New signs will be appearing on the roads of Hampshire next week (from October 1) to raise public awareness of the dangers posed to cyclists.
In 2011, there was an eight per cent increase in cyclists as road casualties across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, with 190 seriously injured and one cyclist killed. In 2012, there has been a further fatality, and the levels of cyclists being injured or killed on the roads of the UK nationally are increasing.
As a result, officers from Hampshire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit have created the Steer Clear campaign, which was launched across the county on October 1.
Throughout October, officers will be carrying out initiatives to raise cyclists awareness of safety on the roads including knowledge of the Highway Code, basic road safety, and traffic awareness,
Force intelligence analysts have identified the roads which have experienced the greatest number of cycle casualties, and from Sunday night, these routes will be clearly signed to raise awareness of the risks and to encourage all road users to be more alert.
The signs will change over the course of the next year on a three monthly basis dependent on the ongoing analysis. (See below for full list of the routes being signed).
The campaign is being supported and delivered in association with local authority partners including Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council.
Steer Clear is also supported by British Cycling, its national governing body, and a number of local businesses including Halfords, Hargroves and Wiggle.
During the campaign, officers will be handing out advice and information leaflets to all road users, which also include discount vouchers to help ensure cyclists they have the right protective equipment, lights and safety kit on their bikes.
The Isle of Wight's Road Safety Partnership has already carried out a significant amount of work on shared usage between motorists and cyclists and that work continues.
Officers will also be handing out high visibility rucksack covers to cyclists to help make them more visible.
Further media events will be held throughout the campaign including, in the week before the clocks go back, publicity highlighting the importance of being visible, the darker evenings raising the risk to those commuting by bike and schoolchildren making the journey home in the evening.
Sergeant Darren Ord, who is co-ordinating the campaign, said: "Steer Clear is really important to us, because it is designed purely to save life and stop people being injured on our roads.
"Our message to cyclists is very simple - be safe and be seen. Our leaflet highlights key safety tips, and gives you some discount vouchers to help get yourself kitted out properly - think high visibility, check your lights, and remember the Highway Code, it is really important.
"Another vital part of our campaign is raising awareness of road laws. By helping motorists and cyclists avoid road offences, we will in turn be keeping them safer.
"It is simple stuff which our experience shows is often over-looked. Things like cycling recklessly on the pavement, having no lights on your bike, cycling and driving under the influence of drugs and drink, or more than one person riding on a solo bike.
"An important element will be targeting road users who choose not to stop at a red light or pedestrian crossing. This is very dangerous - and a particular risk for cyclists and pedestrians.
"The Steer Clear campaign will provide targeted education and enforcement activity around all of these areas.
"We will be focussing on encouraging all road users to grasp the concept of 'mutual respect'. This is a fundamental part of the manifesto of British Cycling.
"We want to foster a culture of mutual respect between all road users to create a safer environment on the roads. We aim to do this through education, enforcement, and engaging with the public whether they are motorists, cyclists or pedestrians.
"Ultimately, we want to stop people getting hurt and reduce road casualties, and we are confident that this initiative will help us do just that."
As of Monday, the constabulary's officers will working with colleagues from local authorities to speak with road users, handing out leaflets and raising awareness of this campaign.
The key casualty routes identified which will be signed from October 1 are:
A2047, entire route.
7 serious collisions and 16 slight collisions involving pedal cyclists.
Havant Road, between its junctions with Padwick Avenue and South Road
1 serious and 4 slight injury collisions
Roads surrounding Portsmouth University: A3 Cambridge Road, B2154 Museum Road, A288 Hampshire Terrace, Jubilee Terrace
1 serious and 8 slight injury collisions
4 slight injury collisions involving pedal cyclists
B3334 Gosport Road, in vicinity of Baycroft School.
4 slight injury collisions
A32 Gosport Road, between its junctions with Mill Rd roundabout and Lederle Lane
3 serious injury collisions
A27 Between its junctions with Farm Road, Titchfield Common and Highlands Road
1 serious and 4 slight injury collisions
A3024 between its junctions with Hawkeswood Road and A334 Bitterne Road East
4 serious and 3 injury
A3057 Shirley High Street and Shirley Road
7 slight injury collisions
Roads surrounding western side of Itchen Bridge: A3025 Central Bridge, Royal Crescent Road, B3039 Salt Marsh Road, A33 March Lane, A33 Terminus Terrace
3 serious and 6 slight injury collisions
Pound Tree Road
1 serious and 2 slight injury collisions
B3054 between Hill Top and Hatchet Moor
3 serious collisions involving pedal cyclists