Doctors from a hospital in the north east of England are urging cyclists to wear ‘good quality’ helmets as part of a new campaign in the region.
Consultants at University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton are backing Road Safety GB North East’s (RSGB NE) cycling safety campaign to raise awareness of the importance of protective head gear.
Pedal cyclists only account for around 1% of the total miles driven and ridden around the region – yet they make up 8% of road traffic casualties and 13% of serious injuries.
For that reason, RSGB NE has joined forces with police and fire and rescue officers from Cleveland and Durham, to promote cycling safety.
Consultant Kevin Moore said: “There seem to be more people than ever cycling now, and in the last couple of years I would definitely say we have seen an increase in cycling-related injuries.
“I cycle myself, so am not being a killjoy, but I have seen too many significant head injuries to know that whenever I go out on my bike, or my son pedals his bike, we both wear helmets.”
As well as messages about protective gear, the campaign urges all road-users to give each other space and respect on the roads, particularly at junctions and when vehicles are overtaking bikes.
Motorists are also urged to leave at least 1.5m of space between their vehicle and a cyclist when overtaking at speeds of less than 30mph – and a bigger gap in poor weather conditions or when the vehicle is travelling at faster speeds.
Paul Watson, chair of RSGB NE, said: “I can’t think of any logical reason why cyclists, including children riding on pavements and in parks, should not wear helmets.
“Nobody wants to think that they will be involved in a road collision, but the reality is that it could happen and therefore people should reduce their chances of head injury simply by wearing the right gear.”