DOD’s blog: Cycle to work safety is vital

When employers know that staff cycle to work do they do enough to promote safety on the roads, I wonder.

I only ask because, although I am a strong advocate of treating staff like grown ups and not being an employer nanny, I see too many drivers and cyclists behaving in ways that, but for the grace of God, should result in many more accidents than we currently have.

In a 13-day-period this November, six cyclists have been killed in London. This high number in a short period of time has highlighted the issue, even though the total number killed this year to date is in line with previous years (and arguably lower given the increase in cyclists).

Serious cycle accidents are not just a city problem. Although 75% of fatal or serious incidents occur in urban areas, half of fatalities occur on rural roads, according to 2012 figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Last year 105 adult cyclists were killed across the UK while 2,911 were seriously injured.

Of course there is an argument about the stupid rule-breaking of some, not all, cyclists. But the reality is, if something goes wrong it is the cyclist who pays the harder price.

Most of the time, as I cycle to work on some of the city’s busiest roads, I experience drivers who respect safety and go out of their way to be courteous to cyclists. Putting aside the ones who see commuting as a war against cyclists, the ones that worry me just as much are the ignorant ones: the motorists who seem to have no idea of the width of their car, who do not know what cycle boxes at traffic lights are for and so on.

So please, cyclists and motorists, as you attempt to get to and from work each day: please be sensible, respect each other and arrive alive.

And government: please can we have properly segregated cycle lanes. Paint on the roads is not enough of a barrier to protect us.

Debi O’Donovan
Employee Benefits

Twitter: @DebiODonovan