AA launches national 'Think Bikes!' campaign supported by Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman and 20 times TT winner John McGuinness
Dramatic new figures show that nine out of ten drivers (93%) admit it is sometimes hard to see cyslists while driving and more than half (55%) are often 'surprised when a cyclist appears from nowhere'.
These are the results of an AA-Populus poll of 17,629 drivers*. A previous AA-Populus poll** showed 85 per cent of drivers think motorcyclists are sometimes hard to see and more than half (57%) are often ‘surprised when a motorcycle appears from nowhere’. As a result of these findings the AA and the AA Charitable Trust have got together, with support from British Cycling and The Motorcycle Industry Association, to launch a national 'Think Bikes!' awareness campaign.
One million free stickers
Initially one million free stickers will be distributed to drivers as a reminder to do a ‘double-take’ in their mirrors for cycles and motorcycles in their blind spots. It is proposed that the cycle sticker is placed on the passenger’s side and the motorcycle one on the driver’s side.
Free stickers can be picked up from all Halfords outlets and will also be distributed by the police and directly to AA breakdown members in renewal and joining packs.
The original sticker concept came from Tony Rich, AA Patrol of the Year, after his friend, Jack Bellis, was killed in a motorcycle crash. Tony and Jack’s family wanted to do something to help prevent such crashes in the future.
'New Deal' for road users
Think Bikes! is part of the AA’s ongoing commitment to improve road safety for all road users and forms part of its 'New Deal' for road users the organisation is championing; where all road users agree to stick to the rules of the road and treat each other with respect.
Almost one in five AA members cycle on a regular basis and some 90 per cent of British Cycling members also drive a car.
Commenting, Edmund King, AA president, said: “The AA Think Bikes campaign is definitely needed when half of drivers are often surprised when a cyclist or motorcyclist ‘appears from nowhere’. Those on two wheels never appear from nowhere so as drivers we need to be more alert to other road users and this is where our stickers act as a daily reminder. Likewise riders need to be aware that they may not always be spotted by drivers. We hope that this campaign can reach the parts that other campaigns can’t reach.
”Greater awareness alongside education, enforcement and improved infrastructure will make our roads safer for all.”
Survey results - cyclists
The AA-Populus cycle survey found:
The main findings in relation to motorcyclists were:
The campaign has the support of the Transport Secretary, Road Safety Minister, Department for Transport, Police, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and a host of cycling and freight groups.
Chris Jansen, AA chief executive, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Chris Boardman, British Cycling, John McGuinness and The Motor Cycle Industry Association as we are keen to see a ‘New Deal’ on the roads where all road users abide by the rules and treat each other with respect.”
For further information visit www.theaa.com/aa-charitable-trust/think-bikes-campaign.html