Well done and good luck to the AA for launching its 'Think Bike' awareness campaign. The motoring organisation with 15 million members is urging car drivers to look out for cyclists and motorcyclists. The AA will distribute stickers to its members for them to attach to their wing mirrors as a reminder to keep an eye out for cyclists and motorcyclists.
The AA-Populus cycle survey of 18,000 drivers indicates that 55% of motorists were "surprised when a cyclist appears from nowhere". 93% of drivers sometimes find it hard to see cyclists. 54% state that cyclists are "inconsiderate road users."
Edmund King, AA president, said “The AA Think Bike campaign is definitely needed when half of drivers are often surprised when a cyclist or motorcyclist "appears from nowhere". Those on two wheels never appear from nowhere, so as drivers we need to be more alert to other road users and this is where our stickers act as a daily reminder. Likewise riders need to be aware that they may not always be spotted by drivers. We hope that this campaign can reach the parts that other campaigns can’t reach.”
CTC’s Campaigns and Policy Director, Roger Geffen, commented "Let's not overstate the risks arising from bad cycling, however, but focus on the need for all road users to respect each other and follow the rules of the road. CTC absolutely agrees that this is the right approach, but this doesn’t mean cyclists should be doffing their caps to drivers when drivers behave responsibly - responsible behaviour should be the norm."
The AA campaign is launched on the day CTC publishes its policy briefing on cycle awareness campaigns for drivers.
Official figures revealing that 42% of collisions on roads are caused by a failure to look properly accords with my own experience as a solicitor who specialises in representing injured cyclists. Collisions are usually caused by a lapse of concentration which can have devastating consequences. The AA`s responsible campaign will hopefully reduce casualty numbers. As Chris Boardman has said “This campaign will undoubtedly contribute to promoting safer driving habits on the road.”
Paul Kitson is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers and heads the Cycle Injury Team.
Slater and Gordon have offices nationwide and offer a free consultation to people injured in accidents through no fault of their own. Call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we will call you.