Whether you're on your way to work or headed to happy hour, safe driving habits are always important.
That's why the City of Little Rock's new Friendly Driver Program, which launched in October 2018, is essential to keeping the city safe for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
The city is making an effort to better engineer its streets for people moving via car, bike and on foot, but education is also an important part of keeping people safe. Car vs. bike collisions and car vs. pedestrian collisions are often deadly, but with the right training, drivers can help eliminate these crashes.
"Twenty years ago, we didn’t have any bike lanes, pedestrian hybrid beacons, or other new types of facilities to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe," Program Coordinator John Landosky said. "That infrastructure is only useful if drivers know what to do around it."
The Friendly Driver Program is a a free, two-hour course that anyone can take to become a City of Little Rock Certified Friendly Driver and learn about those new types of infrastructure. Landosky said that because a driver's education course is not required in Arkansas, many drivers "have never had the opportunity that this class provides."
Landosky is dad to twin toddlers and said that one of his greatest fears is the chance of his daughters getting hit by a car when playing outdoors. He hopes this course can put other parents' minds at ease through important driving and safety education.
"Everybody deserves to be able to get around our city safely, whether they’re walking, biking, driving or using transit," Landosky said. "These options increase equity, public health and create a more livable community where high quality workers want to live and in which businesses want to invest.
"We’re not there yet. As a community, we’ve got work to do. Creating this class is part of my work. Taking this two-hour certification course, encouraging friends and family to do the same and driving with empathy is what residents can do to create a brighter Little Rock."
Classes take place in two locations:
- Centre at University Park, 6401 W. 12th St., Little Rock
- Rivermarket, 400 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock.