10 February 2012
solicitors Leigh Day & Co recently sponsored a research project
which British Cycling carried out amongst its members on the subject of road safety. The response from British Cycling members is that road safety for cyclists needs improving drastically if the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured in the UK each year is to drop. The key message that the research identified was that greater mutual respect is needed between motorists and cyclists. British Cycling calls on the Government to introduce a number of measures that its members believe will improve the safety of roads for cyclists. These include greater cycle awareness in the driving test and Highway Code, ensure better enforcement of the law on mobile phone use while driving, and the improvement of poorly laid out roads and junctions which pose a danger particularly to inexperienced cyclists.
Two areas highlighted for particular attention were that drivers should know how to overtake cyclists safely, and how much space to allow cyclists. The most common complaint was about cycle lanes that end too abruptly. As well as the compulsory introduction of improved mirrors to reduce blind spots on HGVs, it was widely felt that better education for drivers to ensure they look out for cyclists and better education for cyclists about the risks of cycling on the inside of HGV would help reduce the risk of HGV-related accidents. The reduction of urban speed limits from 30mph to 20mph would also reduce the severity of injuries sustained in any accidents.
The cycling team at Leigh Day has represented many cyclists who have been injured on our roads Sadly our lawyers have also attended inquests with the families of cyclists who have died on the UK’s roads, often after having been crushed by lorries whose drivers made left-hand turns without checking for the presence of cyclists.
British Cycling will be using the views of its members to influence politicians and policy makers to make cycling safer. This has already begun with engagement with the Transport Minister and all the London Mayoral candidates on the key issues.
Nicole Cooke, Olympic Road Race Champion, said: “We know that personal safety, and the perceived risks associated with cycling, can be a barrier to getting on a bike, especially amongst women. If we want to continue to see participation grow we need to address this and make tangible changes to ensure the roads are safer for cyclists. Through greater respect we can ensure more people can enjoy riding a bike which has got to be a good thing to strive towards particularly in the year of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
welcomed the publication of the research and said:
“Leigh Day was pleased to be able to help British Cycling consult effectively with all its members. The published research shows that cyclists, many of whom are also drivers, have identified the fact that better respect and understanding between drivers of all road vehicles will surely result in fewer injuries and crashes”.
For more information please contact Penny Knight
, head of the cycle accident team at Leigh Day on 020 7650 1200
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