Warwickshire Police asks cyclists and drivers to stay alert and look out for each other on the roads
Main article content
Warwickshire Police is asking drivers and cyclists to please stay alert and look out for each other especially at junctions, as more cyclists of all ages and abilities take to the roads as the weather continues to improve this summer.
Cycling is a great form of exercise and we want to encourage people to cycle for leisure and as a healthy alternative form of transport, but with an increasing number of cyclists using our roads it is more important than ever for all road users to share the road responsibly and to work together to keep each other safe.
Sergeant Shaun Bridle said “We need to look after each other on the roads and share the space sensibly. This includes drivers taking extra care when overtaking cyclists and to leave plenty of space - at least 1.5m or a car’s width when overtaking a cyclist as they may have to move out into the road to avoid hazards like drains, potholes or debris.”
We all need to remember that cyclists do not have the same protection as a driver sitting in a vehicle and even relatively minor contact can seriously injure them.
Both cyclists and drivers need to take extra care at junctions as nationally 75% of collisions involving cyclists happen at a junction with the most common reason being drivers failing to look properly. However failing to look properly is also a common mistake made by cyclists and contributes to 42% of cyclist collisions at junctions (Source RoSPA).
Cyclists too can take action to help keep themselves and others safe on the roads. It’s important to check your bike regularly – especially the brakes, make sure you can be seen by wearing hi-vis and extra careful on the road particularly at junctions.
Cyclists should also consider other road users particularly where there are no pavements and when passing a slower road user such as a pedestrian or horse on the road. When approaching horses, cyclists should slow down and alert them to your presence by saying hello and asking if it is ok to pass from a safe distance before passing them wide and slow.
Members of the public can also help improve road safety in Warwickshire by reporting and submitting digital footage showing potential traffic offences as part of Operation Snap. This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.
In 2020, 75% (87) of injuries to cyclists were slight, 2 cyclists died on Warwickshire’s roads and 27 cyclists were seriously injured with almost all casualties being men.
In 2020, a third (or 10) of cyclists killed or seriously injured were aged between 66-75 compared to 1 in this age group in 2019. This could be due to the effect of the lockdown and this retired group not being able to travel, they have taken to their bikes, especially as the weather was also good. They may also have been trying to improve their health and fitness during the pandemic.
It may also be surprising to learn that almost 50% of collisions involving cyclists occur on roads with a 30mph speed limit.