This month, we have been talking to students about the importance of cycle safety. You too can talk to your children about these points to help them cycle more safely.
Cyclists need to concentrate as much as any other road user, if not more, as they are more vulnerable. Using mobile phones and mp3 players whilst cycling is extremely dangerous, as cyclists need to concentrate on the road and other road users.
Think about clothes. Are they bright and visible? If bright clothes are not suitable for everyday use, fluorescent and reflective tabards can be worn until the destination is reached. White front lights and red rear lights MUST be used after dark. They will also help you be seen in the rain or if the weather is overcast.
Always wear a helmet as this can reduce the risk of head injury in a crash.
- Road position and signaling
Steer clear of the kerb and don’t ride in the gutter. Give space on the left, and don’t hug the kerb if a car behind you gets
impatient. Don’t weave between lanes or change direction suddenly. Show drivers what you plan to do in plenty of time. Always look and signal before you start, stop or turn. Make eye contact with drivers and let them know you’ve seen them.
Is the bike regularly maintained and checked? Brakes MUST work well in all conditions. Are lights and reflectors clean and in good working order? Are the tyres in good condition and inflated to the pressure shown on the tyre? Are the gears working correctly? Is the chain properly adjusted and oiled? Are the saddle and handlebars adjusted to the correct height?
The Highway Code and the law apply to cyclists as well as other road users. Cyclists MUST obey traffic signals and signs.
Remember it’s against the law for cyclists to:
- jump red lights, including lights at pedestrian crossings
- cycle on pavements, unless there’s a sign showing that cyclists are allowed to do this
- cycle the wrong way up a one-way street, unless there’s
a sign showing that cyclists can do so
- ride across pedestrian crossings, unless it’s a toucan
crossing with a sign saying that cyclists can do so