New and Improved State Driver’s Manual

Posted on February 6, 2017 · Posted in General

There was a bit of a delay between finishing our work and when the new version was printed, but we can finally show the fruits of our labor!  We were grateful that the State Department of Motor Vehicles and the Nebraska Department of Roads was open to our suggestions for updates to the most recent version of the Driver’s Manual.

We started by asking if Governor Ricketts, himself a bicyclist, would be open to adding a statement in his letter in the front of the manual. Perhaps a small detail to some, we know that it helps to set the tone.

Second, we recognized that the one graphic that depicted any sort of bicycle infrastructure was outdated. We recommended a couple of new diagrams that more accurately depicted what Nebraska drivers encounter on the roads:








Our biggest updates came in form of recommended changes to the language in Section 6: “Sharing the Road with Other Users.”  The existing language about the 3 foot passing law made it sound like giving a person on a bike 3 feet of clearance while passing was a good idea, but not necessarily a legal requirement.  We knew that had to change.  The remaining changes and additions to the section came from researching driver’s manuals from other bike-friendly states to see what might be a good fit for Nebraska. You’ll notice several changes, including one that reminds drivers to look for people on bikes that are riding on sidewalks or trails parallel to the road:


Finally, we need to give a major shout out to our friends at the National Safety Council – Nebraska. Thanks to their in-kind design services, we have an additional graphic on the back cover of the manual about the 3 foot passing law.

The mission of the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance is to cultivate a safer, more bicycle friendly Nebraska through partnerships, education and advocacy. We think you’ll agree that this project hits all three of those items.  Thanks to the staff of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles for all of their assistance on this project.