Drivers across the South East urged to be ‘Bike Smart’
Analysis by Brake, the road safety charity part-funded by Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, has found that the South East had the highest number of bike deaths and serious injuries in the UK in 2017. This comes from an average of five bike riders killed or seriously injured every day.
Those on two wheels accounted for nearly half (42%, a total of 1,789) of all road deaths and serious injuries in the region. Bike riders’ safety is being highlighted as part of national Road Safety Week (19–25 November), coordinated annually by Brake with the 2018 theme ‘Bike Smart’.
Brake is calling for drivers to be ‘Bike Smart’ and be more aware of bikes by: slowing down, giving more time to spot danger and react; looking properly for bikes before pulling out at junctions; leaving at least 150cm between cars and a bike when overtaking; and by doing the ‘Dutch reach’, using the opposite hand to open a car door to help avoid ‘car dooring’ incidents.
Brake’s analysis has highlighted the vulnerability of those on two wheels, who, in comparison with car drivers, are on average 34 times more likely to be killed and 63 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured, per mile travelled, on British roads.
A survey of more than 1,000 drivers, commissioned by Brake for Road Safety Week, found that the majority of drivers (52%) feel that bike riders are most vulnerable on urban roads.
The analysis has been published at the start of the UK’s biggest road safety event, Road Safety Week (19–25 November), coordinated by Brake. This year, thousands of organisations, schools and community groups are backing its ‘Bike Smart’ campaign, helping to raise awareness about the safety of those on two wheels.
Mrs Bourne comments,
“I am fully supportive of any campaign which aims to make our roads and those using them safer. We need to encourage drivers to be more vigilant and recognise the vulnerability of those on two wheels, especially on our rural roads. We must also make sure that motorcyclists are complying with speed limits to keep themselves safe.
“In Sussex we currently have a BikeSafe scheme which is a national police led initiative to engage with, and offer training to, motorcyclists in an aim to reduce those killed or seriously injured on our roads. We want to give riders, using the roads of Sussex, an insight into what can be achieved by exploring advanced riding techniques. If you are a rider and are serious about staying safe on the roads, book onto a BikeSafe course now: http://www.bikesafe.co.uk/locate-a-force/sussex/7073-2/
“Be BikeSmart, be BikeSafe.”