One of the main reasons that people say that they don’t or won’t cycle is because of concerns about road safety. Whilst traffic free, segregated routes are welcomed by cyclists, these are not available in all parts of the Borough. Cyclists will frequently need to cycle on roads with other vehicles for all or part of their journey. It is therefore important that cyclists are equipped to cycle on the road, are confident and have good bike handling skills. Cycling charities including The Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC), Sustrans and British Cycling are able to provide further advice.
It is important that cyclists and drivers look out for each other on the road. The Department for Transport THINK campaign has set out a series of tips, to remind both drivers and cyclists about the correct way to drive and ride, and therefore help to reduce related collisions. If you are a driver, a cyclist, or both – please take time to read the following advice:
THINK! advice for when you’re driving
- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning – make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them.
- Use your indicators – signal your intentions so that cyclists can react.
- Give cyclists plenty of space when over taking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened.
- Always check for cyclists when you open your car door.
- Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
- Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
THINK! advice for when you’re cycling
- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you.
- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen.
- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.
- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility.
- Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
- THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.
Motoring organisation the AA has recently launched a ‘Think Bikes’ campaign, to promote better awareness of cyclists and motorcyclists by motorists. A million free wing mirror stickers are being distributed to drivers, encouraging them to check blind spots for cycles (nearside mirror) and motorcycles (offside mirror).
The AA’s president, Edmund King, said that: “The AA Think Bikes campaign is definitely needed when half of drivers are often surprised when a cyclist or motorcyclist ‘appears from nowhere’. Those on two wheels never appear from nowhere so as drivers we need to be more alert to other road users and this is where our stickers act as a daily reminder. Likewise riders need to be aware that they may not always be spotted by drivers. We hope that this campaign can reach the parts that other campaigns can’t reach.”
Free wing mirror stickers are being distributed at all Halfords outlets and directly to AA breakdown members. We encourage all motorists to us the stickers and check their mirrors carefully when driving. The Cycling Forum will be undertaking local proportion of both campaigns during 2014.