New AA campaign urges drivers to THINK BIKE!
The motorcycle and cycle industries have come together, possibly for the first time, to work in tandem (no pun intended) to promote all rider’s safety – and thereby hopefully boost sales of all two-wheelers.
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) and British Cycling have both climbed on-board the AA’s ‘Think Bikes’ awareness campaign which was launched earlier today in London.
Cycling legend Chris Boardman and 20-times Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness both attended a media event held at iconic London landmark Marble Arch to launch the campaign. The campaign highlights the shocking fact that simply failing to look properly is the most commonly cited (42%) contributory factor in road accidents in the UK*.
As a means by which this factor can be reduced the AA Charitable Trust has printed one million stickers to be distributed free to drivers to encourage them to look out for both motorcyclists and cyclists. The stickers feature a line drawing of a motorcyclist and one of a cyclist in warning triangles, which can be placed within a vehicle as a permanent reminder to look out for bikers – both powered and pedal.
Edmund King, AA president and a regular cyclist, 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.”
The idea came from AA Patrol of the Year, Tony Rich, whose friend Jack Bellis was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. Tony and Jack’s family wanted to do something to help prevent other families suffering in this way in the future.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCI, is delighted that motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists are working together in the cause of safety. “It is vital we look out for each other as fellow road users and the MCI feels collaboration between different road groups is the key to reducing casualties. Getting more people on to cycles and motorcycles could dramatically cut congestion for all road users, but drivers need to ‘think bikes’. If drivers embrace the stickers as a permanent reminder to think about cyclists and motorcyclists we could see an instant decrease in what is known within motorcycle communities as the SMIDSY (sorry mate I didn’t see you!).”
The stickers can be picked up free from many Halfords branches and will be distributed by the police and issued with AA member renewal packs. If you are a rider then why not collect a few and hand them out to work colleages and friends – you never know whose life you could be saving.