Nine in ten drivers ‘have difficulty’ spotting cyclists

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 15:00
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CAMPAIGN: New mirror stickers warn drivers

A new national road safety campaign has been launched after shocking new figures revealed nine in ten drivers have difficulty spotting cyclists.

Tony Rich, an AA patrol from Warrington, kicked off the ‘Think Bikes’ campaign alongside Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman and 20-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness on Friday, designing small wing mirror stickers to remind drivers to do a ‘double-take’ for those on two wheels.

The campaign, supported by the AA and Secretary of State for Transport, is the brainchild of Mr Rich, who tragically lost a family friend, Jack Bellis, 19, in a motorbike accident in October 2012.

There is a bicycle sticker for the passenger side and a motorcycle one for the driver side, with an initial one million being distributed by the AA and at Halfords outlets.

Mr Rich said: “We are all a bit overwhelmed to see how far the campaign has come.

“It’s been really inspiring to see this germ of an idea launched nationally with the help of Chris Boardman and John McGuinness.

“‘Think Bikes’ is just about making a difference.

“We would encourage all drivers to use the free stickers and do a ‘double-take’ in their mirrors for cyclists and motorcyclists.”

“We are all a bit overwhelmed to see how far the campaign has come…’Think Bikes’ is just about making a difference.”

Tony Rich, AA

New research by the AA shows 93% of drivers admit it is sometimes hard to see cyclists while driving, with 55% often ‘surprised when a cyclist appears from nowhere’.

The study also revealed that failure to look properly is the most commonly cited (42%) contributory factor in UK road accidents.

‘Think Bikes’ is supported by British Cycling and The Motorcycle Industry Association, as well as Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) also backed the campaign.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the IAM, said: “The IAM welcomes any campaign which raises awareness of how vulnerable cyclists can be around motor vehicles.

“Reminders can be useful but the best drivers should already be looking out for cyclists at all times.”

2 Comments

  1. I agree we call need to be vigilant when driving, and watching out for our two wheeled road users as well as pedestrians (especially where there are no pavements) is crucial to keeping everyone safe. But please can reflective/light coloured clothing be worn – also please can our two wheeled friends be made much more aware just how dangerous it is to weave in and out of stationery/slow moving traffic – just the other day stationery on a Motorway all of sudden a bike is working its way in between the traffic, then everything starts moving again and the bike gets knocked by a lorry because it is in the lorry’s and because he can’t see him catches him – fortunately no one really hurt and no real
    Damage – that is not the point, it could have been really serious particularly for the Biker and blaming the lorry driver would have been completely unfair. So whilst raising driver awareness is needed, so are the responsibilities of our two wheeled friends.

  2. I’m not surprised that drivers don’t see cyclists sometimes. Last summer I saw a cyclist riding on a lovely sunny day in dappled shadow past a high hedge mainly because the car in front suddenly swerved. The cyclist was wearing camouflage trousers & jacket – it was very effective. I often have difficulty seeing cyclists in dark clothes at night with no lights. The motorist is an easy target because they have insurance & registration plates. Cyclists, & pedestrians too, should take some responsibility for their own safety by complying with the law & being sensible.