GoSafe, Road Safety Wales (RSW) and Welsh police forces urge road users to improve road safety for bicycle and motorcycle riders.
Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) and cyclists represent approximately 1% of all traffic on Welsh roads, however, 853 people from these groups were killed or injured in 2021. That represents 11.4% and 8.2% of road casualties respectively. This clearly shows that these groups are at higher risk of injury when involved in collisions.
There are steps that we can all take to keep ourselves and each other safe on the roads. GoSafe, RSW, and Welsh forces will be putting a focus on their aims to reduce the number of these collisions, through both education and enforcement.
Drivers can play their part by staying alert to powered two wheelers and cyclists, especially around junctions and when overtaking or changing lanes. One method to adopt is the Dutch Reach when exiting your vehicle. This is a simple yet effective technique to prevent “dooring” - a dreaded and all too common collision, caused when people exiting a vehicle suddenly open a door into the path of a cyclist, motorcyclists, or other vulnerable road user.
As two-wheeled transport becomes more popular, safer interaction between cars, bicycles, and motorcycles is reliant on co-operation and a greater awareness from drivers regarding the presence of less protected road users.
Keeping a safe distance from motorcycles and cyclists can also be vital when on the road. Updates to the Highway Code in 2022 include a requirement for vehicle drivers to ensure a minimum gap of 1.5 metres when passing a cyclist at speeds of up to 30mph, and more space at higher speeds.
Operation Snap took positive action against 1562 ‘close pass’ incidents in 2022. This highlights that there is still a need to educate road users on safely overtaking cyclists and other vulnerable road users. A good tip is to overtake cyclists in the same way as another vehicle, in a suitable location, ensuring that the 1.5 metre minimum gap is maintained between the cyclist or road user and the vehicle.
Whether you’re a new motorcycle rider or cyclist, or you’ve got years of experience on the road, it can be easy to become complacent and take risks. It’s important to wear the correct protective equipment and stay highly visible, regardless of the type of bike you’re riding or the length of the journey. If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision, good quality equipment could greatly reduce injury or even save your life.