Warwickshire on the road to being Bike Smart

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) had a busy week last week supporting National Road Safety Week!

The theme for this year was Bike Safety, and with more than 100 riders injured every day in needless, preventable road traffic collisions, and with the darker nights setting in, it was a great opportunity for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service to support the week with a range of exciting activities.

Throughout National Road Safety Week, WFRS visited schools across Warwickshire to work with school children and highlight the importance of road safety, ensuring you are safe and visible when using a bike, especially during the dark winter nights along with important information about bike safety.

During Road Safety Week, WFRS also held a Biker Down Session, which is a free training course available to all road users and provides advice and training about how to avoid accidents and what to do if you are at the first on scene at a RTC incident. The session includes practical skills to help avoid being in a crash, advice on what to do if you are first on the scene and essential first aid training.

Saeed Sheikh, Community Fire Safety Officer from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Last week working with schools, local businesses and communities we raised awareness of the importance of safety on our roads. Everyone is responsible for keeping our roads safe, whether you are a car driver, cyclists or motorcyclist. We ask all road users to do so safely and ensure you are considerate of other users and are clearly visible at all times. Don’t take it as a second chance that you think people can see you. Be Safe… Be Seen… Be BikeSmart”

Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety added: “Cycling has many health and environmental benefits while motorcyclists can travel at equal speeds to cars, however, both have far less protection if a collision were to occur. To help make our roads safer for all users, the Community Safety Team have been working closely with schools and communities to highlight the importance of visibility when on or near roads and raising awareness of safe driving behaviour for drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists alike.”

To help stay safe on the roads, please follow the general safety advice below for cyclists:

  • Follow the Highway Code – don’t jump red lights and don’t cycle on the pavement unless it’s a designated cycle path.
  • In wet weather watch your speed as surfaces may be slippery and it will take you longer to stop.
  • Consider wearing a helmet.
  • Make sure motorists can see you. Ride in a position where you can see and be seen.
  • Use lights and consider wearing bright or reflective clothing, especially in towns, at night and in bad weather.
  • Signal clearly at all times.
  • Be aware of vehicles as many collisions occur when a cyclist is on the inside of a vehicle which is turning left. Don’t assume the vehicle is going straight ahead just because it isn’t signalling left. Always avoid ‘undertaking’ any vehicle in this situation – it’s better to hang back until the vehicle has moved off.
  • Cycle training is a good option if you are new to cycling or haven’t cycled for a while. It will help you develop skills and increase your confidence to tackle busier routes.

Safety advice for motorists:

  • To make roads as safe as they can be, motorists must be aware of cyclists too
  • When turning left watch for cyclists coming up on your nearside and don’t cut them up.
  • Give cyclists a wide berth when overtaking.
  • At night, dip your headlights when approaching cyclists.
  • In wet weather, allow cyclists extra room as surfaces may be slippery.
  • Remember, cyclists and motorists are equally entitled to use and share the same road space.