Drivers and riders are being urged to look out for each other after a sudden increase in crashes involving cyclists.
North Yorkshire Police say that the proportion of collisions involving pedal cyclists in the county has risen from 20% to 27% for the same four weeks year on year.
It comes as families, novices and experienced riders take to two wheels for exercise – and drivers speed up on empty roads.
Police have joined with York and North Yorkshire councils to urge drivers and cyclists to “share the road, follow the rules” to keep each other safe.
The rules for cyclists
- follow government guidance – one form of exercise a day, minimise the time you are out of your home, and stay at least two metres away from anyone not from your household
- remember that less traffic does not always mean safer traffic, so plan routes accordingly especially if you’re cycling with children and consider using cycle paths. Make it easier for vehicles to pass you safely by filtering down to single file
- see and be seen – wear protective clothing that makes you visible, focus on your surroundings at all times and communicate with other road users with hand signals when turning
The rules for drivers
- stick to the rules of the road and only make essential journeys. The rules of the road, including speed limits, continue to be enforced as normal
- give cyclists 1.5m when passing and only overtake when it’s safe to do so
- expect the unexpected, especially on narrow country roads. And bear in mind that some cyclists have less experience of road riding than others.
‘More families out’
North Yorkshire Police Sergeant Kirsten Aldridge said: “We’ve seen a lot more cyclists using our roads recently, from young families and novices to experienced riders.
“The number of collisions involving cyclists has also sadly risen during this time.
“But if drivers and cyclists remember to share the road and stick to the rules this weekend, their risk of being involved in a serious crash can be significantly reduced.”
Deputy leader of City of York Council Andy D’Agorne said: “It’s vital, now more than ever, that we all share the road and treat each other with care and respect to ensure the NHS is not put under more stress.
“All road users need to look out for one another, especially with the influx of people exercising daily, whether that is walking, running or cycling, following the social distancing guidance.
“This may mean that cyclists sometimes use roads when there are cycle paths to ensure they give pedestrians the required space. If everyone shares the road and follows the rules we can keep each other safe.”