Safe cycling day launched

A campaign has been launched to promote the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the roads.

Organisations such as businesses and community groups are being encouraged to get involved in 'Bright Day' to spread the word about road safety.

The idea of Bright Days has been coined by road safety charity Brake in conjunction with partner Autoglass.

On a Bright Day motorists are reminded about the need to show respect towards pedestrians and cyclists and in particular drive carefully around schools and in residential areas.

Brake and British Cycling have published the results of a survey of 1,000 cyclists to support the campaign, showing that improved safety on the roads would bring benefits to the population.

Almost half (46%) of respondents said they would get on their bike for shorter journeys if roads were made safer, with a similar proportion (44%) saying they would cycle more as a pastime or for exercise.

Four out of 10 (40%) people said they would use their bicycle more often for commuting to work if there were safer routes in their local area.

The wider introduction of 20mph speed limits appears to have the backing of the sample too, with around two-thirds (68%) of cyclists saying they are needed throughout their local area to make it safer to walk or cycle.

This appears to echo a finding from a survey carried out last year by British Cycling, which revealed approximately two-thirds (65%) of British Cycling members think fewer cyclists would be injured if 20mph limits were rolled out in residential areas.

Brake and British Cycling believe it wouldn't be just road safety that would benefit from 20mph zones and improved road design, but also it would create healthier and greener communities in which people are more active without being at undue risk of harm.

In the meantime though, they are urging drivers to slow down and give cyclists extra space while also keeping an eye out for people travelling on foot.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said Bright Days are an inexpensive way for organisations to spread the message of road safety while also raising money for the charity.

Wearing bright clothes for a day can act as an effective visual reminder about the importance of looking out for vulnerable road users, she added.

It seems that the event can help to give the user of the car credit for driving responsibly and showing courtesy to cyclists while giving everyone the opportunity to have a fun day to boot.

Autoglass communications manager Samantha Day said it creates a positive feeling to see walkers and cyclists taking to the roads again as spring is on the way.

"However, it is essential that motorists consider these additional road users and drive with caution, particularly around schools and residential areas," she said.

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