An advertising campaign solely addressing cyclist safety launches on our television screens tonight.
The Department of the Environment campaign comes just a few weeks ahead of the Giro d’Italia’s arrival to the Province – when the country is expected to go cycling crazy.
Between 2008 and 2012, six cyclists died on our roads. In 2013, four cyclists died on our roads and 42 were seriously injured.
SDLP Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “Cycling is much riskier than either walking or travelling by car. Based on miles travelled, cyclists are 23 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than car users.”
He said the aim of the new campaign “is to reduce road deaths and serious injuries involving cyclists by positively influencing the relationship between cyclists and drivers, supported by the message ‘Respect Everyone’s Journey’.”
UUP Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said it was his aim “to create a safe and accessible cycling infrastructure for everyone in Northern Ireland”.
“This advertisement helps to further increase awareness amongst all road users to travel safely and respect one another,” he added.
Head of Roads Policing, Superintendent Gerry Murray, said: “Unfortunately, many of my colleagues have experience of attending incidents involving cyclists.
“No matter who is at fault in a collision between a bicycle and a vehicle, it’s always the cyclist who bears the brunt of any impact.
“Our appeal is very simple, all road users should exercise some common sense, goodwill and respect everyone’s journey.”
The TV campaign begins tonight and will continue until after the Giro d’Italia cycle race in May. The campaign will also be supported by outdoor and online activity.
The first showing of the advertisement will be on UTV at 6.57pm, just after UTV Live.