Be ‘Bike Smart’ and stay safe

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People across Leeds are being encouraged to take to two wheels in a bid to improve their health and wellbeing.

But a major road safety charity is urging cyclists and other road users to take steps to become more ‘bike smart’.

Leeds road safety cycle event

Leeds road safety cycle event

Road Safety Week, which comes to a close tomorrow, is the UK’s biggest road safety event which is coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity.

This year, Brake has chosen ‘Bike Smart’ as the theme for the week. Cyclists and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users in the UK, with more than 100 riders injured every day in needless, preventable crashes.

In Leeds there were 281 cyclists injured in 2017, with 55 of those being seriously injured. There were a further 170 motorcyclists injured in this time period, which included two fatalities and 64 seriously injured.

Leeds City Council is working closely with external partners in a bid to improve cycle safety.

Brake is promoting three main actions as part of the Bike Smart theme including policy-makers being Bike Smart by prioritising cycle friendly infrastructure; drivers being Bike Smart by looking out for those on two wheels, driving safely and giving bike riders plenty of space; and cyclists and motorcyclists being Bike Smart through safe riding behaviours and appropriate training and equipment.

Throughout the week, Brake has held virtual cycling events across the country, including Victoria Gardens, Leeds on Tuesday.

The aim of the virtual cycling events is to get people to cycle 9,740km during the week, to represent the 9,740 cyclists and motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads in 2017.

Roger Harington, chair of Leeds Cycling Starts Here Strategy Board, said: “Our vision in Leeds is to inspire more people to cycle more often.

“Initiatives such as those organised this week and throughout the year will go a long way to help us become the cycle friendly city that we are aiming for.”