Alberto Costa, MP for South Leicestershire, this week showed their support for Road Safety Week (19-25 November), coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity, with the 2018 theme of ’Bike Smart’.
At an event in Parliament, Alberto met with representatives from Brake to learn more about why cyclists and motorcyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users and what people in South Leicestershire can do to be more bike smart and help keep those on two wheels safe.
Analysis by Brake, the road safety charity, has found that more than a third (34%, a total of 670) of all deaths and serious injuries on East Midlands’ roads was a bike rider. Brake’s analysis has also highlighted the high vulnerability of those on two wheels, who, in comparison with car drivers, are on average 34 times more likely to be killed and 63 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured, per mile travelled, on British roads.
Those on two wheels also face increased danger on our rural roads. Two-thirds (301) of bike deaths in 2017, an average of 25 a month, took place on rural roads – the highest number of bike deaths on Britain’s rural roads for more than five years. Concerningly, the fatal crash risk facing bike riders on rural roads – which accounts for miles travelled – is also at its highest since 2010.
Alberto heard how Brake is calling for drivers to be ‘Bike Smart’ this Road Safety Week by following a few simple steps: slowing down, giving more time to spot danger and react; looking properly for bikes before pulling out at junctions; leaving at least 150cm between cars and a bike when overtaking; and by doing the ‘Dutch reach’, using the opposite hand to open a car door to help avoid ‘car dooring’ incidents.
Alberto said, “I am very pleased to be supporting Brake’s excellent bike smart campaign for this year’s Road Safety Week. My constituency of South Leicestershire is home to many very keen cyclists and motorcyclists, however with a high number of accidents and fatalities taking place on rural roads, such as those in the county, it’s of tremendous importance that all road users take Brake’s very sage advice when using the carriageways. Ensuring we’re all aware at busy junctions, and maintaining safe passing distances are crucial to keeping everyone safe on Britain’s roads and I am delighted to support Brake’s work in highlighting this”.
Mr Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, said, “I am delighted that Alberto has shown his support for Road Safety Week, helping raise awareness in South Leicestershire about the safety of those on two wheels. Every hour, a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured on a British road – each a tragedy that will devastate innumerable lives. We can all be more Bike Smart in the hope that we can put an end to the tragedy of death and serious injury on our roads. Rural roads, with their high speeds, blind bends and few cycle lanes, pose particular danger to those on two wheels, with the risk of a fatal rural road bike crash now at its highest since 2010. The Government’s announced focus on rural road user safety is welcome and we encourage the consideration of rural road speed and bike-safe infrastructure, such as segregated cycle lanes, in its plans”.
Picture above shows Alberto with Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at Brake, during the campaign’s launch in Parliament earlier this week.