Cyclists be seen, says Sussex
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) is tackling visibility issues with pedal cyclists, as the nights draw in but crashes involving cyclists continue to rise.
Focusing on areas with high numbers of commuters, the team will be giving out basic bike lights, along with advice and high-visibility gear, in order to combat the increasing numbers of cyclists that end up in collisions.
A Bike Lights Champion from partner organisations has been appointed for each district and, during commuting hours in the next few weeks, they will be giving out a set of bike lights to each cyclist who pledges to purchase a more robust set in the coming days. The set given by SSRP is then intended as a back up pair.
In addition, high visibility pieces (jackets, rucksack covers), and bicycle maintenance advice will be given out. Surveys will be undertaken before and after the giveaway to note any change in visibility behaviour, and questionnaires will be available for cyclists to answer, to gain an understanding of how safe it feels to cycle in Sussex, and whether the conspicuity material has aided in any way.
Analysis of SSRP data from 2005 to 2014 notes a very marked increase from 2010 onwards. Whilst this is in-keeping with a general national rise in regards to overall data, the amount of ‘Killed or Seriously Injured’ (KSI) cyclists in Sussex has now doubled the national increase, causing great concern about the safety of them on the county’s roads.
Further investigations show that among the contributing factors for the crashes occurring are due to “Rider wearing dark clothing” and “Not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility.”
The Bike Light Champions will be giving out lights from the 2 November onwards (supplies dependent), between commuting hours in Chichester, Arun, Brighton and Hove, Hastings, Worthing, Horsham, Crawley, Rother and Eastbourne.