Hoy’s magnificent gold medal triumph at the London 2012 Olympics has been celebrated by many up and down the country. An ever increasing number of people have been re-oiling brakes, pumping up tyres and adjusting seat heights in order to get back into gear with their long forgotten 2 wheeled friend – the bicycle.
Yet, although Hoy’s achievements have had a positive effect on the number of cyclists hitting the tarmac, unfortunately this has had a devastating impact on the number of road traffic accidents (RTA’s) involving cyclists over the past few months. Statistics released this week by the Department for Transport revealed that ‘the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads is continuing to show a sharp increase, rising by 13% in the first three months of 2012 compared with the same period a year earlier.’
These alarming figures suggest that something should be done in order to help protect cyclists and educate other road users of the dangers of not looking out for and being considerate to cyclists when sharing the road. In fact, Roger Geffen – policy director at the National Cyclists Organisation (CTC) – suggested that if we want to see an Olympic legacy of more people cycling more safely, the Government must pay attention to tackling the fears which deter people from cycling; such as traffic speeds, bad driving and hostile roads.
Within the space of the last three weeks in Kent alone there have been five cyclists killed or seriously injured in RTA’s. These figures further highlight the uncompromising relationship between cyclists and other road users.
We should let the great success of London 2012 spur new government initiatives that help to reduce the risk of RTA’s involving cyclists, so that as a nation, we can pedal our way to better health.