A new road safety campaign will encourage all road users – however they choose to get from A to B – to make themselves as visible as possible and look out for each other.
Whether you are behind the wheel of a car, riding a bicycle or motorcycle or walking down the street, being easy to spot or actively looking for other road users is one of the best ways to avoid being involved in a collision.
This is true whatever the circumstances, but it is especially important when light conditions are poor, such as dusk, dawn or when it is dark, foggy or raining.
Over the last five years, there have been around 2,000 casualties due to collisions on Wirral’s roads. 90% of these casualties occurred on roads with a speed limit of below 40 mph – and 40% of these injuries occurred when light conditions were poor.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee at Wirral Council, said, “When we make ourselves visible, we are not just making it safer for ourselves, we are keeping other people safe too. With more and more residents switching to sustainable modes of transport such as walking and cycling, our roads are being shared by people all travelling at different speeds using different modes of transport.
“It sounds obvious; making sure you can be easily seen is common sense. But sometimes people forget, or they are caught out – or just don’t realise. We want people to think about visibility before every journey so that they can be safer on the road.
“Whether that is checking your car or motorbike lights are clean and working when stopped or before setting off on a journey, wearing clothing or accessories that are reflective, fluorescent or brightly coloured, making sure your bike is fitted with the correct lights or continuing to get regular eye tests – each small change helps to maximise your visibility and your vision on the road.”
In order to encourage people to consider their own visibility when out on the road, Wirral Council and its partners are offering free ‘visibility kits’ to the first 500 people who visit the Road Safety pages on the council website and complete a form https://www.wirral.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/road-safety/maximise-your-visibility-and-your-vision-road
100 kits will be available to each of the different road user groups. Kits will include an item to increase your visibility and some further information on how to keep safe on the road.
This campaign is in support of the recent changes to the Highway Code, that came into force in January 2022, which set out changes to the priority/hierarchy of road users.
It also supports other ongoing road safety projects in Wirral such as School Streets, Engage Driving Instructors, Mind Your Business and the council’s partnership with BikeRight! to deliver free cycle training.
Other partners in the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership include Merseyside Fire and Rescue and Merseyside Police. All partners are supporting the campaign which calls on Wirral road users to consider other people by asking ‘can they see me? And can I see them?’
Image: Partners support the launch of Wirral Council’s new road safety campaign – (left to right) Steve Atkins, Senior Network Operations Manager at Wirral Council; Dave Rees, Chief Observer for Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists; Paul Mountford from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership; Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee at Wirral Council; Richard Gillmore, an Engage Driving Instructor and John Maddox from Merseyside Fire and Rescue.