Cycle safety in Edinburgh steps up a gear during National Bike Week
Published Tuesday 19 June 2012
Efforts to promote cycle safety in Edinburgh will be stepping up a gear this week as the city’s road safety partnership launches a new campaign to tackle the dangers of large vehicles and blind spots.
The latest in the series of 'Drive Safe, Cycle Safe' campaigns will coincide with National Bike Week (18-24 June) and aims to raise awareness of the scale of blind spots faced by those driving large vehicles, whilst highlighting to all drivers the need to thoroughly check for cyclists before turning left.
A road safety event will be held in Festival Square tomorrow Wednesday (20 June). Representatives from the City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian & Borders Police, Lothian Buses and Spokes will also be on hand during the event to give drivers and cyclists advice and information on how to avoid high risk situations.
Cycle safety videos will be shown on the Big Screen with free bike maintenance on offer at the event. Cyclists can also have their bikes security marked by Lothian and Borders Police.
In addition, Lothian Buses and the Council will provide HGV vehicles for practical demonstrations on where blind spots are located and how best to check for cyclists.
Councillor Jim Orr, Vice-Convener of Transport, said: "HGVs are involved in 14% of collisions with cyclists, higher than would be expected from the number moving around on the city's roads.
"This campaign looks at the issues from both the cyclist's and motorist's perspective with a view to increasing understanding of each other's point of view. This includes inviting cyclists and motorists to swap places during live demonstrations with large vehicles at our roadshow events.
"The message is that both need to take responsibility for safety on the roads and take extra care in high risk situations where cyclists are at their most vulnerable."
The most frequently attributed causes of collisions leading to injury with cyclists and other vehicles are 'failure to look properly' and 'failure to judge the other person's speed/movement' for both cyclists and other vehicles.
Nearly half of cyclist fatalities and serious injuries result from other vehicles either turning left/right across the cyclist's path or by opening vehicle doors.
The campaign will be supported by a series of adverts run on bus rears and roadside billboards throughout July that feature safety messages aimed at drivers and cyclists.
Superintendent David Carradice, Lothian and Borders Police said: "By working with our partner agencies under the Streets Ahead banner, Lothian and Borders Police are trying to make cycling in Edinburgh safer.
"Together, we want to reduce bike-related accidents by making people more aware of the dangers drivers, cyclists and pedestrians face, particularly from large vehicles such as lorries and buses.
"Officers on bikes will talk to members of the public throughout the campaign, encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions, supporting the sharing of road space and promoting respect towards all road users."
Cyclists across the city will also be invited to a free bike breakfast at the City Chambers on Wednesday morning.
The campaign is supported by Ian and Lynne McNicoll, whose son was recently killed in a collision with an HGV.
Lynne McNicoll, Co-founder, of The Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust, said "Ian and I strongly support the City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders Police in their initiative and indeed their Drive Safe Cycle Safe campaign.
"It is clear that we all must work together to improve road safety and this is another important step on that journey."
Further safety campaigns will run throughout the year addressing a range of issues affecting cyclists' junction manoeuvres, and visibility of cyclists. More information on www.streetsaheadedinburgh.org.uk.