We have partnered with Nation Radio for their Be Safe Be Seen Campaign. More than 5,000 children were injured on our roads in 2017 according to government statistics, with 36% of accidents happening between the hours of 3pm – 7pm. We want to help reduce this statistic.
We will be posting a series of blogs on the Traveline Cymru website with tips and advice for keeping your children safe on Wales’ roads and transport systems. In this third blog post, find out how your child can avoid the dangers of the road when travelling by bike.
1. Wear bright coloured or fluorescent clothing. This is even more important now that the clocks have gone back! Many children choose to cycle to and from school. Whilst this a great way to keep fit and active, cyclists are also vulnerable to accidents on the road. It is vital that children who travel by bike make themselves visible to road users, especially in the early mornings and evenings when it is darker. This could be by wearing a brightly coloured jacket, a high visibility vest, or even reflector strip armbands. Nation Radio are also giving away thousands of backpack reflective stickers to schools across Wales. Why not ask your child’s class teacher to request these stickers on the Nation Radio website? These reflective items are a great way to make sure your child can Be Safe and Be Seen seen whilst cyclng in the dark.
2. Avoid cycling in dangerous weather conditions. The weather will continue to worsen across Wales as we head into the winter months. Rain, wind, fog and mist can all be dangerous conditions for cyclists to tackle, especially for those with less experience on the road. Before your child sets off for school (or even the night before), look at the weather forecast and discuss with them whether they are comfortable and able to cycle in those conditions. Poor weather can decrease a cyclists’ own visibility, as well as making them less visible to other road users. Cyclists also need to watch their speed in wet weather as surfaces may be slippery and it will take longer to stop.
3. Use your bike lights- it is the law! All cyclists need to use a working white front light and red backlight, as well as a red rear reflector. This is a legal requirement. Using these features will make it much safer for your child to travel as they are more visible to other road users. You can also purchase a helmet light from most shops and online retailers. This will help your child see the road ahead more easily, and allow other vehicles to see them.
4. Be aware of what is going on around you. A number of collisions occur when a cyclist is on the inside of a vehicle that is turning left. Vehicles will not always indicate before turning, so do not assume that they are going straight ahead. Where possible, your child should to wait until the car has cleared before moving off. This will give them a much better view of what is happening around them and allow them to react to any dangers. Cyclists should also avoid travelling along the inside of large vehicles as it is difficult for them to be seen- especially small children!
5. Always know your route beforehand. You can do this by using our Cycle Planner. This will give you a street-by-street breakdown of the route your child will need to take, as well as the overall and street-by-street journey times. We have also added some new features to let you know more about your journey! You can see how many calories your journey will burn, how much co2 you will save, and how busy the route is expected to be. This is a great way to explore the benefits of making your journey by bike, whilst also making sure you are prepared for what the route will be like.
You can find out more about the Be Safe Be Seen campaign on the Nation Radio website.
Keep an eye on our blog page for more advice on how to Be Safe and Be Seen when using the train, bus and walking.