’t try to squeeze by without room or time
Do not underestimate the speed the bicyclist is traveling
Anticipate medians as well as oncoming vehicles. Notice sign and median in picture.
Better to pass after the intersection

How to safely pass a person on a bike: No passing zones mean don’t pass
There are no exceptions in the Iowa Code 321.304

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Treat passing the bike like you would a car
Important traffic principal
Just imagine you are passing another vehicle

How to safely pass a person on a bike: Slow down & stop if necessary
You may need to stop and slow
This picture is a busy bike lane in Chicago.
Left turn only lane is split by bike lane and through lane.

How to drive across a bike lane: Look for approaching bicyclists
Check mirrors
Turn head and look over shoulder
Bikes may be approaching from behind
Use turn signals

How to drive across a bike lane: Proceed across lane when clear
Dashed lines in bike lane indicate common crossing area
May cross to parallel park, driveways, etc.
Use turn signals

Crosswalk markings
Iowa Code 321.327

Lane positioning: Most common bicycling position
Bicyclists do not ride on white line.
Usually 2-5 feet into the lane.
Lanes are only 10-12 feet wide. Average SUV is 6.5 feet wide.

Lane Positioning: Take the lane
Bicyclists can and will take the center of the lane.
Lane too narrow to split, but motorists try.
Prevents illegal passing.

Lane Positioning: Left Turn
Bicyclists will move towards centerline of road when turning left.

Avoid right hook crash
Iowa Code 321.311
Intersection crashes make up 50% of bike/motor vehicle crashes.
80 to 90% of motorists contributing factor is Failure to Yield Right of Way at intersections.

Avoid right hook crash
Required to yield by Iowa Code 321.320

Avoid left hook crash
Required to yield by Iowa Code 321.320
The driver manual says specifically to watch for bicyclists when turning left.
Bicyclists could be coming from either direction on trails along roadway.

Watch door zone
Opening door into traffic may cause death or injury
Bicyclists are susceptible to door zone crashes
Winter snow along parking areas complicates problem
Check mirrors before opening door
Use right hand to open door

Honking isn’t helping
You may startle the cyclists and cause them to lose control
Only says one thing – you are a jerk

Avoid anything that may impair your ability to drive: Texting
Texting is illegal
Death may occur and could be reckless driving and that is a felony

Avoid anything that may impair your ability to drive: Drunk, drugged, drowsy driving is illegal

Summary of BIG points
Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as the operators of vehicles
Faster moving traffic should yield to slower moving traffic
Intersections are first come, first served
The first step when encountering a bicycle is to slow your speed
Pass a bike like you would a car, change lanes to pass