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Almost 250 cyclists benefit from 'be safe be seen' advice from police in last two weeks - 4 December 2015

Almost 250 cyclists have benefitted from safety advice and high-vis cycling products across Warwickshire and West Mercia during the first two weeks of a 'Be Safe Be Seen' campaign to raise awareness of the importance of being visible on the roads.

The cycle safety campaign is being carried out by the Safer Roads Partnership, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, and initiatives have taken place during morning (6:30-8:30am) and evening (4-6pm) rush hours to engage with commuter cyclists on their way to / from work or school.

Any cyclists in dark clothing or without lights on their bike were stopped by uniformed police officers who offered safety advice about the importance of keeping themselves visible and high-vis cycling products to help keep them safe on the roads - e.g. flashing armbands, high-vis rucksack covers, neck scarves and bike lights. The campaign launched w/c 23rdNovember and seven initiatives have been held during the first two weeks in the following locations:

  • 24/11/15 - Nuneaton (Tuttle Hill)
  • 25/11/15 - Leominster (town centre)
  • 25/11/15 - Atherstone (Carlyon Rd Industrial Estate and Birch Coppice Business Park)
  • 26/11/15 - Leamington Spa (High Street / Radford Road)
  • 30/11/15 - Hereford city (old bridge)
  • 02/12/15 - Redditch (town centre / Unicorn Hill)
  • 03/12/15 - Stratford-upon-Avon (Alcester Road and Clopton Bridge)

Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership said "Our 'Be Safe Be Seen' cycle safety initiatives are a proactive way of raising awareness about the need for cyclists to make themselves as visible as possible on the roads, particularly at this time of year when the darker mornings and evenings are upon us.

"Between 2012 and 2014, there have been 13 fatal and 201 serious collisions involving cyclists in Warwickshire and West Mercia. This initiative isn't about singling cyclists out, or giving out cautions or tickets. It simply aims to raise awareness and improve their safety on the road, as part of our wider strategy to continue to reduce collisions and casualties on the roads.

"Alongside uniformed police officers, we've stopped and spoken to almost 250 cyclists over the last two weeks who weren't visible enough on the roads - e.g. dark clothing or no lights on their bike - and gave them safety advice and high-vis cycling products to help keep them safe. It's really encouraging to see plenty more out on the roads who are very clearly visible already.

"We've had a lot of positive feedback from road users who we've engaged with. Unfortunately some of the cyclists we've spoken to throughout these initiatives just didn't recognise the dangers involved in not being visible. A number of cyclists had lights or high-vis gear at home, but didn't feel that they needed them - even though it was very dark when we stopped and spoke to them. Initiatives like this one give us a good opportunity to promote some very simple awareness messages and make people think about their safety and the consequences of their actions.

"We'll continue to run initiatives throughout the winter months, as well as promoting Be Safe Be Seen advice to all road users and encouraging everyone to share the road responsibly and look out for each other."

Further 'Be Safe Be Seen' cycle safety initiatives will take place across Warwickshire and West Mercia throughout the winter months. Next week's initiatives are as follows:

  • Wednesday 9th December (6:30am-8:30am) - Worcester
  • Wednesday 9th December (4pm-6pm) - Telford
  • Thursday 10th December (6:30am-8:30am) - Malvern
  • Thursday 10th December (6:30am-8:30am) - Shrewsbury