Road Safety GB Mercia region has launched a new campaign which urges drivers to keep an eye out for cyclists.
The ‘What Matters Most’ campaign cites a “resurgence in cycling nationwide”, describing this as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympics. It also points to DfT figures which indicate that the number of cycling casualties is growing.
Local statistics suggest that the greatest number of cycling collisions in the Road Safety GB Mercia region occur on main arterial routes, with 30mph speed limits, in urban environments. They are also more frequent in rush hour traffic, particularly between 4pm and 8pm on weekdays.
‘What Matters Most’ highlights the many distractions that can lead to drivers failing to concentrate fully on the road ahead and other road users. The aim of the campaign is to enable all road users to gain a greater appreciation of each other’s habits, obligations, and needs on the road.
The campaign will incorporate advan posters travelling on key routes across the West Midlands conurbation and rural counties of south and west Midlands. In addition, the campaign website and social media will provide extensive information and advice for drivers and cyclists.
Tim Philpot, chair of Road Safety GB Mercia, said: “Many modern vehicles have satellite navigation, air conditioning, electronically adjustable settings for everything and an entertainment system as sophisticated as anything at home.
“Add to this a mobile phone, drinks, snacks and other paraphernalia in the vehicle and it is hardly surprising that drivers allow themselves to be distracted.
“Everyone should be concentrating on the road, other traffic, and people around them. Drivers are often at fault when involved in a collision with a cyclist and a frequent problem is, simply, a failure to look properly and to plan ahead.
“We must focus on the most prevalent causes and, given the risk of much more serious injuries to a cyclist when involved in a collision with any other vehicle, it is their safety that leads this campaign.
“A significant proportion of collisions occur when someone makes a simple error or a poor decision just before impact. How guilty would anyone feel if they caused serious injury or loss of life, only because they glanced at a text, failed to look properly at a junction, or grabbed a sandwich on the move?
“On today’s busy roads, the centre of attention should just be drivers driving safely and cyclists riding safely.”
The campaign is endorsed by the national cycling charity, CTC. Professor David Cox OBE, chair of CTC, said: “With an increasing number of cyclists on our roads, it is crucial that drivers see them early, take extra care when passing and remain particularly vigilant at junctions.
“CTC is delighted to be associated with the What Matters Most campaign and hopes it will nurture better understanding, highlight cycling issues, and ultimately save lives.”
For more information visit the campaign website: www.whatmattersmost.org.uk