Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging every road user to get involved in Road Safety Week (19-25 November). A key task for this year’s initiative is to encourage drivers to be ‘Bike Smart’ in an effort to raise awareness of the risks faced by cyclists and motorcyclists.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “Figures show that on average, a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured every hour of every day on a British road.
“The theme for Road Safety Week this year encourages drivers to be aware of the vulnerabilities of motorcyclists and cyclists, who make up almost 40 per cent of all deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s roads.
“This is a sentiment fully supported by GEM. We believe that by focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable road users, we can help ensure that everyone goes home safe every night.
“We therefore urge drivers to pledge their support for Road Safety Week, and make an effort to reduce risk and improve safety on their journeys. Please be constantly vigilant for two-wheeled road users, consider the needs of children on their bicycles, and ensure you give them time and space to complete their journeys safely.”
GEM has drawn up five simple but effective tips that can be adopted right now by any driver. The result will be safer road journeys for everyone:
- Be particularly careful on rural roads, where lack of space can combine with high vehicle speeds to create a particularly high-risk environment for cyclists and motorcyclists.
- Commit to constant vigilance. Banish distractions to give yourself the best chance of seeing a cyclist or motorcyclist early.
- Pass cyclists wide and slow. The Highway Code requests that you ensure a clearance of at least 1.5m as you go past a cyclist.
- Observe all speed limits. In particular, by complying with the speed limit in 20mph zones you will be playing your part to make communities safer.
- Use the ‘Dutch reach’ when opening a car door from the inside. This simple but effective manoeuvre just means you use the hand further from the door handle to get the door open. In doing so this forces you to look over your shoulder and minimizes occurrences of opening a car door into the oath of a passing cyclist.
As a long-established and energetic road safety campaigning organisation, GEM Motoring Assist is pleased to play its part in raising awareness of road safety issues, not only among its members but across the wider community.