The West Mercia Safer Road Partnership has launched the second phase of a cycle safety campaign which asks ‘what matters most’ when sharing the road?
The ‘What Matters Most’ campaign, which is supported by the Olympic cycling hero Jessica Varnish and CTC the national cycling charity, is designed to deliver ‘key messages’ for both cyclists and motorists.
The campaign says that that roads are a shared resource and sets out to highlight the many distractions that can cause drivers to fail to concentrate fully on the road and other road users – but also highlights ‘errors of judgement’ that some cyclists also make.
Jessica Varnish said: “I love the ‘What Matters Most’ campaign and hope that other cyclists will spread the word.
“I do ride on the roads myself occasionally, so I appreciate the importance of the campaign messages.
“The website offers a lot of information and sound advice for drivers and cyclists with the aim of improving understanding and appreciation of the need for our roads to be safer for everyone.”
Vicki Bristow, communications manager for West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership added: “Many vehicles have hi tech entertainment systems, satellite navigation, hands free kit and places for food/drink etc so it’s not surprising that drivers find it very easy to become distracted.
“Driver distraction is often sited as the main reason for a collision involving cyclists; the simple problem being that the driver has failed to keep their attention on the road and has not allowed for the fact they are sharing the road.
“Misjudgement of the amount of space needed to overtake a cyclist is also a common cause for collisions.
“Cyclists also have a part to play in ensuring that they are using the road as safely as possible. Rider distraction and failing to look properly often feature in the statistics, and the fact that the cyclist couldn’t be seen.
“This campaign aims to raise awareness to both groups so our road network can be shared safely.”
Professor David Cox OBE, chair of CTC, said: “CTC is delighted to be associated with ‘What Matters Most’ and hope it will nurture better understanding, highlight cycling issues and ultimately, save lives.”