Road users are being urged to raise awareness of the safety of cyclists, as part of a joint drive by Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Constabulary to reduce the number of cyclist casualties on the road.
The new scheme comes in response to a recent increase in the number of adult cyclists involved in casualties, with the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Norfolk’s roads rising from 23 in 2010 to 37 in 2012.
The campaign launches on Tuesday 27 August and will run for at least the next five years, with the message being aimed at three main areas. Norfolk County Council will be focusing on making both drivers and cyclists aware of the issues around cyclist safety, while Norfolk Constabulary are concentrating their efforts on enforcement to ensure all road users are obeying the laws of the road.
The County Council will be offering free workplace seminars to cyclists to cover the economic, health and environmental benefits of cycling, whilst providing advice on equipment, routes and behaviours and delivering key safety messages.
As a follow up the cyclists will be offered a bespoke on-road training session, which will offer an insight into the potential hazards a cyclist could face on their commute to work and advice as to their riding behaviours.
Drivers will also benefit as part of the campaign, with the County Council adding further content to their National Speed Awareness Course which increase their alertness to vulnerable road users.
Norfolk Constabulary will maintain their ongoing commitment to treating all road users equally; if a cyclist is seen breaking the law or putting themselves or other road users at risk, they will be stopped and dealt with in exactly the same way a driver would be.
Cllr Alec Byrne, Chairman of the Joint Casualty Reduction Group, said: “Norfolk has a very successful history of reducing casualties on the county’s roads. With the emergence of this new issue I am confident that we will find the solution to the problem of cyclists being killed or injured.
“We actively encourage people to cycle rather than use their car, but to do so they must feel safe and confident and the new interventions will help with that.”
Iain Temperton, Team Manager for Casualty Reduction at Norfolk County Council, said: “The most important thing to say is that we must move away from the ‘blame game’ that can occur between drivers and cyclists.
“No matter what type of road user we are, there is scope for improvement in our own knowledge, skills and attitude. Your safety is your responsibility, but so is the safety of all those around you.”
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, Head of Roads Policing for Norfolk & Suffolk, said: “Every death or injury on our roads is an unnecessary tragedy. My officers deal with the aftermath of people’s mistakes and are aware of the increase in incidents involving adult cyclists.
“We will be working closely with our partners and will be striving to ensure that no matter what type of road user, any infringement is dealt with in the most appropriate way.”
Norfolk County Council’s Casualty Reduction Team are taking bookings from businesses for cycling theory workplace seminars. If you are interested in setting up a session, or want more information on what the sessions entail, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 223359.
For further information about road safety courses, tips on how to stay safe on the roads, and details on how you can become a road safety volunteer, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/mindroad.