Lights campaign to remember Lewis

Lewis, 18, was knocked off his bike
Lewis, 18, was knocked off his bike
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A campaign, inspired by a young cyclist killed on the roads, is helping to raise awareness of the dangers of riding in dark winter conditions.

Promising cyclist Lewis Balyckyi had no lights on his bike when he was knocked over by a van in January 2011 in Bretherton, near Chorley.

Four years on, Lancashire County Council is hoping the campaign ‘Look for Lewis’, inspired by the 18-year-old rider, will save lives.

Mr Binks said: Paul Binks, Lancashire County Council’s road and transport safety manager, said: “Protecting cyclists and other vulnerable road users is one of our key priorities.

“It’s a legal requirement for people to use lights when cycling at night. We’d advise anybody intending to cycle at night and during the winter to check that their lights are working, carry a spare set of batteries and wear reflective clothing at all times.

“We try to make cyclists aware of the dangers of cycling in darker conditions through initiatives such as our ‘Look for Lewis’ display at Leyland House driving training centre.

“This tells the story of Lewis Balyckyi, a keen cyclist who was tragically killed when his bike was hit by a van on a country road at night.

“In addition, we offer a range of training courses aimed at adults and children to help make Lancashire’s roads safer for everyone.”

Lewis’ family set up a charity the Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund and handed out high visibility vests to the youngster’s old school Lostock Hall High School in June ahead of the winter months.

And Lewis’s dad Kevin Balyckyi urged cyclists to invest in good lights to keep themselves safe this winter.

He said: “It is vitally important that cyclists protect themselves by having decent lights on their bikes

“I see lots of people on bikes dressed in dark clothing with either no lights at all or really cheap ones on.

“The danger with having cheap lights is that people think they are safe but they are not. While this may comply with the law they cannot be seen until the very last minute, if at all.

“Decent, bright lights can be bought for the price of a takeaway these days - is it really worth the risk?.”