With the clocks going back this weekend, the commute to and from work will be much darker, leaving cyclists much more vulnerable. So officers from the Joint Operations Unit, which covers Hampshire and the Thames Valley, have launched an operation to shine a light on how important it is to be bright.
Between January 2011 and December 2015, 979 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Of those incidents which resulted in a cyclist being killed or seriously injured, 21% happened during the morning and evening rush hours and 75% occurred on 30mph roads.
The aim of the week of action is to remind cyclists about the importance of riding with lights while speaking to motorists to ensure they are considerate of their fellow road users. With a little extra thought and consideration from everyone on the roads, it is hoped that fewer families will face the devastation caused by serious collisions.
Officers will be carrying out specific operations across the county where they will be offering advice as well as freebies to help boost safety. These will include fluorescent rucksack covers, fluorescent neck tubes and ‘get you home lights’ for those cyclists without lights.
Cyclists and motorists will also be handed a new ‘Get a Grip’ cycle safety booklet, packed full of all the latest advice encouraging safer roads for everyone.
Primary schools will also be getting in on the action with youngsters being encouraged to wear bright clothing for their Your Time to Shine Day.
Road Safety Sergeant Rob Heard said:
“During this week we will be speaking to cyclists and other road users about safe riding and driving tips and about sharing the road together for the safety of all.
“Cycling is a great way to keep fit and healthy, however cyclists are one of our vulnerable road users and when they are involved in a collision the injuries can be serious.
“As the light reduces and visibility diminishes it is always good idea for all road users to be bright and as visible as they can.
“Despite the dangers, some cyclists take the risk of riding without lights, which as well as being illegal, increases their risk of being involved in a collision.
“We hope that this week of action will remind both cyclists and motorists that a little extra consideration of each other will make our roads safer for everyone.”
Between sunset and sunrise cyclists must have front and rear lights illuminated. They must also have a red rear reflector and if manufactured after October 1985, they must have amber pedal reflectors fitted.