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#1 2020-08-21 05:08:16

Registered: 2020-08-03
Posts: 1,982

according to a recent poll of 5,697 British Cycling members

While cycling continues to prove an increasingly popular way to get around there has also been an increase in danger.  British Cycling, the national governing body for cycling now boasts over 166,000 members – a threefold increase in membership since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With increased cycle traffic on rural roads, often when people move there from urban areas,  comes increased pressure on drivers of farm vehicles to be aware of these road users.

99 cyclists were killed on UK roads in 2018

48 of these on rural roads and, in 2018, rural insurer NFU Mutual’s claims involving agricultural vehicles and pedal bikes totalled over £22 million.
Rural roads may seem safe due to less traffic, but they’re deadlier than you think: Higher speeds, hidden dips and twisty roads reduce the distance that all drivers, not just driver of agricultural vehicles can see ahead, giving less time to react and resulting in more severe collisions.
Cycling on rural roads may leave a cyclist feeling free, safe and relaxed but their perceptions are often unfounded.
The countryside can often have narrow, winding roads with no markings, high hedges and soft verges.
In fact, according to a recent poll of 5,697 British Cycling members, 60% of respondents felt that poorly maintained roads were one of their biggest safety challenges.
Farmers can pass road cyclists safely in some circumstances.
In fact.

Rule 163 of the Highway Code states that

when passing cyclists, all drivers should give ‘as much room as you would when overtaking a car’ – typically 1.5 metres.
What about cyclists riding side by side.
Road cyclists don’t ride two abreast just to chat or to purposely hold you up.
This may come as a shock to many who think that riding side by side is dangerous, illegal, or just downright rude and inconvenient.
The first thing to say is that riding side by side is perfectly legal, with Rule 66 of the Highway Code only stipulating that cyclists should ride in single file “on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.” If you think of a group of cyclists as a single vehicle, by riding two abreast they make that vehicle shorter and therefore quicker to overtake safely.
To bring more awareness to this issue and highlight the safety measures farmers – and the general public – should be following, Farm Safety Week have come up with the following rules to ride by:    Stay alert–Recognise that you’re in an environment where you might encounter groups of road cyclists enjoying a Tuesday evening ride. Cyclists have every right to be on the road, but it’s up to you to be proactive in protecting yourself.
Stay alert, make eye contact and wave, when possible.
Slow down– Farm vehicles often travel at slow speeds anyway but resist the temptation to assume that you are the only vehicle on the road.
On the flat, a group of cyclists can easily be travelling at 20-25mph so be aware that, just because you haven’t spotted the brightly coloured Lycra in the distance doesn’t mean that it won’t suddenly appear out of nowhere.

Pull over carefully– Take the standard precautions: Wait for a safe passing zone

watch for oncoming traffic, signal and return to the lane once all the cyclists are in your rear-view mirror.
Signal– Road cyclists have their own hand signals but they also need to know where you are going, especially if you are making a wide left-hand turn.
Be prepared that rural roads may be prone to potholes and loose dirt and stones and cyclists may have to manoeuvre or stop suddenly.
So always use your mirrors and always check for erratic cycling, hand gestures or lights signalling the cyclists’ intention to swerve or overtake.
Know the basics– Following the speed limit and wearing your seat belt is just as important in the country as it is on city streets.
Seat belts are a legal requirement on all tractors where there is a risk of overturning and it is reasonably practicable to fit one.
Take a second look– Before you pull into any intersection, turn into a field or driveway or make a move to pass, be 100% sure your path is clear in all directions.
This is especially important when entering the road from an unmarked access drive or in an area with particularly high hedges.
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