Integrated approach to road safety called for to prevent bike accidents
Hot on the heels of last week’s Public Health England report on “Reducing Unintentional Injuries on the Roads Amongst Children and Young People Under 25”, a poll published today by the BBC provides yet further evidence that roads are considered unsafe for cyclists and prominent figures are calling for an integrated approach to road safety as a result. The results are available at:-
The evidence from the poll is that over half of Britain’s adults think that the roads are not safe for cyclists. 52% said that it was too dangerous to cycle in their local area. People cited things like badly maintained roads, narrow cycle lanes and dangerous and speeding motorists as key areas of concern.
Former Olympian cyclist, Chris Boardman, who is now a Policy Advisor for British Cycling said that a clear commitment is needed from Government and local authorities to prioritise the safety and needs of cyclists in all future transport schemes. This is very much consistent with the Public Health England Report, which was supported by RoSPA and the Child Accident Prevention Trust, which called for a co-ordinated approach to road safety by involving all key stakeholders such as the Local Authority, Police, Fire Service and Communities.
Later this year, BRAKE – the road safety charity, will be promoting road safety week with the theme of “Look out for each other”. Cyclists are a particularly vulnerable cohort of road users and their safety can be prioritised if BRAKE’s recommendations in calling on motorists to slow down to 20 miles per hour in community areas, looking twice, taking it slow at junctions and bends and giving cyclist plenty of room become the norm and accepted practise amongst road users. Following that theme. cyclists can also do their bit by following the recommendations of Sustrans (the charity that supports cleaner, healthier and cheaper journeys) including following the Highway Code, riding positively and well clear of the kerb, riding where you can see and be seen, using lights and reflective clothing, making eye contact with other road users and signalling clearly.
Today’s poll is yet another timely reminder that all too frequently bad and inconsiderate driving can have catastrophic consequences, causing serious injury and/or fatal injury of far too many people in the UK, cyclists being particularly vulnerable to such terrible consequences. If the BRAKE concept of looking out for each other becomes part of the culture of all road users, hopefully the incidence of these horrendous incidents will be reduced.