Think bike: Bann Wheelers help police highlight safety advice

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As the road cycling season gets into gear, the Police Service of Northern Ireland teamed up with local Club Bann Wheelers to issue important advice for cyclists and other road users.

Cycling has become a popular pursuit, with the breathtaking North Coast a particular draw for cycling clubs and individual cyclists alike.

However Constable Syd Henry, PSNI’s Road Education Officer is only too aware of the dangers to cyclists and other road users having responded to many road traffic collisions involving cyclists.

“Cyclists and other road users have a responsibility to make the roads safer for eachother.

“With a bit of common sense and goodwill, motorists and drivers can co-exist happily – and more importantly, safely.”

“The road safety tips are for both cyclists and drivers and aim to ensure that everyone finishes their journeys as safely as they began them”.

Chairman of Coleraine’s Bann Wheelers Cycling Club, Charlie Wright endorses the advice of police:

“The roads are a shared space and on behalf of the cyclists who frequent the North Coast, I appeal to motorists to give cyclists space when overtaking and to be patient when behind a group of cyclists.

“Space is important for cyclists as the edge of the road where we travel can be littered with debris, potholes, gratings and man hole covers. These all may cause a cyclist to move out to avoid and contribute towards a collision.

“The North Coast is one of the most popular routes for cyclists, especially during the summer months and many clubs and individuals cycle here. I would urge cyclists to read and share this advice and play a part in making the roads a safer place.

“And if you are a cyclist and want further safety information Bann Wheelers run an initiation period where potential and new members undertake an induction cycle where they will be taught road safety, group riding and cycling etiquette.”

Safety tips for cyclists

• Wear a helmet with reflective or fluorescent clothing, be safe be seen

• Ride in single file on busy or narrow roads and around bends

• Never travel more than two abreast on wide roads

• Ensure lights and reflectors are clean and in good order

• Obey traffic signs and traffic lights

• Leave plenty of room when passing parked cars

Safety tips for drivers

• Be patient

• Slow down when passing cyclists

• Allow plenty of space while overtaking – cyclists may need room to avoid obstructions on the road

• Always signal when overtaking to indicate the potential danger to other drivers

• If emerging from a junction, look closely to see all traffic, including cyclists

• Lorry drivers should take a close look for cyclists who may have stopped beside or in front of them before moving off from traffic lights and should take extra care when turning left