Road Safety News

Motorists and cyclists have ‘joint responsibility’ for safety

Thursday 25th May 2017

Image: Road Safety Wales, via Facebook.

A Welsh police force is calling on cyclists and motorists to show mutual respect and vigilance in order to protect the safety of all road users.

Dyfed-Powys Police patrols more than 8,500 miles, including popular and sometimes challenging stretches of road for motorists and cyclists alike.

Sue Storch, the force’s road safety officer and chair of Road Safety Wales, said safety is a ‘joint responsibility’ between both road user groups - adding that awareness is needed most at junctions, where most collisions occur.

Ahead of the summer months - when it expected that more cyclists will take to the road - Dyfed-Powys Police has published a series of safety tips for both sets of road user.

Guidance for drivers:

  • Give cyclists space when overtaking – leave as much room as you would for a car
  • Hold back if there isn’t enough space to pass, taking account of a cyclist’s need to make a sudden move depending on road or weather conditions
  • Check for cyclists when opening your vehicle door
  • Always check mirrors and blind spots before turning
  • Judge a cyclist’s speed with care: they may be travelling faster than you think 

Guidance for cyclists:

  • Wear a helmet, stay visible, wear high visibility clothing and put lights on
  • Obey all traffic laws and traffic lights
  • Anticipate movements and consider road positioning: your own, motorists, cyclists and horse riders
  • Check for a gap in the traffic when avoiding obstructions

Sue Storch said: “It is a joint responsibility for cyclists to be aware of their surroundings and also motorists to make sure they are vigilant, check all around them before pulling out or making any turns.

“It’s important to be aware that most accidents involving cyclists are caused by drivers making poor manoeuvres, particularly around T-junctions and traffic islands.”



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"Check for a gap in the traffic when avoiding obstructions" Difficult to see what that means. If you can see an obstruction in front of you the only sensible option is to move out slowly. Trying to get round a parked car whilst looking backwards is recipe for disaster.
Paul Teddington

Agree (2) | Disagree (3)

While it is to be welcomed that the story and press release both emphasise that most incidents involving cycling are caused by driver decisions, it's a shame this realisation doesn't follow through to either the advice, or any meaningful plan on enforcement.

The very idea that someone riding a bicycle has the same level of responsibility for road safety as someone able to propel a ton or more of motor car at speeds of up to 70mph is, frankly, ridiculous.
Tim Lennon, London

Agree (9) | Disagree (4)

Bob: A couple of police officers I used to work alongside, mentioned to me that they were trained/encouraged to routinely drive 'progressively' - (still don't know what that's supposed to mean - as opposed to being stationary or going backwards perhaps?) but it sounded not unlike what you are hinting at and not necessarily desirable, if it is at the expense of being defensive.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (1)

Personally I find the Advanced riding instruction far to aggressive. Much of it is about making progress and riding like a police officer needing to get somewhere fast in order to perform whatever duties are required and seems to imply a greater degree of speed or haste or progress. Go faster but go safe seems to be the motto. Speed leads to thrills as one training area put it. Overtake to the front of the queue. The Manual itself encourages overtakes that fail to take into account the many dangers of tailgating and other actions that may place a candidate in an insidious position. All this as opposed to discouraging overtakes particularly inappropriate ones and actions that sacrifice safety for the purpose of expediting progress is not defensive riding. It is far too aggressive to be advised to be used by the general motorcyclist.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (5) | Disagree (2)

Too True Hugh.

I was fortunate that in the mid 1960's I undertook a course of training with the RAC/ACU and that's what most of it was about. Including courtesy and consideration for all other road users. Not just motorcycle control but Highway Code, vehicle maintenance, off road control and on road safety. The Police Manual was not in use at that time and I learned a lot that I still adhere to this day. As a result of that tuition I became a registered riding instructor with them until I joined the police service proper.
Bob Craven Lancs

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Fair point, although defensive driving/riding could be a subject in itself - an art form even - and should be given more emphasis in campaigns generally.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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It could be mentioned as well Hugh, but defensive techniques already seem to be implicit in some of the other points.
Pat, Wales

Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

The key to it all - defensive driving and riding - is not mentioned! Watching programmes of dashcam footage and the like - where a road user makes the initial mistake or triggering action which leads to a collision - it's disappointing and annoying even, how the secondrary party and initially the one not to blame, does not take avoiding action where they could have done, by anticipating, expecting and therefore being able to stop/avoid contact.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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