Cyclists and drivers are being urged to take more care around junctions and roundabouts in Surrey as part of a cycling safety campaign.
The initative is being run by Drive SMART, a partnership between Surrey County Council and Surrey Police. The aim is to encourage more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling while staying safe.
According to the Council:
- While cycling-related injuries are rare, figures show that accidents are most common around ‘give way’ junctions and roundabouts.
- Data covering the years 2008 to 2014 shows that almost one in three (32 per cent) of accidents involving cyclists in Surrey happened when a vehicle turned across the path of a cyclist, for example when leaving a side road at a T-junction.
- However, a further 23 per cent of cycling accidents involved no other vehicle, for example when the cyclist lost control while riding at speed or braking.
- Last year, there were four fatalities, 162 serious injuries and 482 slight injuries of cyclists on Surrey’s roads.
The cycle safety campaign, which runs until the end of August, aims to help cyclists understand correct road positioning and to encourage drivers to give cyclists enough room on the road, taking particular care around junctions.
Transport for London graphics are being used to remind both car drivers and cyclists to share the county’s roads responsibly and look out for one another. Adverts on local radio, in trains and on the backs of buses, as well as online and via social media, also feature.
In support, Surrey Police officers will play an enforcement role by intervening when offences are committed or when there is anti-social behaviour on the roads.
County Cllr Kay Hammond, Drive SMART Chairman, said:
“We’re pleased that more people are enjoying the many benefits of cycling, particularly now that we’re getting the warmer summer weather. Not only does taking to two wheels offer health benefits and greater freedom, it can also save riders money.
But even one accident is one too many and through the Drive SMART campaign, we want to encourage both cyclists and drivers to stay safe by taking precautions and looking out for each other on Surrey’s roads.”
Superintendent Chris Moon, of Surrey Police, said:
“The vast majority of drivers and cyclists share our roads considerately and safely. On occasions when they don’t, and they put themselves and others in harm’s way, we will take consistent action to educate and enforce.
There are a range of interventions available for our officers to use with both drivers and cyclists, from verbal advice or a referral to road safety training to fixed penalties or court summons where proportionate and appropriate. We’re committed to working with our partners at Surrey County Council to reduce cycle casualties and make our roads safer for everyone.”
More information on the campaign can be found on the Drive SMART website: http://www.drivesmartsurrey.org.uk/
(Separately, Surrey County Council is also consulting on bus, walking and cycle improvements in the local area, including better cycle routes. The closing date for responses is 31 July – details of the proposals are in our previous article.)