Edinburgh City Council has launched a new cycle safety campaign in the city in conjunction with the Lothian and Borders Police, NHS Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service.
In a press release the ‘Streets Ahead’ campaign explained that “Through a partnership approach, the campaign aims to reduce the number of road traffic incidents involving cyclists on Edinburgh’s roads through an education and behavioural change campaign targeted at both motorists and cyclists.”
The campaign kick started with an advertising campaign with the aim of educating both cyclists and motorists of the importance of traffic lights and advanced stop lines. Key to the advertising campaign was a cycling safety road show which toured university buildings such as Teviot Row House and Kings Buildings.
This was in correlation with some of the key messages behind the campaign, such as improving motorist and cyclist behaviour and increasing awareness of inappropriate conduct, and the consequences of not adhering to safety precautions.
The second phase of the campaign will take a less public friendly approach and will involve direct enforcement of police intervention when cyclists or motorists are not following safety guidelines. The first phase of the campaign is thus an attempt at educating both parties to avoid the second phase having to be put into action. The educational campaign is planned to run for around another two weeks before the second phase is introduced.
Plans for future campaigns include city-wide advertising offering advice about blind spots to motorists and cyclists. The council also plans to supply large goods vehicles with special 'blind spot' lenses and cyclist warning signs on the rear of the vehicles. The Council hopes this will encourage a more harmonious relationship between both motorists and cyclists and enable both parties to continue using road space whilst reducing future accidents.