Police encourage safety on two wheels

Some cyclists
Some cyclists

With the weather improving and the summer months approaching police want to ensure that anyone going out in the county on two wheels is as safe as they can be.

April has seen the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s ‘Passmore Priority’ as cycling and motorcycling safety.

During the month Tim Passmore, along with Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for roads and transport, undertook Bikeability Training and successfully achieved Bikeability Level Three.

The training was delivered by John Showell, road safety officer (Bikeability) and Iain Watson, senior road safety officer.

Mr Watson said: “They were already good cyclists, but both learned more about safer road positioning and how to cycle with other traffic when to be more cautious or when to be more assertive.”

Mr Passmore said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my cycle training and would encourage other cyclists to do the same.

“The session was a great opportunity to refresh my cycling skills and learn new tips to keep me safe on the road.

“Whether you cycle as a hobby or as a commuter it is important to know how to keep safe on our roads so I’d encourage every cyclist to think about refreshing their skills by taking note of these simple safety tips or by signing up to a Bikeability course.”

Police are looking to following on from this by offering safety tips to both cyclists and drivers so that riders’ journeys, whether they are for pleasure or commuting, end safely.

Tips for cyclists

1. Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you

2. Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen

3. Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor

4. Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility

5. Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights

6. Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations

Tips for drivers

1. Look out for cyclists, especially when turning - make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them

2. Use your indicators - signal your intentions so that cyclists can react

3. Give cyclists space – If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened

4. Always check for cyclists when you open your car door

5. Avoid driving over advanced stop lines – these allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility

6. Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.

In relation to motorcyclists, Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies are working together through their Joint Roads Policing and Firearms Unit to deliver a new Safe Rider scheme aimed at improving the skills of motorcyclists already on the road.

The two day workshops will run from April through to September, the months when it is considered more motorcyclists take to the roads due to the warmer weather.

They are aimed at riders living in Suffolk and are run with the support of Suffolk Roadsafe and funding from the Copdock Classic Motorcycle Club.

The workshops cost £50 per person and are held at Suffolk Police Headquarters, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich.

The remaining workshop dates for 2014 are:

May 23/24

June 13/14

July 18/19

August 22/23

September 26/27

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Wilson said: “As one of the partners working to reduce killed and serious injury road collisions, Suffolk Constabulary is committed in supporting the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Priority.

“We would like everyone to enjoy the use of the County’s roads and if cyclists, motorcyclists and motorists all drive and ride carefully, and look out for each other, then everyone can arrive at their destination safely.”

From April 2012 to 2013 there was one fatal accident involving a cyclist and 44 serious injuries, with another fatality the following year and 35 serious injuries.

During the same period involving motorbikes there were four fatal crashes and 73 serious injuries and then 11 fatals and 56 serious injuries.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (May 15) Echo.