The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Lancashire’s roads has increased by around 50 per cent in a year.
New figures revealed 97 pedal bike riders died or were seriously hurt in the county between January and September 2013, compared to 64 in the same period in 2012.
Lancashire Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness of both motorists and cyclists’ awareness of each other’s presence on the roads.
The campaign will use social media, posters and window stickers with the strapline ‘Let’s look out for each other’ to raise awareness of the vulnerability of cyclists, while giving both drivers and cyclists facts from the Highway Code.
Chief Insp Debbie Howard from the Road Policing Unit said: “Despite falling trends in the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads, the proportion of casualties which cyclists account for is an increasing one.
“There is no doubt cycling has grown in popularity but many collisions still occur because a driver doesn’t take the time to look out for a cyclist and equally cyclists do not always pay enough attention to their surroundings.
“Figures show there is a 50/50 split in who is responsible for collisions and we want to highlight the common ground between cyclists and drivers, recognising that 80 per cent of cyclists also hold a driving licence.
“This campaign is vital to remind cyclists and motorists to look out for each other through adopting some simple advice.”
The research showed cyclists were one of the most vulnerable road users, accounting for 6.5 per cent of all casualties and 10.2 per cent of those killed and seriously injured.
The biggest increase in serious accidents involving cyclists was in the force’s Western Division, including Blackpool and Kirkham, followed by the force’s Southern Division, including South Ribble, Chorley and West Lancashire, where they rose from 14 to 24.
In the Central Division, including Preston, there was a slight decrease from eight to seven.
As part of the campaign police will be posting daily diary entries on the force’s Facebook page featuring key safety messages from a driver, a cyclist and a police officer, giving clear guidance on what the Highway Code states, with a view to increasing the understanding of the different views that cyclists and other road users may have.
Posters will also be displayed in key locations across the county, including specialist cyclist and motorist shops, car parks and petrol stations.
Window stickers will be given out across the county for drivers to display in the back windows of vehicles.
When you’re driving
1. Look out for cyclists, especially when turning -make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them.
2. Use your indicators - signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
3. Give cyclists space – at least half a car’s width. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
4. Always check for cyclists when you open your car door
5. Avoid driving over advanced stop lines – these allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility
6. Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
When you’re cycling
1. Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
2. Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
3. Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.
4. Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
5. Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
6. THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations