Sussex Police is urging both drivers and cyclists to make the county safer by looking out for each other on the roads.
Do you always check twice for bikes when driving? And do you always think of pedestrians and other road users when you are on a bike?
Last year four cyclists were killed on the county’s roads and a further 145 were seriously injured.
Across the country the number of cyclists killed on the roads increased from 107 to 118 between 2011 and 2012. More than 3,000 cyclists were seriously injured in each of those two years as well.
CCTV footage recorded on the A259 in Chichester in 2012 shows how a moment’s carelessness can lead to a potentially serious accident.
The footage shows a car driver pulling out of a side road and crashing straight into a 12-year-old girl on a bicycle waiting to turn in Bognor Road.
To watch the footage visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_sXsXtlpYM&feature=youtu.be.
The 41-year-old motorist was convicted of driving without due care and attention and was given three points on his licence and ordered to pay £85 costs, an £85 fine and a £20 victim surcharge.
Sergeant Carl Knapp said: “Fortunately in this case the cyclist escaped with bumps and bruises but it could have been a lot worse.
“Despite being just a few yards away, the car driver completely failed to look for the cyclist.
“It shows how dangerous any one of us can be if we fail to spot and take on board all of the other road users near us.
“This footage shows a car driver to blame but there have equally been incidents where cyclists have been knocked down after pulling in front of vehicles without looking.
“My message to all road users is look once, look twice and then look a third time if you have to - whatever you need to do to make sure you keep yourself and other people safe.
“Seventy per cent of collisions where cyclists suffer serious harm or are killed happen at junctions.
“I would urge all road users to reflect on this and to take that opportunity to double check their view at junctions before passing through.
“Whether you have right of way or not, by getting a good understanding of the other road users and their position and speed, you are better placed to anticipate and take avoiding action where necessary.”
Safety tips for drivers:
- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning - make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them
- Use your indicators and signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
- Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking them, leaving as much room as you would give a car. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
- Always check for cyclists when you open your car door
- Advanced stop lines allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
Safety tips for cyclists:
- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb - look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
- Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet that is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations.
For more information about road safety and cycling visit http://www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/ask-us/roads,-driving-and-cycling