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Be Safe, Be Bike Smart

With the national police two wheeled enforcement campaign well underway (20th May - 2nd June) local officers are urging all road users to be 'Bike Smart'.

With enforcement activities taking place to focus on keeping cyclists safe, West Mercia Police are also trying to raise awareness of road safety issues for those on two wheels. The campaign is targeting not only cyclists but other road users with the aim of increasing general awareness and the importance of sharing the road responsibly.

Unfortunately cyclists are one of the most vulnerable road users and continue to feature in collision statistics across West Mercia. Over the past three years 12 people have died and 177 have been injured in collisions involving a bicycle.

The aim of the national campaign is to raise awareness amongst all road users to improve driver behaviour but also to educate both groups of the dangers of not having the correct skills, knowledge and personal protective equipment.

Advice for cyclists:

  • Get a helmet - make sure it is properly fitted and always wear it when cycling.
  • Be as visible as possible, well clear of the kerb, wear bright clothing - high visibility and reflective clothing will ensure you can be seen in daylight and at night.
  • Always use lights after dark and in poor weather conditions.
  • Show other road users what you intend to do - look and signal before you start, turn or stop.
  • Don't dodge in and out of parked cars - ride in a straight line.
  • Use cycle lanes wherever they are available.
  • Don't ride with more than 2 of you side by side and on narrow roads ride in single file.
  • Never ride the wrong way up one-way streets.
  • Obey traffic lights - don't ride through on red.
  • Don't ride on pavements or footpaths unless there are signs permitting this.
  • Only use bus lanes where you see the symbol of a bicycle displayed.

Advice for motorists:

  • Cyclists have the same right to use the roads as other vehicles but need extra consideration because of their relative vulnerability.
  • Give extra space to cyclists on roundabouts and junctions where other vehicles can change speed and direction quickly.
  • Cyclists turning right are exposed and need extra consideration.
  • When overtaking, you should give cyclists at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car. The recommended distance is 1.5 metres or a car's width.
  • Always check for cyclists when opening a car door if parking on the street.

Superintendent Melanie Crowther for West Mercia Police comments: "Supporting this national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement is an important way of raising road safety issues amongst cyclists and other road users. We want to ensure we are doing all we can with both education and enforcement to keep cyclists safer. There are important messages that ALL motorists can take on board to improve road safety for cyclists and improve the way they share the road. There are also ways that cyclists can improve their own safety so we are working hard to get messages across on both of these areas".

As part of the campaign police officers will be taking part in operations across the two weeks to enforce compliance of road traffic regulations and improve driver / rider behaviour.

All road users are also being made aware of Operation Snap, the new dashcam reporting tool where evidence of dangerous driving / riding can be submitted to West Mercia Police for appropriate action. For more information, or to submit footage, visit www.westmercia.police.uk/operationsnap