Cyclists are urged to take extra care and make sure they are seen by other road users as the nights draw in this autumn.
The Safer New Forest Partnership reminds cyclists to switch on their bike lights, even in late afternoon twilight.
“With the evenings drawing in, travelling home from school or work will soon involve journeys in the dark,” said New Forest District Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, Cllr Jill Cleary.
“If you’re cycling and haven’t already got lights fitted to your bike, please invest in a set and remember, they could save your life.”
Recently, a cyclist in Hythe had a near-miss with a car which only stopped when the driver spotted him in his headlamps. The cyclist was wearing dark clothes, riding a black bike and travelling without lights on a dark evening in a street with poor lighting. He agreed that he could have been killed or, at least, have suffered life-changing injuries.
Cllr Cleary added: “How much does a set of cycle lights cost and how much trouble is it to switch them on? Please wear reflective clothing too and think ‘Can I be seen?’ before you start cycling on dark evenings.”
Think about keeping safe on the road with this handy checklist from the Safer New Forest Partnership:
- Always wear a helmet and make sure that you and your bike can be seen in poor visibility or at night by wearing reflective clothing and make sure you have lights on your bike – white to the front, red to the rear.
- Look after your bike, check your tyres regularly and if something feels wrong when you’re cycling, get it checked
- Make sure you always pay full attention when cycling, be aware of other road users. It is illegal for adults to use footpaths for cycling.
- Find out more about the New Forest’s cycle routes and road signage at newforest.gov.uk
Two bike security products are now available at New Forest District Council information offices at Appletree Court, Lyndhurst; Lymington Town Hall; Hythe; Gateway, Ringwood; Fordingbridge and Totton.
- Make sure you are seen by other traffic on the road by wearing a high-visibility cover over the rucksack on your back. The neon yellow and silver cover fits snugly over your backpack, protecting it from the weather and making the cyclist easily visible by other road users. The rucksack covers are hard-wearing and cost just £4 each.
- When you want to leave your bike in a public place, lock it securely, preferably to a cycle rack. Safer New Forest sells a high quality gold standard D bike lock for £16. Securing your bike with this toughened lock will act as a visible deterrent to thieves
In addition, the Safer New Forest Partnership supports the Immobilise website www.immobilise.com where you can register your bikes and other property for free. The police then use this information to reunite stolen or lost property with its rightful owner.