Cyclists! It’s Vital to be Visible

09 December 2014

Image: photograph of cycle safety information

Experts from the NIHR SRMRC are launching a series of hard-hitting campaigns to help city cyclists stay safe. The first event will take place on Tuesday 9th December from 10am to 3pm in the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB).

With the QEHB treating up to 83 cycling-related injuries in just one month, consultant neurosurgeon Professor Tony Belli and his colleagues from NIHR SRMRC trauma research team are kicking off the drive with ‘It’s Vital to be Visible’.

The campaign aims to raise public awareness and reduce injuries by encouraging cyclists to wear protective gear such as high-visibility clothing and helmets and to use equipment such as reflectors and lights to make them more visible to drivers.

Professor Belli, Director of the NIHR SRMRC said: “QEHB is a Major Trauma Centre and has one of the busiest emergency departments in the UK.

“Cycling is a great sport but shockingly, in one month alone, the hospital has treated up to 83 cycling-related injuries.

“With the dark nights and mornings making cyclists harder to see on the roads, we hope that our campaign will remind cyclists that it’s vital to be visible.”

Reflecting the hospital’s statistics, Birmingham City Council has also reported a rise in the number of road traffic collisions in the city involving cyclists when the clocks go back. In the years 2011 to 2013 there were 89 accidents in October and 87 in September. In August there were 70.

In a bid to reduce the number of traumatic injuries, Professor Belli is encouraging everyone to join him and the NIHR SRMRC team at a stand in the hospital’s main entrance next week.

Visitors will be able to pick up free high-vis jackets, reflectors and seat covers (subject to availability) and enter free prize draws to win a stylish rucksack full of cycle safety goodies and a free bike service. There will also be the opportunity to talk to cycling experts and see a demonstration of bike maintenance by an ex-international cyclist.

To show your support for the campaign please tweet using #VitalToBeVisible.