Be Bike Smart this Road Safety Week

With over 100 cyclists and motorcyclists injured every day in needless, preventable crashes, they are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK. For this reason, this year’s theme for Road Safety Week is ‘Bike Smart’.

Be Bike Smart this Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2018) is led by the road safety charity Brake to encourage us all to talk about road safety and remind ourselves of our role in keeping all road users safe. Many collisions that occur on our roads could have been avoided if those involved had given their riding/driving the attention it deserves. Drivers, cyclists and motorcyclists need to be bike smart.

Education and awareness are an important part of making our roads safer. There are a variety of courses and initiatives in Dorset for people to take advantage of, including specialist courses for motorcyclists.

I am proud that the UK’s first DocBike was launched in Dorset. DocBike is a motorcycle safety initiative offering free rider training including what to do in the event of an accident. It is an initiative that is saving lives. All riders can improve their skills - police motor bike riders undergo continuous training to enhance their riding skills.

Road safety is an area Dorset Police has focused on and the Force’s roads policing officers will be helping to improve safety on our roads through various activities across the county this Road Safety Week.

Last year saw the launch of Operation Close Pass in Dorset. The initiative is aimed at improving the safety of cyclists and educating road users about how to overtake vulnerable road users safely.

Many drivers believe they leave enough space for cyclists when they overtake but this isn’t always the case. You should leave a minimum of 1.5 metres between your car and the cyclist when overtaking. At high speeds or bad weather you should allow a full car width. Essentially, you should overtake a cyclist as you would a car.

As the nights are drawing in it is even more important that drivers look out for road users on two wheels, and that road users on two wheels make themselves as visible as possible. Cyclists are legally required to have lights on their bike (front and rear) but should also consider wearing reflective clothing to make them more visible. Drivers should always look for cyclists and motorcyclists, especially at junctions, and regularly check their mirrors and blind spots.

Martyn Underhill

For more tips for drivers and two wheel road users, read the Give Space Be Safe leaflet here > 

Details on driver courses and road safety news can be found on the Dorset Road Safe website here > 

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