Web_XGSafeCycle_4113LOCAL police will this month be involved in a state-wide proactive campaign aimed at reducing bicycle trauma. Starting last week and running through unil the end of October, Safe Cycle Month is the longest running road safety initiative in Australia – now in its 30th year!

State Bicycle Operations coordinator Sergeant Arty Lavos said the emphasis of the program was on rewarding cyclists who were observed riding appropriately, as well as acting on non-compliant cyclists. “Safe Cycle Month is a great opportunity for us to recognise good behaviour and not just focus on penalising bad behaviour,” he said. “During the month members make contact with as many bike riders as possible and talk to them about riding safely, responsibly and legally. “We give them the opportunity to have positive interaction with police and at the end of the campaign they have the opportunity to win prizes. “Of course we also target road users committing offences as another tactic to educate all road users to share the road safely and reduce the rate of injuries to bike riders”

Sgt Lavos said this month was important because there were so many cyclists in Victoria. “Victoria has the highest rate of cycling in Australia, with around one million Victorians riding a bicycle each week,” he said. “With the deaths of 83 vulnerable road users last year alone, including cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists, the need to increase awareness of this group has never been higher. “It is easy for even an experienced and cautious road user to be put at risk by someone else’s unsafe decision.” So far in 2013 there have been four cyclists killed on the roads. The campaign coincides with Community Safety Month, Around the Bay in a Day and Ride to Work Day.