23 Nov 2013
South Australian world-champion cyclist Anna Meares has teamed up with the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) to be the new ambassador for the Be Safe, Be Seen cycling road safety campaign.
Ms Meares, a 10-time world champion and dual Olympic gold medallist, has come on board the campaign to highlight the importance of rider safety.
Unfortunately, cycling-related incidents are an emerging road safety concern as more people take up cycling. Since 2000, road crash casualties fell by nearly 30 per cent, whereas cyclist casualties increased by more than 20 per cent.
The Be Safe, Be Seen campaign has a particular focus on how cyclists can make themselves safer on the road. Improving visibility is an effective strategy for reducing collisions, particularly during the day when the majority of cycling crashes occur.
Riders need to be aware of the importance of good lighting, fluorescent, reflective and generally light and bright clothing to help increase their safety on the road. They should always scan the road ahead, look for turning cars and pedestrians and never assume they have been seen.
Drivers also need to play their part and be particularly careful to look for riders whenever they are changing lanes, turning into a side street, or pulling out into traffic. Usually a crash occurs because the driver didn’t look for the rider at all. A simple second glance could prevent a crash.
Ms Meares said she had been riding a bike for most of her life and stayed safe over the years by having the right equipment and maximising her presence on the road. "My advice is to set bike lights to flash in the day, as well as at night time. The flashing helps draw attention to your position on the road," she said. "What you wear will get you noticed too. Wearing light and bright clothes helps you stand out from the crowd.
"Motorists also need to be vigilant at all times and regularly check their mirrors for riders who could be travelling alongside their vehicle, and always scan for riders at intersections.
"Cycling is my life, and I want to be riding for years to come, so I take the time to be safe and be seen."
To coincide with the launch the Santos Tour Down Under’s final stage through the heart of Adelaide will be known as Be Safe, Be Seen MAC Stage 6. The Stage will take place on Australia Day, with tens of thousands of fans set to line Adelaide streets as the race is decided along a new inner-city route. Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur said riders would face a technical fight to the finish, with left and right-hand turns into Hutt Street and Bartels Road respectively.
MAC has been supporting the Santos Tour Down Under since 2012 and has secured a new three-year sponsorship of the event from 2014 to 2016.
The 2014 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from 19-26 January. Visit www.tourdownunder.com.au
for all the latest news and event updates.