Over 20 cyclists benefitted from safety advice and high-vis cycling products this morning (Friday 18th December) in Rugby, Warwickshire as part of a ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ initiative to raise awareness of the importance of being visible on the roads.
The cycle safety initiative was carried out by the Safer Roads Partnership and Warwickshire Police, who set up cycle safety stations in two locations: Hillmorton Road (towards DIRFT) and Brownsover Road (towards Swift Valley Industrial Estate) between 6am and 8am to engage with commuter cyclists on their way to and from work.
Any cyclists in dark clothing or without lights on their bike were stopped by uniformed police officers who offered safety advice about the importance of keeping themselves visible and high-vis cycling products to help keep them safe on the roads – e.g. flashing armbands, high-vis rucksack covers, high-vis neck scarves and bike lights.
As well as the 22 cyclists who were stopped this morning, police officers also engaged with 4 motorists for offences including speeding and lighting (e.g. defective headlights). Cyclists and motorists were dealt with through education and awareness, rather than enforcement.
PC Dave Mulhall from Warwickshire Police said: “Today’s initiative was a proactive way of raising awareness about the need for cyclists – and all road users – to make themselves visible on the roads, particularly at this time of year when the darker mornings and evenings are upon us. Between 2012 and 2014, there have been two fatal and 91 serious collisions involving cyclists in Warwickshire and we’re working with our partners on initiatives like this one to try and drive these figures down.”
“We had a lot of positive feedback from road users who we engaged with this morning or who saw us out and about. Unfortunately some of the cyclists we spoke to just didn’t recognise the dangers involved in not being visible. Initiatives like this one give us a good opportunity to promote some very simple awareness messages and make people think about their safety and the consequences of their actions.”
“We will be following up this initiative by contacting local organisations at DIRFT and Swift Valley Industrial Estate to find out how they are encouraging their employees who commute by bike to stay safe on the roads, and raising awareness of Road Safety Warwickshire’s Love2Bike scheme, which is delivered by Warwickshire County Council’s road safety team.”
Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership said “Our ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ cycle safety initiatives are a proactive way of raising awareness about the need for cyclists to make themselves as visible as possible on the roads, particularly at this time of year when the darker mornings and evenings are upon us.
“Over the last month, we’ve run 13 cycle safety initiatives across Warwickshire and West Mercia. Alongside uniformed police officers, we’ve stopped and spoken to over 350 cyclists who weren’t visible enough on the roads and gave them safety advice and high-vis cycling products to help keep them safe. It’s really encouraging to see plenty more out on the roads who are clearly visible already.
“We’ll continue to run initiatives throughout the winter months, as well as promoting Be Safe Be Seen advice to all road users and encouraging everyone to share the road responsibly and look out for each other.”
Road Safety Warwickshire’s Love2Bike scheme offers a range of cycle safety solutions to both motivate and train employees to cycle safely and more effectively. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 418612.