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Insp Paul Winter column: Hammering home the road safety message

Police and Fire Service staged a fake road accident in Sutton town centre planned and funded by Ashfield Community Safety Partnership to raise awareness of the fatal four, particularly among young drivers.

Police and Fire Service staged a fake road accident in Sutton town centre planned and funded by Ashfield Community Safety Partnership to raise awareness of the fatal four, particularly among young drivers.

 

Fresh from completing my cycling challenge I’m going to continue the theme of my last column and talk about our roads.

You might remember that last week I set off from Nottinghamshire on two wheels ready to cycle 280 miles.

It was along with 26 other police officers from around the country and I was raising funds for a council-run care home in Nottingham called Oakdene.

The weather seemed to change just as we set off and the first day’s ride to Hull was an extremely challenging 90 miles. A bit of rain, high winds and an undulating terrain certainly gave my leg muscles a run for their money.

We then took some rest on the ferry crossing to Zeebrugge and the sun was shining for our second day cycling through Belgium to Holland.

Cycling in Holland is a completely different experience from cycling here and I think there are a few lessons we could learn from our European counterparts.

Granted the country has the most extensive cycle network in the world with special cycle lanes but it’s the attitude to cycling that is so different.

While only about four per cent of us cycle everyday in Britain about ten times that number cycle everyday in Holland. On most occasions cyclists have priority over cars.

I’m not suggesting we start digging up Nottingham Road to make way for scores of cyclists but wouldn’t it be great if everyone just took a more relaxed approach?

Most drivers are very considerate when they see a horse on the road; they slow down and give them plenty of space to over take. If we had a similar attitude to cyclists I think we’d stop a lot of accidents.

Of course cyclists also have to play their part, obeying the Highway Code, and being patient and considerate to other road users.

Speaking of other road users and accidents did you manage to see the staged crash in Sutton?

Hundreds of people looked on as firefighters and police officers dealt with a road traffic accident involving two cars and a pedestrian in the town centre.

In swerving to avoid a pedestrian, the driver of the first car had hit a second vehicle being driven by someone who had been drinking and who wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

The event really hammered home the impact alcohol can have on reactions and how a seat belt can save your life.

I managed to raise £1,000 on my ride which I will be presenting to Oakdene soon. Thanks to everyone who sponsored me.

And I won’t have long to rest before heading out again. I’m cycling the Great Notts Bike Ride with my daughter this month.

 

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