Drivers in the county are being called to be ‘Bike Smart’ and be more aware of cyclists.
Analysis carried out by road safety charity Brake, who are part-funded by Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, has found that last year the South East had the highest number of bike deaths and serious injuries.
Road users on two wheels accounted for 42% of 1,789 road deaths and serious injuries. Bike riders’ safety is currently being highlighted as part of national Road Safety Week this week – with Bike Smart as the 2018 theme.
Brake are calling for drivers to 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.
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.
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 commented:
“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.”