Road safety charity calls for increased awareness

DriveSafe urges road users to tackle rise in cyclist accidents.

Birmingham-based DriveSafe is calling on all road users in the run up to Road Safety Week (November 17th-23rd) to improve their awareness, attitude and skills following a 10 per cent rise in the number of cyclists killed or injured on the roads in the past year.

The road safety charity is “appalled” at the latest Department for Transport figures showing that 3,530 cyclists died or suffered serious injuries in the 12 months to June.

In the same period 9,000 drivers and car passengers were killed or seriously injured – an increase of 4 per cent. So too were 5,510 motorcyclists – up 7 per cent – while the figure for pedestrians remained little changed at 5,570. Overall a total of 1,760 people were killed.

DriveSafe Founder Fay Goodman said: “The latest road accident figures are appalling and can’t simply be explained away by increased usage of the roads in warmer spring weather this year, as the Department for Transport has suggested.

“We need not only slower traffic speeds, safer routes and better policing, but also greater courtesy, consideration and understanding between different road users.”

She added: “Lives are being shattered by motorists who text at the wheel, cyclists who ride side by side on busy roads and pedestrians who don’t always look when they cross the road. That is why we are urging companies to send their employees on driver safety courses and campaigning for road safety to be made part of the national curriculum.

“We want children to be able to go to school safely by foot or bike so that we can also tackle the problem of obesity, ease the strain on the NHS, and reduce congestion around schools.”

DriveSafe is urging drivers to make a greater effort to look out for cyclists as the winter evenings draw in and the temperatures drop creating visibility issues.
The charity has ten top tips to help motorists avoid close calls with cyclists in winter:
– With the sun lower in the sky, ensure you have a full and clear field of vision
– Have a pair of sunglasses at hand if the sun is likely to dazzle you
– Allow extra time before leaving home to clear all ice or snow from your car
– Check all your lights are working so a cyclist can see you in gloomy weather
– Check your tyres have enough tread – at least 3mm is recommended for winter
– Take note of any blackspots on your journey and take extra care at them
– Match your speed to the conditions
– Take extra care in manoeuvring if roads are slippery
– Take more time in looking out for cyclists at junctions in low light conditions
– Be aware of cyclists coming up the side of your car behind you as you turn right

DriveSafe has introduced a driver safety course for employees as part of its ‘Courtesy on the Road’ campaign. The DriveSafe and StaySafe Courtesy on the Road programme aims to improve motoring skills and personal safety and reduce insurance costs. For more details, call 0121 351 1014/07976 426463 or email [email protected].

Fay Goodman was highly commended for corporate social responsibility at the Institute of Directors West Midlands Director of the Year Awards this year. DriveSafe published a driver’s handbook, DriveSafe – An Essential Guide for Motorists in association with Aston University in 2012.

Front pic: Drivesafe founder Fay Goodman

One thought on “Road safety charity calls for increased awareness

  1. I myself am fairly appalled by this announcement from DriveSafe. It presents a (largely false) picture of danger associated with cycling when it should properly be presenting a (very real) picture of danger being caused by motorists. Rather than how many cyclists killed it should be stated as how many persons killed by motorists. And so on. It’s not “cyclist deaths” but rather “motorist-caused deaths”.
    And especially the reference to cyclists riding side-by-side is inappropriate. Doing so in no way causes danger to others and is something people are entirely within their rights to do no less because they don’t have a car surrounding themselves at the time.
    Hopefully the new police commissioner will take action to ensure that the death/injury rate under his watch is reduced to zero and not a single one more.

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