In the last 48 hours it has been reported that 14 cyclists have been killed in London this year, a cyclist was killed in a hit and run in Bath and much closer to home in Chippenham a female runner collided with a car leaving her in a critical condition.
As runners and cyclists we all have a responsibility for our own safety, we need to be aware of our surroundings, have our senses on high alert and make ourselves seen and heard as clearly as possible. Unfortunately wearing safety gear such bright clothing, lights, bells, helmets & using pavements, pedestrian crossings and dedicated cycle lanes sometimes is not enough. We will always come off worse with a collision with a motor vehicle.
Whilst I am the last person who wants to forced indoors onto a treadmill or turbo if the only time I have to train is in the hours of darkness then I will be seriously considering these options more. If possible runners please buddy up and don’t run outdoors alone.
New non-endorsable £50 fines in the UK for cyclists for contravening traffic signs, having no lights and cycling on a footpath will hopefully encourage cyclists to follow the law and make themselves and others safer. There are no laws for runners, so common sense and a sixth sense of safety will be required.
Many running races that are not on closed roads now ban music & headphones, this is not a problem for me as triathlons have banned these for years so I am used to running and cycling without music. But if running alone and using music to keep you company then you must be extra aware at road crossings and junctions. Stopping for a few seconds to look around and pulling out the earphones to hear won’t be detrimental to your run but could save your life.
For a number of years I have worn a ROAD ID tag on my running shoe laces and an ankle band for cycling – just in case I can’t speak at least I can be identified and my family notified. I have recently updated my tags to include ALLERGIC TO INSECT STINGS so if stung and I go into anaphylactic shock hopefully I can get the correct medical help. Ordered from the US they arrive in about 4-6 days. I strongly recommend them for anyone who is in activities outdoors – runners, cyclists, walkers, mountaineers canoeists, surfers, skiers etc.
Our thoughts should be with the recent victims of accidents but please – Be safe, don’t be an additional statistic
London Cyclist Deaths: Sixth In 13 Days
Bath Cyclist killed in hit & run
Sadly the young running woman in her twenties who was knocked down in Chippenham has passed away. The police are advising runners to not wear iPods while running on roads, stop at all junctions or when crossing the road and to wear and bright clothing and lights.
We should also think of the driver who may not have been at fault, an inquest will decide, but they must be devastated too.
Very good post. Car vs Cyclist or Runner is not just a UK problem; it happens frequently in the US also. In fact, my city (Jacksonville, FL) has unfortunate notoriety for having a very high bike fatality rate.
I’m sure it’s a world wide problem, just highlighted with the increased frequency in London this year and the accidents close to home.
As a cyclist, runner & driver I hope to be more aware for my own safety and others. It’s a start.
I do agree, I see the occasional runner out in West Sussex on the road (not the pavement) in the dark, with no reflectives or lights. Scares me silly that I might hit them. Please be careful all.
As runners we need to do what we can not just fingers crossed cars will see us.
Timely post. Especially during this very dark evenings. At our latitude, the low lying bright sun also can make it especially difficult to be seen. Thanks for the Road ID tag link-great idea!