Launching a new campaign later this week, The AA are going to be encouraging millions of motorists to start putting stickers on their wing mirrors reminding them to look out for bikes. Utilising the campaign name ‘Think once, think twice, think bikes’ (the same mantra that was at the heart of public information films from the 1970’s) the stickers which you place on your wing mirrors will show a warning for cyclists on the near side and a warning for motorcyclists on the off-side.
A million stickers have been printed and will be given to drivers free at every Halfords outlet in Britain. The AA is appealing to its 15 million members to fix the yellow badges to their cars as a reminder.
Trailing the campaign, Chris Jansen, AA Chief Executive and a keen cyclist, hopes that there will be a significant effect on casualty numbers among cyclists.
“It is simple, this New Deal: cyclists have to recognise that it is not a one-way street it is not all about the motorist looking out for cyclists. The cyclists have to obey the Highway Code, not go through red lights and recognise when they have been well looked after on Britain’s roads by motorists. Motorists ‘think bike’ when they are on the roads, look out for cyclists, particularly when turning left and make sure that you give enough space. If each group did those two things . . . we would have a safer Britain and who wouldn’t want that?”
It remains to be seen whether stickers will make the difference on improving cycle safety, especially if they obscure some of the already limited view that a motorist has in their mirrors. We trust it is a success but lets just hope we don’t get carried away with credit being assigned in the wrong place. We have seen a recent reduction in cycle injuries that is hopefully reflective of a broader determination to share the road and make space for each other. The roads are better when we all stick together.
The campaign, due to be launched on Friday 7th March is supported by British Cycling as well as Government, police and hauliers.