Cy­clists urged to ‘be bright use your lights’ to aid road safety

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY ANITA McPHER­SON am­cpher­son@ ne­me­

WITH op­ti­mal cy­cling con­di­tions in spring and a host of events com­ing up on the cal­en­dar, Road­Safe North East is en­cour­ag­ing cy­clists to main­tain high vis­i­bil­ity and be seen to be safe.

The cy­cle safety group’s lat­est mes­sag­ing strongly urges cy­clists to use lights front and back, both day and night, as part of its on­go­ing ef­forts to cre­ate a safer en­vi­ron­ment for the bike rid­ing com­mu­nity of North East Vic­to­ria.

Spokesper­son for Road­Safe North East, Jackie Hobbs, urged all cy­clists to ride with lights to boost their vis­i­bil­ity on coun­try roads and in an ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment.

“Cy­clists are some of our most vul­ner­a­ble road users, and we want them to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to im­prove their vis­i­bil­ity and safety on our roads, which is why our mes­sage is ‘be bright use your lights’,” she said.

“Re­gional cy­clists tell us that drivers over­tak­ing too close to them, is one of the big­gest con­cerns they have about cy­cling on the road.

“We strongly urge mo­torists to take care when they see a cy­clist, slow down, and when it’s safe and no other car is ap­proach­ing, in­di­cate and over­take al­low­ing at least 1.5 me­tres be­tween the cy­clist and the ve­hi­cle.”

Cy­cle sea­son proper kicked off this month and Road­Safe North East’s elec­tronic dis­play board will be highly vis­i­ble on re­gional coun­try roads most fre­quented by cy­clists over the com­ing months.

The mes­sage is par­tic­u­larly per­ti­nent with the Great Vic­to­rian Bike Ride re­turn­ing to the re­gion on Novem­ber 24 when 3000 cy­clists will pedal their way ‘from the Mur­ray to the Moun­tains’, start­ing in Bright and vis­it­ing the town­ships of Mi­lawa, Beech­worth, Tal­lan­gatta, Ruther­glen, Yar­ra­wonga and Glen­rowan, be­fore the fi­nal leg to Be­nalla.

Event co­or­di­na­tor Kahlia Dix from the Bi­cy­cle Net­work joined Road­Safe North East at their AGM in Wan­garatta last month where she gave a pre­sen­ta­tion about the event, now in its 35th year.

She said North East Vic­to­ria was al­ways a pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion for event reg­u­lars and it also hap­pens to be the place where the in­au­gu­ral event be­gan back in 1984.

“They re­ally like the High Coun­try – they love all the hills and the towns in the North East,” she said.

“We love to get the com­mu­nity in­volved too, es­pe­cially those smaller com­mu­ni­ties that re­ally em­brace the rid­ers com­ing into town and put on a bit of a show for us – the rid­ers ab­so­lutely love it and it makes the event what it is.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Great Vic­to­rian Bike Ride visit­cy­clenet­­to­ri­an­bike-ride/.

PHOTO: Mel Guy

READY TO RIDE: Road­Safe North East and Bi­cy­cle Net­work rep­re­sen­ta­tives in­clud­ing (from left) Jackie Hobbs, Re­becca Lane, Kahlia Dix and Michelle Arm­strong are work­ing to­gether to sup­port safe cy­cling in the re­gion.

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