Press release

Drivers and cyclists agree “let's look out for each other”

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

THINK CYCLIST campaign released.

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A new THINK! campaign, THINK CYCLIST, calls on drivers and cyclists to stay safe this autumn by looking out for each other – pointing out that drivers and cyclists have more in common than is often realised. With 80% of cyclists holding a driving licence, and 1 in 5 drivers cycling at least once a month, they are often the same people.

A new THINK! campaign, THINK CYCLIST, calls on drivers and cyclists to stay safe this autumn by looking out for each other – pointing out that drivers and cyclists have more in common than is often realised. With 80% of cyclists holding a driving licence, and 1 in 5 drivers cycling at least once a month, they are often the same people.

The THINK CYCLIST poll has also showed that cyclists and drivers agree on how to stay safe on the road. Looking twice for each other when turning or at junctions came out top for both as the precaution that would avoid the most collisions (41% of regular cyclists, and 35% of regular car drivers). Both also agree on how to make things better, with 67% of cyclists and 59% of drivers saying that giving each other space on the road was in their top 3 ways of making cyclists and drivers more visible to road users.

Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond said:

We take the issue of cycle safety extremely seriously so we are launching THINK CYCLIST, a campaign aimed at both cyclists and drivers.

With interest in cycling heightened by Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and our cyclists’ extraordinary success at the Olympics and Paralympics too, we want to remind cyclists and drivers of the importance of looking out for each other to avoid accidents.

Many people cycle and drive and a new THINK! poll shows both road user groups agree that looking twice at junctions, as well as giving each other space on the road, are practical things that we can all do to help reduce the numbers of cyclists killed and seriously injured on our roads each year.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

The safety of London’s road users is an absolute priority for me and improved cycle safety in particular is at the heart of all our work. So with ever more Londoners taking to the streets on 2 wheels, many inspired by our amazing summer of sport, the THINK CYCLIST campaign is a timely reminder of the need for road users to respect each other and make the city a safer place.

THINK CYCLIST is calling on drivers and cyclists to:

  • look out for each other, especially when turning
  • signal intentions so that the other road user can react
  • give cyclists space and remember that cyclists are advised to ride well clear of the kerb to be visible and avoid collisions

This is the first time that THINK! has targeted cyclists and drivers together, and the campaign has the support of organisations such as the RAC, AA and IAM The campaign will be working with motoring and cycling organisations nationally and locally to help to get safety messages to their members.

RAC technical director David Bizley said:

RAC welcomes any measure which helps improve safety for all road users and clearly with the growing interest in cycling there is a need for greater prominence of cycle safety. Many of our members are cyclists as well as drivers and we are keen to see greater awareness of the needs and risks presented by modern road use to, potentially, vulnerable cyclists.

AA President Edmund King said:

There are too many accidents between cars and cyclists. We need to look for each other whether opening a car door or changing lanes. As fuel prices rise and fitness moves higher up the agenda there will be more cyclists. Drivers need to think more about cyclists on the road.

Chief executive of the IAM Simon Best said:

Whether you’re on 2 wheels or 4, you are responsible for the safety of others. All accidents are preventable. By being considerate and eradicating bad habits we can significantly reduce accidents.

For further information please call Ella Sunyer or Cheryl Campsie on 020 7403 2230 or 07961 145 953 or Ella on 07859 078 932 or email ella@forster.co.uk / Cheryl@forster.co.uk.

Notes to editors

Find out more about THINK!, the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) road safety campaign.

Find out more about THINK CYCLIST, THINK!’s new cycling safety campaign.

THINK CYCLIST advice

When you’re driving:

  • look out for cyclists, especially when turning – make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them
  • use your indicators – signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
  • give cyclists space – at least half a car’s width. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
  • always check for cyclists when you open your car door
  • avoid driving over advance stop lines – these allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility
  • follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights

When you’re cycling:

  • ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
  • avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
  • always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
  • wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
  • follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights

THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2117 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21 to 23 August 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

DfT reported road casualties in Great Britain 2011 states that:

  • the number of pedal cyclists killed fell by 4% from 111 in 2010 to 107 in 2011
  • the number of seriously injured casualties increased by 16% to 3,085
  • the total number of killed and seriously injured cyclists in creased by 15% to 3,192
  • pedal cyclist traffic levels are estimated to have risen by 2.2% over the same period

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Published 20 September 2012