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Police campaign to help protect vulnerable road users

Warwickshire Police is urging drivers to take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders as part of a national campaign highlighting the needs of vulnerable road users.

Speaking as the national NPCC Campaign got underway (9-22 November) PPS Shaun Bridle said: “Vulnerable road users do not have the same protection as a driver sitting in a vehicle and even relatively minor contact can seriously injure them. For this reason we are asking drivers to please take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders using the roads.”

In Warwickshire more than a third (35 per cent) of road fatalities were motorcyclists in 2019, with 12 losing their lives.

Nationally 19 per cent of those killed on the roads are motorcyclists, meaning Warwickshire is considerably above average.

The reasons for this can be complex but motorcyclists can be difficult for other road users to see, especially at junctions and are often moving quicker than you might think. Motorcyclists can also be affected by side wind, when being overtaken and are often injured when cars pull out of junctions.

Warwickshire Police is encouraging bikers to improve their skills by progressing on to accredited post-test training courses such as BikeSafe or Biker Down.

12 per cent of county road fatalities, 12 in total, were cyclists, twice the national average of 6 per cent in 2019. Over the same period 24 cyclists were seriously injured.

Cyclists can be difficult to see, especially at junctions, have a tendency to wobble, and are easily affected by side wind when being overtaken. Cyclists are particularly vulnerable at roundabouts as they cannot move off very quickly. Cyclists ride away from the kerb to avoid drains and debris and to be more easily seen.

Drivers are asked to take extra care when overtaking cyclists and to leave plenty of space (at least 1.5m or a car’s width).

Cycling UK have produced a Too Close for Comfort video to show drivers what it’s like to be close passed so non cyclists can understand it from a cyclist’s perspective available to view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kgPt-lNYGY

Cyclists too can take action to help keep themselves safe on the roads. It’s important to check your bike regularly – especially the brakes, make sure you can be seen by wearing hi-vis and take extra care on the road particularly at junctions where three quarters of cyclist collisions happen. It’s also a legal requirement to cycle with lights between sunset and sunrise.

For tips and advice for both drivers and cyclists from RoSPA visit https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/cyclists/sharing-the-road.pdf

When overtaking horse riders, drivers should slow down and leave plenty of room.

The police are also advising drivers to take extra care around elderly pedestrians and children.

Members of the public can help improve road safety in Warwickshire by reporting and submitting digital footage showing potential moving traffic offences as part of Operation Snap. This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.

Your submission will be sent to Warwickshire Police where the evidence will be reviewed by road traffic police officers. Click here for more information https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/operationsnap

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