ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is reminding everyone out on a bicycle during the current period of lockdown to follow a few simple safety tips.
The restrictions imposed during the current COVID-19 lockdown, helped by several weeks of dry and sunny weather, have led to an increase in the number of people getting their bikes out for exercise. In some parts of the country cycling traffic has risen three-fold since late March1, the organisation says.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented: “It’s great that so many people now choose cycling as their form of exercise. We just want to ensure they are conspicuous and confident when using the roads, and that they are aware of a few simple things that can help them stay as safe as possible whilst out and about on their bikes.
“Along with most safety groups, we hope that everyone will continue cycling once the lockdown is over, as all the research points to the significant positive impact cycling has, not just on our physical health but also on our mental wellbeing.”
GEM’s safer cycling tips:
- Obey the rules. For example, you must stop at red traffic lights and you should not cycle on pavements unless they are clearly signed as designated cycle paths.
- Check your bike’s roadworthiness before a journey: brakes, tyre pressures, pedals, saddle – there are lots of moving parts and they all need to be working properly.
- Wear a correctly fitting helmet, with bright or reflective clothing that will make you easier for other road users to see. Use lights on your bike if you’re taking your exercise time when it’s dark, or when the weather is poor.
- Wherever possible, ride in the middle of the left-hand lane. This makes you easier to see by drivers approaching from behind you. It also helps them think twice about unsafe overtaking.
- Give clear, confident signals so that other road users know what you’re intending to do.
- Be extra vigilant at road junctions, where most collisions occur. Anticipate, be ready for what a driver might be about to do (such as turning left in front of you without indicating).
- As you’re riding along, watch the road surface for hazards such as potholes, litter, puddles and slippery drain covers.
- Definite no-ride zones include: the extreme edge of the road; within a door’s width from parked cars and along the inside of trucks at junctions.
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