A DROITWICH driver is calling on parents of young cyclists to talk to them about road safety after encountering some ‘risking life and limb on the roads’.
Judy Withers said, with the nights drawing in, cyclists were riding without lights in the dark, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
One boy of 13 or 14 ‘shot across the pelican crossing on Tagwell Road after the traffic lights had changed to red, before weaving in and out of pedestrians on the pavement’.
“He seemed to think he had right of way in all cases and was extremely keen to get to school.
“He accelerated over the main road between moving cars and disappeared up the drive of St Andrew’s hotel.”
The evening before, while driving at 50mph on the 70mph A4440 in Worcester she saw a boy aged between 11 and 13 cycling on the central reservation towards the traffic with no lights on his bike.
“His uniform was dark and he was wobbling over rubbish on the grass, in danger of falling under the oncoming traffic.
“He was wearing his helmet but it wouldn’t save him if he fell into the path of a car or lorry.
“There was no way I could stop without causing an accident and I felt that calling the police wouldn’t solve the immediate problem.
“When I got home, I worried about this lad all night.”
Ms Withers said: “Both young men I saw will not survive to adulthood if they continue in this way.
“They are not invincible despite what they think.
“I wonder what their mums will say when the police arrive at the front door to deliver the death news.
“Please speak to your children about their importance to you and stress they needn’t save a few minutes to arrive early at their own funeral.”
During this week’s Road Safety Week, free high visibility equipment and free lights are being given out as part of a Be Safe, Be Seen’ campaign.
The Safer Roads Partnership and West Mercia Police local policing teams are targeting areas used by cyclists and areas where there have been collisions to ensure cyclists and pedestrians are as visible as possible.
“We hope parents will support our work by encouraging their child to think about their visibility on the roads, explaining the importance of keeping themselves as safe as possible and ensuring they have front and rear lights on their bike,” added a spokesperson.
Motorists are also being urged to ensure they give cyclists the 1.5m (or a car’s width) safe passing distance when overtaking.
Here is some advice for cyclists released by the Safer Roads Partnership and West Mercia Police during Road Safety Week
At night, your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector.
White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen.
Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.
Cyclists should wear:
• A cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and securely
• Appropriate clothing for cycling. Avoid clothes which may get tangled in the chain, or in a wheel or may obscure your lights.
• Light-coloured or fluorescent clothing which helps other road users to see you in daylight and poor light.
• Reflective clothing and / or accessories (belt, arm or ankle bands) in the dark.
Pedal Cycle Offences and Penalties
Pedal cycle offences carry a £100 (non-endorseable) fixed penalty notice.
• Lamps not correctly fitted or not fitted at all.
• Lamps and reflectors not maintained.
• Lamps and reflectors on the bicycle not switched on.
• Contravening traffic regulations
• Cycling on a footpath.
Additional safety messages for cyclists:
• Wear bright colours during the day so other road users can see you, and reflective clothing
at night. Reflective patches or logos on the moving parts of your body show up particularly well.
• Motorists have blind spots and the bigger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Think and position yourself so motorists can see you.
• Use good quality lights front and rear at night and in low level light. Check that they work every day that you cycle.