Road safety initiatives

This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 18.

I recently met Simon Cripwell and Helen Hill, Road Safety Officers for Cambridgeshire County Council, to hear about the work they’re doing.

The ‘Safer Cycling Scheme’ teaches 10-year-olds the basics of cycling – how to turn, overtake parked vehicles, and so on. Each course lasts five hours, usually one hour a day for five successive days. There is always a shortage of instructors, so if you know of anyone who is interested in being trained to train school children to cycle, phone the number below. This is the time of year when courses are being run, so phone soon to find out the dates of local courses.

To back up the ‘Safer Cycling Scheme’, a multimedia CD called ‘BikeIT’ has been produced, and supplied to schools around the County. It’s aimed at 10-14-year-olds, and is available for purchase.

A large part of the department’s annual budget goes on the October ‘Cyclists Beware – Beware Cyclists’ advertising campaign. Last year’s campaign was a bit of a landmark, as it began with a Cambridge Evening News headline ‘Cycle surely and you’ll cycle safely – Experts say assertive riding can cut the accident toll’.

There are also driver training and drink-driving campaigns, and the ‘Make the Commitment’ Campaign. This encourages car drivers to sign a form, stating ‘I confirm that I am “making the Commitment to Kill my Speed.”‘ So far, over 35 000 Cambridgeshire motorists have signed up. The aim is to make speeding as socially unacceptable as drink-driving now is. If you drive a car, why not phone for more information?

For information on any of these schemes, phone 01223 717385. (Since our meeting, Helen Hill has left the County Council, but we will continue to keep in touch with Simon.)

Clare Macrae